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  • Debbie Cowles

4+ months post-chemo now; catching up!

If you are friend with me on Facebook, you probably saw my One Hundred Days of Thankful (OHDOT). Here is Day 95:

After finishing chemo on 16 July, we had an outdoor, socially-distanced celebration on 25 July with some local friends who had all been so helpful, each in their own way. A lady brought 6 homing pigeons which she and I released. Here is some of what I shared on that day:

Release of Doves (homing pigeons)

End of Chemo Celebration!

Thank you all so much for coming. You are all very important to us and have played a significant role in this journey. We are so grateful for the errands you have run, the letters and cards, texts and emails, flowers and gifts, your prayers and encouragement. And Steve has been phenomenal and helped so much, but I don’t know where we would be today without your help, encouragement, and support.

God has impressed upon me during this 6 months that I am “safe and secure”. This has been very meaningful. I have come to learn that “safe and secure” doesn’t mean free from problems or disease. But it does mean that God is helping me, with me all the time, and giving me the strength to take each new step. I am safe because I am in His very real, active, ever-present care. It’s not just a theory; it’s a reality.

One of the images God has used to strongly impress this upon me is that of being under His wings. This has been significant to me many times in this journey. The first time was in our front garden when I saw a hen pheasant tucking tiny chicks under her wings. Then a friend sent me Psalm 57. Another time, we saw a hen pheasant on a walk with only one chick under her. And then another friend, not knowing any of this, read to me part of Psalm 63. It’s also in Psalm 91 (see below, which I read*). And in the gospel of Luke we are told that Jesus desperately wanted to gather Jerusalem under His wings, but they would not have it. The image of being under God’s wings is that of being near to His heart. It’s a place that I call a “good darkness”, a place of safety, comfort, quiet, no decisions, protection. I am safe in His care. I am also free in His care. Free because I am depending on Him. Free to be myself.

The release of the 6 doves today reminds me of all these images and it also signifies to me that it is now time to heal and fly after a very difficult and challenging 6 months with 6 sessions of chemotherapy. It’s time to embrace the future, to look forward with joy and hope and gratitude.

So we are saying a very sincere thank you to God and to all of you for being such a significant part of this journey.

*Psalm 91, NLT Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him…. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday…. make the Lord your refuge, ...the Most High your shelter...

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