I am sure you think this rather a strange title for this picture. Yet look closer. Can you see them? Two valiant warriors facing an immense enemy as vast as the ocean. Armed only with a small green pail and their indomitable will, they stand firm. Resolute.
It’s cold. The wind’s icy fingers pull at their flesh and they shiver. Yet they stand facing the waves that threaten to rush in and take their breath away with its frigid waters. It mocks them, trying to steal their joy.
They stand together. Brother and sister. United. Undaunted.
So Why Battle Cry for this picture? Because things aren’t always as they seem. Most people when they look at the picture above see two children standing on a grey beach facing grey water under a leaden sky. But I see my warrior grandchildren, determined to find joy in the midst of a cold grey day at the beach.
I wonder what people see when they see me? A middle aged woman, who is overweight? A competent and hard working administrative assistant? A mother? A grandmother? A wife? At first glance, it is all true. But is that all they see? Do they see the scars? Can they hear the cries of the battle raging around me? Or do they only see the surface?
Look closer. I am a warrior. In fact, because I am the child of God by His grace, I am a warrior Princess, AND I have a pretty amazing warrior Father who is teaching me to fight!; To join the fray with a lusty battle cry!
In this life we are faced with difficult and sometimes dire circumstances. These are battles. And with each battle, there are two options. You can either be a warrior and fight to the death, or a victim and be subjected and enslaved; forever living in fear and darkness. At least that is how I see it. I choose to be a warrior. And like David in the Bible, I am facing a giant.
Two weeks ago, I received the staggering news that I have breast cancer. At first, it was thought I had only one tumor and that I would have a simple lumpectomy and then radiation. Today, after a MRI, they found three more spots of concern. More biopsies and MRIs loom before me. More tests, possible chemo, surgery and radiation all are in my future. I am in the valley of the shadow of death. (Note it does not say that I am in the valley of death; only its shadow.) But I am not alone.
Two weeks ago after my first biopsy, I asked the Lord for a battle song. A week later I received one. A Christian brother at work who had heard about my situation, sent me a song without knowing the prayer of my heart. It was perfectly timed. It came the day I received the call that it was cancer.
The song is “Fight my Battles (Surrounded)” by Michael W. Smith. A very simple song, with two lyrics. “This is how I fight my battles” and “It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You.” I still get goosebumps when I sing this song and I sing it often. Especially when fear or self-pity come knocking at the door of my heart.
After that I asked for a Victory Song, and a few days later “There’s victory in Jesus, my savior forever” began playing in my head. I wasn’t sure if that was the victory song I asked for or just my mind making suggestions; so I continued to ask. Today, a sister at work sent me the lyrics to the very song that had been playing in my mind! She had no idea! It was today that I found out about the other tumors. Again, I was floored by the wonderful beauty and love of my Father. I now have a victory song. Why did I ask for a victory song? Because I am going to win this battle no matter the outcome.
People look at me strange when I say I am not afraid. I think that they imagine I am saying that to be “strong”. But honestly, I am not afraid. At least, I am not afraid for myself. I fear for my children, but God is reminding me to trust Him. They have a journey to walk too and He is with them. He is teaching them to be warriors too.
I have moments of fear, but when they come I call out to my Father, and His perfect love casts them out. His peace is holding me up and keeping me strong. He is my fortress, my very present comfort. He is my strength, and He battles beside me.
“It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by YOU!”
He was waiting for me when I entered this Shadowy Valley and He is waiting ahead at the next turn and the next turn and the next turn. He blesses me constantly. He is as close as my breath, and I can hear His battle song as we walk along this path. What is His battle cry? I am sure He has many, but I believe I hear Him singing out “I love you”.
Life is a battle. And the life we live on this earth is temporary. One day I will die – at least, my body will. My spirit will live forever in the house of the Lord. He has promised it. And He always keeps his promises. This trek before me has steep mountains to climb and deep dark valleys to pass. Yet, there are springs of fresh water filled with blessings to refresh my heart. The Lord is always at my side; leading me and drawing me closer to Him. When I stumble or falter, He picks me up and carries me. I have never experienced such a love as the Love of my Father.
I have been blessed with a very loving family, amazing friends and co-workers who are praying for me and asking for ways they can help me in this time. They offer to clean my house, fix meals, or take me to appointments. Scriptures and pictures and amazing prayers are sent to me almost daily, and I am gathering them into my battle journal and treasuring each one. I am blessed.
During my MRI, I had headphones to listen to music. And each time the noise of the machine stilled, the words of the song playing were always perfect and what I needed at that moment. I could almost feel The Holy Spirit in the MRI tube with me, stroking my hair as He whispered words of comfort and hope.
And that is the most amazing blessing He has given me. Hope. Because whether I live or die, I know where I am going. There is no fear of death for me. And if the Lord keeps me here longer, to fulfill a purpose for His glory, again I am not afraid. Bring it on! Because the more difficulties and challenges I face, the more blessings I will receive. I cannot lose with the Father on my side!
Cancer is a terrible disease, striking fear into the hearts of so many people. During this experience, my blessings have overwhelmed me and my heart is filled with a great compassion for those who are going though difficult and terrifying circumstances alone. I personally, cannot imagine getting through the next few minutes, much less months, without my God’s grace and love and the support of my friends and family.
Do you walk alone and have no one to lift you up? I invite you to join me. Come and walk with me and my Father. The road is hard, and sometimes long and tiring, but there is joy every moment in His presence. Peace, that cannot be extinguished, will cradle and protect your heart. A song of rejoicing instead of lamenting will resonate through your soul and fill your mouth with praise. And best of all – He is singing a battle cry over you for a war He’s already won – for you. Can you hear Him? I can. He is shouting “I LOVE YOU!” He loves you! Close your eyes and ask Him to be your Father and God. If you draw near to Him, He will draw near to You.
God loves you. No matter where you are, where you come from, what you’ve done or not done – He loves you. Don’t walk through this alone. Feel free to reach out to me if you need prayer or support. Feel free to ask me questions about knowing the Father and experiencing His love for yourself. I am always delighted to talk about my Father.
I started this blog with the title battle cry. I’ve mentioned my battle song and my victory song. But what is my battle cry? Not sure yet. I’m asking God tonight. I’ll let you know what He gives me.
Be well my friends!
Peace and Grace to you all