Where hope is found…

Forgive me for my long absence dear friends. I can’t believe the New Year is already upon us! As I wrote in my last post, I had a major surgery on November 27th that knocked me for quite a loop. I have been struggling to heal and to start to get back to some regular activities, so I decided today was a good day to write to you all.

Many of you know, according to current medical knowledge, this surgery and it’s results held likely my only possibility of remission. Due to the aggressive nature of this cancer and its rarity I was forced into a very specialized and INTENSE surgery in Denver. I wish with all my heart that I good news to report, but, unfortunately, my news is very different that what I had hoped for. My surgeons fought long and hard – literally a 14 hour surgery – to try to eliminate this cancer. They pushed limits and were as aggressive as they possibly could be. But the cancer won this round, and now my cancer is considered terminal.

What a horrible word- terminal. I had never given much thought to it before, never spent time dwelling on the meaning and consequences this word carries with it. But now it feels all-consuming. The end. The end of so very many precious things. Now I wasn’t given days or weeks or months, but my time will be much shorter than I had thought. Than I had hoped. I have cried so many tears in the last few weeks I feel like a fountain. One would think they would dry up eventually right? I have moments of sorrow. Moments of anger. Moments of confusion. All of these mixed together with the hardship of physical and emotional pain, exhaustion, and healing.

I won’t lie to you all and pretend the last month has been easy. Up until this point, I have truly experienced very little anger or confusion on this journey, but in the last few weeks, I am not to proud to admit, that I have struggled with more sadness, anger, and confusion than I have over the course of my entire adult life. I also won’t lie to you now and say that those emotions have completely gone away. But I feel like today was finally a tipping point toward trust that I have been desperately needing and crying out for. Today, was a “good” day. I worked on a puzzle. I played the piano, and I even played a game with my parents. More importantly I read my Bible, I got into the Word and was reminded that God truly can “illuminate my darkness.” And oh how I deeply needed that spark.

A very wise women spoke some words to me a few weeks ago that have been hovering in my mind. Words that God will continue to grow the meaning and depth of for the many weeks and months to come. And I want to share these words with you today so you might know where my heart is, where God wants to meet us all. God once again proved Himself faithful to love me in the ways I needed to be loved. He shined truth into my brokeness, bringing light to the darkness in my heart.

The truth I have been rolling over and over again is this: My hope is not  in my circumstances. My hope is a Person- and not only that but that Person lives inside me. Jesus Christ. This resonated with me right away. But it did take some time for my heart to soften enough to accept and attempt to live out these words.

It’s funny how truth can take some time to grow and take root in life. I recognized the importance of these words immediately, but my heart still ached. Today as I read my Bible, weeks later, I came across a short parable that seemed to help me visualize the application of this truth in real life.

“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44

Now go with me here, I hope I am not coming out of left field, but these two concepts seem to go together so seamlessly. This woman deeply and intimately knew where her HOPE was- Where she needed to invest her life. She was willing to give her last penny to the God she loved and served. Out of her “nothing” came the perfect give that so perfectly demonstrated her love for her God and Father. And boy do I admire this kind of faith. I read this story and like a bunch of bricks it hit me- I want to be just like this woman. To have faith big enough in the worst of circumstances to say- I choose Jesus. No matter what life looks like, no matter how hard things get to say- I choose Jesus. We all know how circumstances can change so drastically. The only certainty in life is that there is no certainty! But this woman found the sweet spot. She kept her hope where it could have a return- where God could us it to grow not only her faith but also make her more like Him through the process! If she had hoped in her circumstances her prospects would have been pretty bleak….Instead she found a place to put her hope. A place that gave her peace and joy and fulfillment despite her bleak circumstances. She didn’t allow what was happening around her or in her life to change her love of God. And that my friends is exactly where I want to be! Unwavering in proclaiming that Jesus is my King!

Have I succeeded every day in doing this? Not I the slightest. I am not there yet. There is nothing more humbling than the word terminal. It shows you exactly where your hope is. Where you have false idols. Where you have put things or circumstances before God. As humans, each and every one of us will have these problems- we are human! The beauty is that God is faithful to show us these areas and help us grow. I learned in the last few weeks that I had been putting hope in my surgery, not in the Creator of my body and this whole universe. I don’t mean to say I shouldn’t have hoped for a positive outcome. But what I do mean is that no matter the outcome my hope should not be shaken. That my hope should be firmly rooted in the Creator of heaven and earth and that no painful circumstance can change that I have a God whole loves me completely and knows my story more completely that I every could.

Was my surgery a success- No, not completely. Do I have to face the uncertainty of my future – Yes. BUT what is more important is that my hope is in a God who loves me completely! My prayer is that God will work a miracle, that I will be healed and He will be glorified, but if His answer is no….I also want to have faith and hope big enough to be able to say – God is enough for me. That He is worth my last penny, my last drop of energy, my last expression of love. I want to be able to say – Your will and not mine be done, with confidence and conviction. In my good moments, I not only know this intellectually, but also deep in my heart, but there are also moments when my heart aches to painfully to recognize this truth. And thank God for His grace to love me through those moments, and remind me where my hope should be rooted.

So as I ache, I will continue to cry out to God. To allow the Holy Spirit to speak gently to my soul. I will continue to speak the truth of where my hope is rooted – Firmly on the unshakable foundation of Jesus Christ. I will speak these words until I feel them deep in my heart, repeat these truth to replace the lies that try to sneak in to attempt to crack this foundation. My hope is in a perfect, loving Father and that is enough…..

16 thoughts on “Where hope is found…

  1. Demri thanks for being so honest and open about your journey. How can I even begin to imagine what effect the word “terminal” must have. God will catch every tear you cry and will hold you in the palm of his hand no matter the storm….the outcome. You continue to be in my prayers for a miracle that glorifies Him but ultimately for peace that passes all understanding as His will is done. You are touching hearts and changing lives as you go through this incredibly hard and painful journey with grace that is beyond amazing!

  2. I’m so glad to hear from you! Weirdly I know- I’ve been hoping to hear how your surgery went and I will keep praying for you and your family. Mercy Me shared the inspiration behind their song on the yr end countdown ‘even if’ and it’s been going around my head – I hope you know it and maybe it’ll go around your head and heart too

  3. Thank you, Demrie. Your steadfast faith is an inspiration to many. I hope you allow him to carry you. You are beyond your years in wisdom and faith. I will pray for peace and happiness for you and your family. 🙏❤️Happy New Year.

  4. Demrie, thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I want you to know just how much your sharing meant to me today, life is so filled with distractions and hurt but your reminder -“I choose Jesus” was a great encouragement and challenge to me. Than you so much. Praying for you daily. Bruce Nisley

  5. Wow, Demrie. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you (I’m Marissa Hanson’s mom) but I feel that I know much of your heart from what you have courageously shared. You open up to many places we as humans don’t want to face. Even though it has not been by your choice to face these issues. You are allowing His light to shine, You are living out your faith in a terrible time, You are reminding all if us where true hope comes from. I know you have touched countless lives to examine themselves and see where they stand. I also know and that when Jesus looks on you, His eyes are sparkling with love and pride. You are His.

  6. Thank you Demrie
    For every time you bare your soul here you are planting seeds of faith in all your readers. Faith that even though we are human and broken by the pain in this world, there is a person we can cling to as you have described so eloquently in your post. As Christ continues to refine your faith as gold, I pray for more and more grace, love, and above all joy over you in your journey.
    We love you and are united with you in prayer.

  7. Your hope is exactly where it should be, you are wise beyond your years! Thank you for sharing these deep thoughts

  8. Sweet Demrie–Thank you for your brutally honest blog of how you are feeling at this point of this journey. Your honesty and processing of your circumstances ministers to me (and I know many others) SO MUCH! I am very encouraged in my own life as you continue to come back to the basic truth that “God loves me (us) completely”. WOW! I read a quote today by Lysa Terkeurst that said “I want to live a life where people can tell I’ve spent time with Jesus.” That describes you so well–you DO live your life that way. It is obvious that you have spent a lot of time with Jesus over the years, which allows you to go back to the Truth you know so well. We continue to pray for healing and that every day you can “choose Jesus and His truth”. Love you girl!

  9. Demrie,

    I have not shared much on your posts as I am without words as to what you and your family are going through. You are an amazing young lady that has reached so many with your loving words of Godly advice. Praying for you. In Jesus’ Name—-Marlene

  10. I have longed to hear from you, our lovely. We, too, claim a miracle over you. I believe you are His gift to the Kingdom. You speak His truth about what a relationship with the Almighty looks like. I believe your words/life are changing lives for the Kingdom. I believe that’s what we are all here to do. He is “showing off” through you. As He chose Esther to change the culture of a Kingdom, He has selected Demrie to impact the world around you for His sake. He identified women in the Bible with this high calling. Today, in our lives it is you. If He sat in front of you and asked you to sacrifice for Him, you would do it in a heart beat. This my heart knows very well. Many who love you would take this from you, with joy. But His plans our not our plans. God Bless You, Demrie.

  11. Faith is not in trusting EVERYTHING will be ok; Faith is knowing YOU will be ok, despite the circumstances. God Bless you, my dear lady. You have chosen wisely. Peace.

  12. Demrie –

    As I was praying for you a couple of weeks ago, God spoke to me and told me that you are a woman that is “clothed in righteousness.” That you are like a Deborah and a Noah inside of the earth. Like Deborah, you are obedient, bold, brave, courageous, righteous, wise, and moved by the voice of God. (Judges 4,5). Like Noah, you are a woman that God looks at and sees righteousness. There was darkness and decay in the world, “BUT Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. He was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. He walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:8-9) When I read this, I think of you and your incredible stability in this time of crisis. God sees you, He hears you, and He knows you deeply.

    This was what he showed me as I was praying for you, and I wanted to share that with you as a bit of encouragement. I think of you often and my family and I are always praying for you. There is a massive amount of people warring on your behalf. You are so loved and so precious in the eyes of God and in our entire community of people.

    Love you Demrie –

    Kristen (Kary) Brown

  13. Demrie – love you so so very much. Want to be there to hang and play music with and for you. So so proud of you, Dem. endless hugs.

  14. We have a common friend in Abbey Reed, so I am joining your blog to pray for you. I’ve read all your posts and see how God is in you every step of the way – in the trust and hope, and in the pain and grief. I know He will continue there for you, but a few prayers from a stranger can’t hurt either! Know that you are loved. Your life matters. And God is using you to bless others you will never know. It doesn’t change the yuck of the truth of your terminal cancer, but it is true none the less. Praying for you today.

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