While We Journey On


il_fullxfull.211843842One way to quantify life is to keep track of time in relation to a landmark which lies ahead: 20 years until the children grow up and leave the house; 3 months until I start a new job; 30 seconds until I finish reading this, etc. Another way to make sense of things is to keep track of time as it elapses from an event which occurred in the past: ‘I am 5 and a half year old!’; one has been married for 3 years, it’s been a while since we met, etc.

Well, for us, today is day 419. 419 days passed since that memorable Monday afternoon when we walked hand in hand into Ninewells Hospital in Dundee knowing full well that our lives had the potential to be changed forever. What we didn’t know was how serious will Claudette’s diagnosis be. 20-30% chances of survival in the first 3 years is not an easy feat. Of course, there are others who face much tougher odds, however, each one’s cross is tailor made.

During these 419 days, we experienced joy and despair, sacrificial friendships and wonderful support, pain and relief, tears and prayers, shattered plans and new hope for tomorrow; discouraging research and reassuring promises.

The latest CT scan reveals that there is still no significant sign of cancer in Claudette’s body. And while the MRI showed some fibrosis \ scarring which is larger than before, we are reassured that we have no reason to be very concerned. Well then, if they say so, who are we to go against what the doctor ordered!

Two quotes helped us achieve a level of perspective:

  1. The chorus from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem speaks to the need to relinquish the ideal and embrace the real:

“Ring the bells that still can ring,

Forget your perfect offering,

There is a crack in everything,

That’s how the light gets in.”

  1. Paul, writing to a struggling people, reassures them: ‘My God will meet all your needs’ (Phil 4:19 – another 419 – who would’ve thought 😉 ).

So, armed with a sense of gratitude for the light which comes through the cracks in one’s life and the assurance of our needs being met by someone who is capable to do much more than we can ever think or imagine, we march on towards June when another battery of tests will be done. Until then, we keep counting the days that pass, for every day is a gift to be cherished and another reason to be grateful.

May you count your blessings with a sense of gratitude!

May you appreciate the beauty which comes from the tough times in life!

May you remember the promises made by the One who keeps His word!




5 comments on “419

  1. Bernie Holford
    March 18, 2016

    Thanks Marcel, this is a beautiful reminder of how I need to live life. The cracks in our lives are how the light of God’s love and hope get in. Praise God for them and for you and Claudette.

  2. Irene
    March 18, 2016

    Continually encouraging…..thank you Lord for the inspiration you gave Marcel to write these words. Thank you for every day which is an amazing gift we take so easily for granted
    Irene x

  3. Tarzan Bhebhe
    March 19, 2016

    Thank you Marcel and Claudette. I do not know how and where you get the strength and wisdom to write such encouraging words under your circumstances. You understand your situation more than anyone else yet you still praise God anyway. I just wish I can learn to count every second as a blessing, and thank the Almighty for that. May every step you take towards your next appointment in June be guided by Him who knows your future.

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This entry was posted on March 18, 2016 by .
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