Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Truth is, I was looking forward to heaven . . .

The following isn't easy to share, and it may not be easy to read, but I have to be honest. There’s always a lesson to be learned in life, and this was a powerful one for me.

Not sure how many read my Facebook, but there was a time I wrote: “Even if I wanted to die, you guys aren’t going to let me!” It was true. When the announcement of my cancer came out, prayer warriors sprang up from out of nowhere, and I knew I wasn’t going to have my way!

You see, when I found out I had a tumor on or near my brain, all I could think of was FINALLY I can be done with this life! I was exhausted (from already fighting MS and the many crises I had to face). My life has been hard. I know, I know. I think most of us can say that. Some of you are probably familiar with my story of wanting to die at age five after getting a beating from my dad. I couldn’t wait to grow up to get out of the abuse and start running my own life, make my own choices. But I soon came to learn that you don’t always reap what you sow (not on earth anyway; it’s all waiting for us in heaven; Hebrews 4 talks about the believer's rest).

Well, I longed for that REST.

Anyway, while I was sitting in the hospital and the doc told me that I had a good chance to “fight this thing,” my family cheered all around me (I had my mother, a couple aunts and my grandma there with me). But while they were cheering, . . .

I got ANGRY.

Heck, I was prepared to leave on a GRAND TRIP, something a million times better than going to Hawaii! I was going to HEAVEN to finally be with my Lord and Savior!

I’ve already written posts on this blog about what I think it’d be like to meet Him. But my doctor’s words made all those dreams of FREEDOM come to a screeching halt.

Now I had to FIGHT AGAIN?! I didn’t want to fight anymore! I was done FIGHTING! Please God, just let me DIE already, will ya? I was EXHAUSTED from the trials of this life.

Yes, that was my thinking. I've been fighting my entire life, and I just wanted to be DONE.

I won’t name all the trials and heartache and crises’s I’d faced up until that point. Let’s just say, MS was taking its final toll. It was the icing on the cake, so-to-speak. And considering everything I'd already been through, none of my family were surprised I "caught" MS. They say stress causes disease. Well, it's true.

At the time of my cancer announcement, I had a loving husband and four children who needed me. But I saw absolutely no value in myself. I figured, my mother-in-law would do a better job raising my kids than I would, so I could die and let her do it! And my hubby could easily remarry. Truth is, I was ready to throw in the towel.

But God had other plans.

Many of you realize my diagnosis came on the very day my first book, THE MASTER'S WALL, released. I didn’t even get to have the pleasure of fully enjoying that success, the type of success every writer dreams of experiencing. To me, it was just another disappointment that I would live with (or not) . . . story of my life. I wasn’t going to be allowed to reap what I sowed. Nothing new with me.

But . . . it was a blessing. Bittersweet, I might add. One of the greatest successes of my career was shared on a day I was told I might not have long to live. God managed to soften that blow. Interesting. Still, I was making my plans. I was going on a trip, a heavenly trip! Whooo, hooo! People on earth could enjoy my book (I’d just finished the second one), so my kids would have that part of me. I’d accomplished all my goals.

Or had I?

As the weeks of chemo went by, thoughts started penetrating my mind . . . .

Who would be able to sing to my kids the way that only their mother could? Who would prance in to Chelsea’s room in the morning (when Mom was feeling like herself and not like MS had her in its
grip), and sing to her and kiss her ALL OVER until she giggled uncontrollably? Who would teach my kids to laugh at life and their mistakes? Who would teach my son that God planned for him to grow bigger than his sisters so he can protect them, and protect those weaker than himself? Who would listen to Whitney talk without end, knowing she would need to be heard, to cover every microscopic detail, because she's a talker like her mother? Who would know to watch Kirsten closely because she's so quiet. And who would know when she got too quiet? Who would know when to reach out to her to find out what's going on and help her through it? Who would teach them the importance of loving God and keeping their faith? Who would tell them what it's like to love God as much as their mother loves Him? Who would love them as deeply as only a mother can? Yes, they have a father to do these things, but there are things only a mother can give. 

As I watch my mother-in-law (who is a WONDERFUL woman, by the way; Did you know she came all the way from Holland to help us out? She’s a HUGE blessing!), I realize she can teach my kids some wonderful things, things that I fall short in, but she can’t be to them what I can be, what only a mother can be.

Hmm . . . maybe I am of value?

Then I looked at my husband, he tells me all kinds of things about why he needs me and why he would never want to remarry if he lost me, but it wasn’t until the day he kissed me on my bald head (when he had to help me bathe), that I realized just how much this dear man DOES LOVE ME! That I, despite no longer (in my opinion, because he tells me I’m beautiful all the time) having any outside beauty, could inspire a man to feel such a deep passionate love that he would kiss me on my BALD head . . . all I know is, I broke down in tears when he did that. And he didn’t think twice about kissing me there.

After that, I kept getting more prayers, and GIFTS, TONS of gifts, even from people I didn’t know! My ENTIRE FAMILY got gifts! And I found out my writing and Christian friends were promoting my book in ways that it never would have gotten promoted had I remained healthy (or as healthy as one could be with MS). Honestly, the pouring in of help and gifts has been utterly mindboggling. None of us (including my MIL) has ever seen anything like it. Ever!

Who were these gifts and help really from?


God worked through all of you to show me His LOVE, love I so desperately needed to see, to FEEL! Why I don’t feel valuable is another story, one I won't get in to here.

Hubby keeps saying, “God must really love you! Look at everything He’s doing for you during this time!” My MIL (mother-in-law) has stood before us more than once with her mouth hanging open at the outpouring of love surrounding us and TEARS in her eyes. We’ve all shed tears over it!

It was as if God was shouting in my face, “YOU ARE LOVED!!!! YOU ARE VALUED!!!” And He’s continuing to SHOUT! He has put my book in magazines, newsletters, church announcements . . . in more places than I ever imagined it would get noticed. Not only that—SO MANY, a COUNTLESS MANY are PRAYING FOR ME. And so many of these people have never even MET ME! God has swooped in with all his prayer warriors, telling me He loves me.
“SANDI!” I hear God shouting because I tend to be deaf. “You are loved!”

One dear friend recently told me to ask what God thinks of me. Ask Him what he thinks, and listen to his still, soft voice.

He’s flooding me with His answer, bending my trunk over with His mighty wind, tossing His waves over me and pressing against me with such mighty passion, He can’t be ignored. I can no longer believe that I am unworthy.

So, on the day of my fortieth birthday, just before I blew out all those candles, I was surrounded by my giggling kids, my smiling husband, and my happy mother-in-law (this was after spending all night in the ER), and when I saw the joy on their faces to have me home, especially those of my kids and husband . . .


So, just before I blew out those candles, I made my wish, only it was a prayer to my God, and . . .

For the first time, I really asked Him to please, please LET ME LIVE.

I’m sorry to disappoint or discourage with my feelings of not wanting to be here, but even Paul wanted to be with the Lord when he knew he was still needed on this earth. I also had to be honest with all of you. It's not that I was wanting to commit suicide or anything like that. I simply saw cancer as a way out. It’s been a rough road. I wanted to escape the pain of this world. But God has shown me the blessings, has taught me how to count them, to SEE THEM. He is my TRUE FATHER.

So, now I’m fighting (again, sigh, lol), and it’s only through His strength that I’m able to do it. It’s all up to Him. I now have the WILL, but only He has the POWER. And no matter what happens in the end, whether I live or die (it's God's decision), He WAS, HE IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE my GOD, MY SAVIOR, and my LIVING LORD . . . the God and Master of ALL.

It's interesting. As tired as I was of fighting, I suddenly find . . . I have the STRENGTH.

Dear Father God, forgive me for allowing the world to wear me down. Help me to now focus on YOU, on Your light, on YOUR STRENGTH.

And please dear Lord, I beg You . . . LET ME LIVE.

***You know how I love to share songs. Well, I want to share one sung by some friends of mine. It's a song that really speaks to my heart, and it was written by Veronique Dijkstra-Hofman. Believe it or not, it's called LET ME LIVE, and it's taken from the end of Psalms 119. I really think you'll like it! They were kind enough to put it on YouTube just so I could share it with this post.

Here's the LINK to the song.

And here's the LINK to their site.

You can buy their singles even if you live in the U.S. (1 U.S. dollar = 0.7 Euros)


  1. I count you as one of the bravest people I know. Not for pressing on in the face of your fear, but for being willing to show it to those of us who are praying for you.

  2. Sandi, my heart and prayers have gone out to you since the moment I found out.

    You are a very brave soul who will go very far. God obviously has a plan for you and I can bet that what you have shared will be surely to help another blessed soul who is going through something similar.

    I'm so happy all of our prayers are answered and that you have a change of heart. Here's to you and for strength and peace. I know you can do it. We all do!
    Love yaz!!

  3. Thanks for sharing that! You are in my prayers and YOU are loved greatly!

  4. Thank you for sharing so honestly Sandy, I'm been praying for you and your family and will continue to do so!

  5. God was already aware of your thoughts. Your being transparent to us helps us pray more specifically for you. Read Zephaniah 3:17. I'm always admonished to believe it myself. God's blessings and healings. "Save me and I shall be saved. Heal me and I shall be healed."

  6. Sometimes you make me cry and sometimes you make me laugh. I figure you do that to God too. I know He's rejoicing over you right now. It's probably quite a sacrifice on His part to have you stay with us but we're all so very glad. God is so good. Listen to Steven Curtis Chapman sing "Speechless" it's all about the God we serve. Love you lots, Cecily (I'd post the link but I'm not that computer savvy!)

  7. Sandi,

    I am a uterine cancer survivor (eight months). I've also experienced an amazing outpouring of God's love on Facebook and other social media sites as I faced my diagnosis and treatment. He knows just what we need and exactly when we need it. So often, we are soldier's in God's army, on a mission without knowing it. Your post today was God speaking to me through your words. What you wrote is exactly what I needed to hear.

    When I feel exhausted by life's trials, I find strength in Psalm 118:17: "I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done."

    I have added you to my prayer list, and I promise to pray every day that you live.

    God bless you.

  8. Dear Sandi, thanks for sharing with us from your heart. Your blog really touched me. I have been praying for you often, and I am so thankful to see how God is answering our prayers...giving you courage and grace for each day. You are loved and special to your family and your friends. You are right...there is no one else who can fill the place God has made for you. Fight on, depending on Him for healing and strength to carry you through.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this Sandi, and for your precious sincerity and honesty. I love you, and I knew, even before you realized it, that God loves you! You are still in my prayers and will continue to be. You are a precious and valuable soul...a very special gift to us from God. I know that you've struggled, and someday your struggles will be over, but just as your family does, I too, want you to live, and i will not stop asking our Father for that, my dear sister. Keep your chin up, and know that it's okay to have weak and tired moments, but you can get back up and keep fighting, knowing that you have an army on your side fighting with you. God bless you, and your sweet family.

    Much love,
    Diane Gold

  10. Sandi - thanks for baring your soul to us. I appreciate you and your honesty. Hang in there girl. We haven't given up and I'm glad you are on our side now!!! Love you Rebecca

  11. What a honest, and brave, testimony. Thank you for admitting that you'd given up, ready to go home. There are days I struggle with this myself.

    But thanks most of all for showing your journey to the other side - wanting to live. What a wonderful way the Lord has of telling us that we are loved, that we are cherished. He, alone, is worthy of praise! :)

    Blessings to you, Sandi!

  12. http://johnmlennon.blogspot.com/2011/02/climbing-past.html?spref=fb

    Hello Sandi,
    I just wanted to say hello and keep your chin up and know that you are loved and you always will be. I am a few states away right now but know that if I was there I would be making sure I saw you soon so that I could give you a big hug and let you know that you have made a huge impact on my life and I think you for that. So know that even in Nashville you are being thought of.

    Love your brother in the Lord

    John M Lennon

  13. Sandi, you are loved. You've been a shining example of God's love and faithfulness in all the time I've known you. Thank you for being you, for being honest. God has a purpose in all this, and while we may not see all of it yet, I know He's continuing to lead you on the best path for your life. Love you, my sweet friend!


  14. What a wonderful testament of your journey! Praise God for His loving mercy and kindness - and for giving you the time to see the love around you. I know He's holding you in His hand and happy to see that you finally understand how valuable you are to the ones that love you, to the One that created you. May God continue to bless you as He guides you on this journey.

  15. Precious Sandi,
    Just read every single word to John and to your heart-spilling we say YES, yippee and PTL! Days are busy nursing him back to health but our thoughts and prayers are with you. Much love from us both!
    PS Tried to attach the song Cecily mentioned:

  16. Sandi, you are such an inspiration. My troubles are put in perspective when I see all you've gone through. I rejoice to see your faith grow tremendously and that you are holding on to Jesus, the "author and perfector of our faith." Thank you for your wonderfully transparent and humble message. I hope one day you write a book about what you're learning. God bless you!

  17. You're always in my prayers, sweet sister; I know this has been a tough road, but it brings tears of joy to my eyes to hear how God's light is shining upon you in this time.

  18. Wow! And again, wow!

    Sandi, what you wrote was raw and real and amazing. It made me cry with sorrow and gladness at the same time. I can't imagine what you've gone through but, believe me, I know of those moments when "Now, God." is the only prayer that makes sense.

    You have been in my prayers since day one; and yes, I'm one of those who threw up the "Heal her and let her live, LORD!" prayers. I did that because I'm selfish and I don't want to see you die. I want to see you live to walk down the isle at your children's weddings, to hold that first grandchild as the reality of your amazing legacy hits you square in the face, to look at your husband with gray hair crowning his head and wrinkles creasing his smile. Yes, I was one of the selfish ones. But I'm glad I did it and won't apologize because you, my dear, sweet friend, are worth every bit of breath from every prayer that has ever been offered up on your behalf.

    Always remember that!

    Love you!!

  19. Dear Sandi,

    I've always admired your strong spirit and now I do more than ever. You may see it as a weakness for wanting to go and be with the LORD when yet another cruel blow has befallen you. I see it as a sign of GOD IN YOU--the hope of glory!
    Many people in the world might long to give up and stop fighting but believe me, it isn't because they're looking forward to the other side--rather, they're often terrified of what it may hold for them. You, on the other hand, knowing that hope of glory, knowing the joy that is set before you, were all too ready to cast off the earthly tent and get there. And you will, my dear sister, but in God's time, and when HE calls you. Bless you for showing how the love of Christ and the knowledge of heaven makes such a different in the life of a believer. I am blessed for your sake that you realize the value of your life and time on earth--(God has more prepared for you than you can think or imagine)--but I am also blessed to read how the devastating news of brain cancer didn't send you into a tailspin of fear of dying. ONLY Christians--or those deluded with false ideas--can have hope in the face of death. Thank you for sharing yours.
    I pray that you continue to fight and find strength for the sake of your family and the work on earth that God still has for you to do!
    Love you, sister,


  20. I thought for sure you all would be angry at me for this post, and honestly, I was ashamed of it. But I just had to share it. I'm so glad no one is mad. :-) So far, anyway ...

    I'm so relieved it could encourage all of you! I'm amazed, really. Had no idea it would have this affect.

    Please know that when any of you share verses, I read them ALL. I can't always reply, but I read them when I can.

    Bless all of you!

    Hugs In HIM,

    Sandi xxx

  21. Thank you for sharing the deepest recesses of your heart and soul with us. You are in my prayers.

  22. Sandi, Thanks so much for sharing from your heart and soul and being so transparent. You will surely bless others struggling with similar feelings, too. How wonderful that God used this to bless you abundantly and bring a healing in your heart. Praying that you will feel great within the year and this will all be a distant memory and you will hang onto His promises for you. Blessings!

  23. I love you, Sandi! I think you've taught us all a lot!!! Praying for you.

  24. Sandi, Love you! Thanks for letting us take a look inside your heart. It’s beautiful there. I can see why the bridegroom longs to have you by his side—the one here on earth and the one in Heaven. You are a delight, a treasure and joy! Thanks for shining brightly for all to see God’s glory. Love you! You go girl. Run the race to win the prize.

    Love in Jesus, your cousin, Tami Meier

  25. ((((Hugs)))) to you always, Sandi. Hope Jesus keeps showing you how much he loves and cherishes and values you. You belong to him, you're his girl.

  26. YOU are an awesome display of God's power and presence in a person's life! I am so thankful to have found your blog - life is hard; it's so hard at times, I too would have welcomed a way out. I am so glad GOD is there and in control and THAT HE LOVES US! Praise His name. Thank you for sharing your heart - so touching and so strengthening, inspiring. You are awesome and I don't even know you, but even I LOVE YOU ;-)

  27. Deborah, you're so sweet, thank you. How did you find my blog?

    Everyone else, thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragement. xxx


    Sandi xxx