Looking Forward

Weekly Sabbath Survey

Looking Forward — 1-2-2015

Some of us will start the new year with plans to do better, make life improvements, start a savings account, paint the spare bedroom and all those other things we had planned for last year and never got done. Most people will begin the year with a fresh vigor that a new start gives us.

Today, I want to get very personal. For my family, the plan is different than usual and very much out of our hands. It started in August, maybe July, when Tony got a pesky sore throat that just would not get well. It gradually went from sore to painful. In October and November he saw an ENT. The second time, We were referred us to an ENT surgeon at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas. By this time, Tony was in considerable pain and eating had become difficult. He was losing weight. On December the 8th, a biopsy was done which revealed a cancerous growth on the back of the tongue way down his throat. The surgeon feels it is in the early stages, and we should be optimistic for a cure, with chemo and radiation. (Because of loss of function with the tongue, i.e., eating, swallowing, talking, surgery is not an option.) A PET Scan was done on Christmas Eve and we are now waiting for appointments with two oncologists in the next week-ten days to learn the stage of the cancer and how treatment will proceed.

For us, looking forward into the New Year, we see a very different life than we may have thought. We will be bound to the treatment schedule and trying to keep Tony as comfortable as possible. We have enough facts and testimony from others who have been through throat cancer to know this is not going to be a Sunday School picnic. The surgeon told us we will not be feeling the beginnings of “normal” again for about 6 months, with treatment time and healing time added together. We are steeling ourselves the best we know how, by following a time honored method of overcoming:

1. We recognize that we trust a God who does not slumber, neither does He sleep. He was not on vacation when this virus hit Tony and kicked into active status last summer. We may not have known what it was or what was coming, but our Lord is not surprised nor caught off guard by this turn of events. His eye is on the sparrow, and we know He watches us.

2. We also know and believe that whatever happens, no matter how awful it is or how much outside our plans it is, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Vincent Anthony Manning will MAKE this thing work into his life for GOOD. Out of great tests, come the greatest testimonies.

3. God will see us through this because Jesus never leaves us, never forsakes us, and the Holy Spirit is with us and goes before us as we walk this out a day at a time. Every place we go to see doctors, to receive treatment, or whatever care is needed, Jesus will be there with us.

On a practical note, in anticipation of the level of home care Tony may require, our oldest son, Clint, has moved in with us to be here to help with the day to day care, trips for the treatments, do the household shopping and chores around Hens Acre Farm. I thank God for this selfless act. The lag time for getting the tests done and seeing the doctors has given us the leeway to get Clint moved in and integrated into our household, and getting our new routine working before the treatments begin. We’ve bought furniture, sold furniture, and moved things around to make it all work for the three of us. The upheaval has been hard, but we are settling in and developing a rhythm that is starting to feel right for us all.

Tony is still having trouble eating, and the pain goes on all the time. He is hungry, but every bite swallowed produces bad pain. He remains in fairly good spirits. There are down times, but he keeps going. He does what he can, but feels unwell at times, with lower than usual energy levels. Small jobs tire him quickly. He is still seeing a few clock customers a week. He naps more now.

I will be giving updates as time goes along. We are counting on the prayers of the saints. Please pray for the Mannings, and if you have a prayer line, put Tony’s name on it. Please pray that God’s will is done in our family of three, as it is in heaven. We are in the palm of His hand. Amen!

The Father is more interested in the eternity of our spirit than He in the immediacy of our circumstances. We should learn to live life from His perspective instead of our own. (copied)

Charlene Reams Manning

Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

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