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Southerland article

October Banner Article: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms by Rev. Casey Southerland

Posted on Oct 4, 2018

As our family looks forward in anticipation of many changes in my ministry, this summer has presented many difficult changes in our personal lives as well, causing us to lean on the Lord and thank Him for His people.

It would be a gross understatement to say my dear wife, Kelly, has had an eventful summer. In June, on the first day of VBS, we spent the evening in the ER, culminating in a surgery to remove a tumor which turned out to be cancerous. We were told they got it all, but in August, a routine follow-up surgery revealed more cancer. Again, we’ve been told that the cancer has already been removed, but she is now anticipating 18 weeks of chemotherapy beginning October 16th.

A wise older brother at my church once poignantly said, “When my wife got cancer, I got cancer!” And even though my own wife has been given a good prognosis and has now been told “we have no evidence that any cancer cells are in your body,” the fact that cancer has been found in her body (twice now) makes it feel like the threat of cancer will be part of “our” lives forever.

We know there will be check-ups for years to come, and it would not be unnatural to live in the dark shadow of a frightening new reality, but we have Jesus Christ whose perfect love casts out fear.  That’s not to say we have not wrestled with fear and uncertainty, but we find ourselves in a new season of leaning on the everlasting arms of our Mighty Savior and learning afresh what it means to truly rest in Him.

We have been refreshed by the body of Christ acting as an extension of His loving arms, coming alongside in love and support, lifting our spirits and reminding us of the Lord’s faithfulness and care. Please remember us in prayer as Kelly faces the next phase of treatment.

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