Saturday, January 24, 2009

Questions and Answers:


Okay, this post is going to be a little different. We have been able to get out more recently. In doing so, we have been able to see a lot of people that we haven't seen in a while. We realized people have a lot of questions. We want to answer some of them and open it up for you to ask anything you may want to ask us as well.

-I will try to faithfully answer some of what I have commonly heard. "Is everything back to normal since you are out again with CJ?" I guess this is a tricky one for me. As you know from my previous post, CJ had his last high dose and so far is tolerating it extremely well. Once again, all the glory goes to the Lord and a big thank you for the prayers. They are carrying us through and I truly believe God has had favor on CJ because of your prayers. You also already know that he has until Feb 4th to begin a new phase that will be very involved in both our time and his meds. Knowing that, we have stepped out a little more on faith in taking him out with us. Typically, and especially if we did not know his blood counts, he would stay with one of us while the other went to the store. We avoided large restaurants if we ate out at all. And we did not bring him to large gatherings of people. But we have gotten a little relaxed and taken him out more as of recently. This has mainly been because of how well he has handled the medicine, because his counts remained stable throughout this phase and because we sense he and his little brothers need it. Many people who have seen us out have asked if this means things are 'back to normal'. And then I come face to face with that word normal again. I contemplate it and hesitate with my answer because if I were completely honest, I don't ever want to be able to say we are back to normal. I know that sounds selfish and it may come across as cold but let me try to explain. I am realizing more and more that my normal was very broken. There was so much sin in my heart as a mother and I don't ever want to go back to that. I was selfish and impatient and did not like what I saw in myself much of the time. I valued the wrong things, like peace and cleanliness in the home and respect amongst and from my children. Now, I know it is not wrong to value those things but when you are willing to sin against your family to get them...then it is wrong. Second, and more confusing is that what I have been struggling with the most lately is that I do not want to go through something this life changing and life not be changed. Does that sound crazy? I know I should want nothing more than to be back doing the things we were doing before. But I can't imagine it all being over and just going 'back to normal'. I don't know why I am so terrified of that. It seems so strange but it is always in the back of my mind. I keep asking God, what happens when the treatments are over? Do I just resume life as before? I don't know what I am expecting or if in expecting anything I am setting myself up for disappointment. And I wonder if once again I am being selfish in feeling this way. All that said, the question was: are we back to normal? Heavens no! And we don't ever want to be! Note: I should probably speak for myself here because I am sure CJ and Chris would completely disagree with me on that one.

-Speaking of Chris...the next question I have heard is "Why doesn't Chris do a blog post?" Great question! Easy answer. He does! Every post I write is filtered through and guided by my loving best friend and husband. And that person is one and the same. He makes any additions and changes and makes the final decision of whether to post it or not. He feels that I am reflecting what we are both going through and he holds me accountable for biblical accuracy as well. He has typed things about his experiences with CJ but it was a lot like reading a police report. I think maybe he has been in that line of work for too long! Actually, he is a great writer as well but in this case an even better editor. So if you find any typos they are his fault! Just kidding.

-The next question I hear a lot is "How is CJ doing spiritually?"
Thank you for asking! This is also a question I hesitate to answer quickly. First, I know I can not speak for the Holy Spirit living within him to say exactly how he is doing. And I admit that I personally pray more for this area than I probably do for his physical protection. I have to watch myself and be careful to not assume that because he has not written any poems lately or said or done any profound thing to speak of that he somehow is struggling spiritually or stifling the spirit. He is a 9 year old boy after all. He has always been a more "spiritual" child than typical and I sometimes can expect more from him because of that. Overall, I believe he is doing well in this area. He has a childlike faith that I envy. I remember a while ago he and I were discussing the different struggles some family members had when this first happened and how easy it is to question God when things like this happen. So I asked him what he thought. And he so sincerely and simply said to me, "I never questioned if God was there or that He was in control, I just wondered why it was happening." He was so sincere and that simple statement really moved me. I was thankful he was grounded enough at his age in his relationship with God to feel secure that God was there, God knows his situation, and God is in control. So I would say he is doing as well as can be expected! Regardless, I would welcome any prayers from all you prayer warriors in this area of his life. Ask God to keep his spirit tender and his faith strong. Ask God to continue to speak to him and through him.

-The next questions I have heard sooooo much and is something we are going to deal with once and for all. It is actually not so much a question as a statement that is repeated over and over everywhere I go. It goes something like this...
"I love the blog and it has helped me so much."
"Thank you."
"It has really encouraged me."
"I'm so glad to hear that."
"We are praying for you and I feel so close to your family because of it."
"Thank you for your prayers, we do too."
"I check it everyday and read all the comments too."
"Really, I did not know you read it. Have you ever commented?"
"I've wanted to but I'm embarrassed."
"Of what?"
"I don't know. What people will think I guess."
"Are you kidding, have you seen some of the stuff I have said about myself?"

Okay guys....this is the exact conversation I have had with countless people. So if you are one of those people, be encouraged, you are not alone! I have been praying about it and asking God why this same conversation is repeated so many times. What is He trying to reveal to me? At first, I just thought it was as simple as some people want to leave a comment and others don't. Or...some people are more technologically savvy than others. Or....it doesn't really matter as long as people read it and pray for CJ, right? That is what it is for after all. But after hearing this repeated so many times I knew there was more to it. I want to challenge everyone because I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by friends that challenge me. Over the past year, I have learned many things at my church that have helped me confront my sin. One such thing that I did not even realize I was suffering from was "Fear of Man." When I first hear my pastor preach on it I did not realize how much I struggled with it. Sounds ridiculous, right? Fear of man? What's that. I am not afraid of man! But when it came down to it, if I really took a look at my behavior and my reactions I realized I was exhibiting signs that I surely was. For me it was exhibited in different ways. If I withheld during worship in fear of what the guy behind me might "think of me" that was fear of man for me. If I ignored the Spirits leading and would not pray openly in front of others for fear of what they would think of me or how I would sound, I was dealing with fear of man. If I withheld a loving truth from someone I am close to because I did not want to offend them or risk them not liking me, I was exhibiting fear of man. If I withheld a word of encouragement from someone because I was afraid I would sound stupid or jumble my words or not have a scripture for them, I was dealing with...you guessed it...fear of man. I could go on and on and really embarrass myself with all the ways God showed me I suffered from this but I think you get the point. Once I became aware of it, I asked God to deal with this in me. And needless to say, he answered faithfully by putting pretty much my whole life on display through this blog. That will really deal with your fear of man. Now I know my situation may not encourage you to want to ask God to deal with your fear of man. But I would bet He will be a bit more gentle with you. And if He is not....so be it! It is worth it to suffer the trial if we get to walk away from bondage that is destroying our testimonies, our witness and stealing our joy and victory. Okay, so why do we have to deal with it? Because Proverbs 29:25 says "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." We do not want to be snared my friends. We want to be set free! And Christ is all about freedom. Remember, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of fear of man! We do not want to wander in the wilderness in our time here on earth. We want to live lives of purpose that are used for Gods glory! I know what it feels like to feel like I am just wandering through life with no real purpose. I just did not know that my fear of man was a major cause of it. So how do we deal with it. Well first, I think we take it to God and confess it and ask Him to deal with it. Then, a good first step is just simple obedience to the Spirits prompting. When you feel that inner desire to encourage someone....say it. When you feel the spirit leading you to pray with or for someone...do it. When you feel God saying lift your hands to heaven and worship me freely....by all means...do it! When you sense God putting a word on your heart for someone...share it. And hear my joy when I tell you from experience, obedience breeds more obedience. It gets easier and easier. Amazing isn't it! Just as sin gives birth to death, obedience gives birth to life! I know all this is easier said than done but I hope that since it is coming from one former captive to another, that it will encourage you. And yes, even though I have had a lot of victory in this area thanks to the blog, I still struggle. For example...God has been prompting me to write this blog and challenge this 'fear of man' for a while. He has had to repeat that above conversation with different people many times to get it through my thick skull. Why did I hesitate? You guessed it. Fear of man! I was worried what you all would think, how it would be received, and if it would it really help anyone? But then I realized...if one captive can be set free...it is worth it.

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear) but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline." 1Timothy 1:7

I know this is a serious topic that could go on and on and I have only lightly touched on it. If you think you may be struggling with it I would encourage you to type the words 'fear of man' in the google search engine and you will find many devotions on it and even a little quiz you can take to see if this applies to you. I would also like to encourage you that as we break this in our lives the benefits trickle down to our children's lives. I have seen CJ's fear of man diminish as I have dealt with mine. Oh, how I long to hand down a legacy of freedom and not of bondage to my children. That is motivation enough!

-Questions anyone? Okay, this is where I open it up to your questions. It does not matter if it is a practical question, a serious question, a silly question or just something you are curious about. It can be about CJ or any one of us. Maybe you have a questions about just dealing with life with cancer in general. Or even a question about cancer. It can be for any member of the family to answer. Ask away. I am sure it will be something someone else was wondering about too. Feel free to be anonymous in your questions. (We won't assume you are dealing with fear of man or anything!) Of course, you don't have to have a question to post a comment. You don't have to be family to post a comment and you don't even have to know us personally. Just let us know you are there and where you are from. You do not need to start a blogger account to comment. You can avoid this by clicking on anonymous and then just typing your name at the end of your post as many people do.

*A little note to the family in Puerto Rico who we have never met, who has blessed our family with your love, prayers and generosity. Thank you! From the depth of our hearts, thank you!


53 comments:

Martha Rivero said...

Hello George family!! God bless you and be with you always!

Totally loved this post and your honesty Dawn, thank you for being so open with us, thank you for answering our questions, fear of man? WaooH! What a deep topic is that! you are right you can go on and on with that one, thank you for sharing about it with us, it opened my curiosity, I just started to read the bible from the beginning, I am done with Exodus, it is tremendous amazing how God guided his people, and still they didn’t listen, sometimes I see myself in their story, and since I progress in my reading, I ask God for the wisdom I need to understand the message, and also I ask God too to give me the ability to always be attentive to his voice, attentive in his guidance, not to ever forget his love and his law in my heart. Thank you Dawn, thank you from the bottom of my heart, I thought that nobody could understand cancer better then me before I met you, and still when I heard CJ’s story it moved everything in me, specially touched my heart in a very special way, that’s why I always comment, and I encourage you to keep posting your experiences and what you learn everyday, I promise I will post in my comments not only my words of encouragement to our CJ and your family but my new experiences and testimonies in Christ too.

With love,

Martha

Melinda said...

I have a question....

for CJ....

what's in my pocket?

;)

thanks for your post Dawn. As always I was very encouraged and I love what you said about not wanting to go back to normal. I think each of us have experiences in our lives, whether good or bad, that change us and our views on life. I pray that each of these moments are not lost and give us a NEW vision of NORMAL. I was just challenging someone recently that normal is NOT what we see around us in this world, at Palm Vista, or even in our family... Normal is what God calls us to in scripture.

Love you guys!
~Mindy p

Anonymous said...

C.J!!! Hey buddy, it was so great to see you at P.e, and to hang out with you guys a couple nights ago. I am so grateful for our friendship, and I hope that it will grow to much more. I am still praying for you.... don't forget! :) Well I hope to see yo today at church. Love you bro.

Joey

Tell Corey I say hi!

Anonymous said...

Hi CJ,
Hi George Family.
I have never met you but feel like I have, having read your blogs from the beginning when a friend who attends riverside in ft lauderdale first passed on the prayer request for CJ.
I have prayed for you and been encouraged time and again by the blogs. Thank you for sharing your heart so freely. As per your most recent post....the fear of man...totally can relate. Thank you for pointing out the link with the Israelites in the desert and encourgement to confess and bring this to the Lord. How faithful He is when we ask Him to work these things out in us....He will anyway in His faithfulness to make us more like Jesus....but He is so gentle when we come to Him asking specifically, trusting Him. The reality of His intricate involvement in your life.....wow! What an awesome God!

kim
-boca raton

Sonia said...

Dear CJ, Dawn, Chris, and family, this is really a deep issue you are touching. It shows that the situation is moving believes from the bottom of you hart.
Some times is hard for me to write in this blog, because, I don’t have all the words and specially the syntax, that I need to express myself in English and some times is hard for me to understand what you said in its complete dimension. My “fear of man” shows in the effort I have to make when I’m writing a note, thinking that you might don’t understand me ( not the words but the meaning), or that I write so short really wanting to say a lot more.
But at the end I conclude that the important thing is that you know that we are moved with your experience and suffering and we really wish the best for CJ and all of you, that’s why we keep reading you, praying for you and writing to you.
With love,
Sonia
From Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

hey it must be really hard on you knowing your son has cancer.. i hope things go well.

Mitch said...

I just want you to know that I continue to be in contact with your family by always reading your blog and praying for you. You may not hear from me each time, but I'm there. A new season of Team in Training begins next week. May it give you hope and strength to know there are teams of athletes who care and are doing what they can to raise funds for research to end these diseases. You look great in your pics CJ...always a smile. One question: What is one thing that CJ is looking forward to doing in the future?

Break the Mold said...

Mitch,
Thank you. We are so thankful for those of you who faithfully raise funds and awareness for these kids and the diseases they are fighting. Did you know that not even 3% of the American Cancer Association budget goes to pediatric cancer research? It really is sad. We need to raise the funds and the awareness. Thank you for using your body to do this by running in the TNT marathons. I can't imagine the discipline it must take to run these distances.
Your medal hangs over CJ's bed right above him. It is beautiful and every time we see it we can not believe you gave it to him. Thank you!

In answer to your question.....CJ said the one thing he most looks forward to doing in the future is playing football with a real footall and not having to play catch with a nerf ball and preferably on a flag football team with friends. (He has to use a nerf ball to avoid injuries to his port which is in his chest where he catches the ball). Now he may feel this way now because he is all geared up for football with the Super Bowl right around the corner. I will ask him again in a month and see what he says, then! :)

Great question!

I thought about the question myself and decided I also look forward to this. Not to see him play football but to see him having fun doing something he enjoys. He is very disciplined when he plays any sport and practices a lot and tries to be the best he possibly can. I bet he would make a great runner!

Ily (hearts) said...

Hi George Family,
We are back from our Disney Vacation and man was it COLD!!!!!
WOW I did not know it could get that cold in Florida.(and I have lived here all my life) I loved coming home to an email from you Dawn. Thank you sooo much for your concern for my well being. It really means a lot. Now there you go here is my first step to speaking up and not caring what "man" thinks but what He does through his people. Thanks for caring for me in the midst of your trials. CJ I miss seeing you guys. Maybe Mom and Dad can come by so you can play in the tree house.
XOXO
ILY
SW Ranches, Fl.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn..you are amazing from the very first new members class I knew you were extraordinary! Fear of man is big..but fear of God should be bigger. I hate that you, CJ, and your family are going through this..this is hard. But I also know that God uses it for His glory, its so evident by reading your blog. You encourage me and bless me with your honesty, and dependency on God. We continue praying for complete healing for CJ, this is always in our prayers. Normal what is normal in this life, it's whatever you are going through, this is your new normal, and when God decides, you'll have a new different normal.Psalms 40:1 "I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry." the God of this universe waits and listens for the voice of his children..what an amazing thought..He hears our prayers, I want that to always be my normal, no matter what we go through. God bless and please get a good nights rest..Loida

the Grays said...

Dawn/Chris,

Thank you again for pouring out your heart before God and sharing with us. It really encourages me to read every post and see the progress (physically and spiritually) in everyone's lives. It is always bittersweet to see you at church - I am thrilled to see you again and talk with you, but my heart aches for you and what you are going through. I really enjoy seeing CJ and I actually got to talk with him for a couple of minutes yesterday. I asked him if he was going to let his hair grow out really long and that got a good laugh out of him.

I do have one question. How is Brett doing? I haven't seen him to talk with him in a while, but I pray for him often. How is he handling everything?

We love you guys and feel blessed to call you friends!

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Wow, I know I didn't post that much for two reasons.

1. Fear of man. With people like CeCe posting such lovely prayers, I felt really dumb to just say hey bro still prayin for ya and stuff like that.

2. I call CJ, email CJ, and play online games with CJ, but I realize I was using this as an excuse for my fear of man. Thank you for this post, it has really blessed me.

Quick question...How is Brett doing? We are always getting updates about CJ, praying for CJ, talking about CJ, and we love him, but how is Brett doing? I see Allie and talk to her occasionally, and I think Corey is a little young to understand, but I have been thinking about and praying for Brett lately.

Thanks for your faithfulness with this blog!

-Joel

Break the Mold said...

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for asking about Brett. He is doing so much better. In the beginning when we first came home from the hospital he would have long crying (wailing) spells that seemed to be out of nowhere and inexplainable. Looking back, I think a big part of the frustration for him was all the different people suddenly 'in charge' all at once. As a stay at home full time mom, I have not really had to spend much time training in that area with him yet. I, or Chris, was always with him. Then suddenly we weren't. And it was a struggle for him. Chris and I saw this and made a decision that we would either take turns with CJ's appointments or we would bring the kids. It has made a huge difference! He has done really well ever since. No more crying spells.
Melinda has started babysitting once a week so Chris and I can take a Bible Theology class at church and I see that same behavior in him again. So what it comes down to is I really need to train him to understand when mommy and daddy aren't there, someone else is in charge! We are working on it! The training never ends does it?

Spiritually, he is doing great too. I have gotten more disciplined with my time and have been regulary working through the bible stories with him. He is at the best age because it is when they really start to intellectually process God and how it applies to them. He asks all kinds of great questions that show the wheels are turning and I love the conversation it starts every time he asks one.

Thanks again for asking about him. We are so blessed to have friends like you who pray faithfully for our whole family. Our specific prayer needs for Brett would be to have an obedient spirit and to master self-control over his body.
Thank you,
Dawn and Chris

Anonymous said...

I am not really sure how to start this email and exactly what to say but I figured I would start and the Lord would take over. I am in tears to read your blog this morning and it hit so close to home. I have realized that I have a huge fear of man and never gave it a second thought until I read the blog this morning, I have fell in love with your family and think you are an amazing Mother and the love and protection that you have for your family is amazing. You have shared your family with us and as a Mother I know sometimes it is hard for us to share our families when we try so hard to protect them. I had put CJ and your family in our prayers from day 1 and and that fear of man has cheated me out on lettimg CJ know that he is amazing and has touched so many lives. I have cheated myself and my own family out of happiness because this fear of man. I want you to know that you can go to sleep tonight and know that you have touched a life. I can relate and can see that my fear of man is teaching my Daughter the same fear, Bless you the George family and if you can put me in your prayer tonight to remove the fear from my family as well that would be great, CJ you are the most adorable and caring nine year old I have ever met. Thank you so much for giving the individuals that thought there voice does not count a chance for an extra prayer today.

Break the Mold said...

Joel,
Thanks for asking about Brett. I did not see your post when I answered your dad. He had the same question. Like father, like son!
Thanks for being so open about the fear of man thing. I guess you summed it up. When we compare ourselves to others we are using the wrong measuring rod.
Your, "hey CJ what's up, still praying!" are just as important and meaningful as the most elequent prayers. Just knowing people are praying encourages us and renews our strength.
Remember the Pharisees prayed the most elequent prayers and they literlaly bounced of heaven because they were more concerned with their words and being heard than what their hearts were leading them to pray. Not to mention, Jesus rebuked them for it.
God is definietely not grading us on grammar, syntax, or if we get a bible verse tagged in perfect order at the end of our prayer. He is listening to the rhythem of our hearts, not our words!

Thank you again for asking about Brett, see above post.
Love,
Dawn

Break the Mold said...

Wow,
I left a comment to Joel and then saw the other comment. I am in tears that God would use my life or words in any way to encourage you. He couldnt't use a more defective instrument I assure you!
I really felt like He wanted me to challenge this when it kept coming up. So please know, first of all, you are not alone! I know how humbling and sometimes painful it is when the Holy Spirit opens your eyes all at once to an area of your life that you had no idea you even were struggling with. But I also know the sweet freedom that will soon follow. So I encourage you first thank Him for making you aware of it because it was Him not me, then confess it to Him and ask him to show you what steps you need to take now in overcoming it. I think posting this comment is a huge first step and I truly believe it will encourage many others! I really like what you mentioned about cheating ourselves out of blessings when we allow the fear of man to control us. We cheat ourselves and we cheat others out of seeing God at work and the amazing blessings that come from obedience. You also mentioned passing our strongholds down to our children. This is huge and many times unseen. We are aware of the obvious ones being passed down like drinking, drugs, abuse...but we don't spend as much time dealing with the subtle ones we pass down like inappropraite and misplaced fears, or even the lies we have believed for generations. I am so thankful for the strongholds God identified in my life so they could be confessed, repented, and replaced with truth. The truth of Gods word.
Here are some scriptures and book recommendations that may help you as you seek to replace the lies with truth in regards to fear of man. (Thank you Pastor Corey and Cindy for these).


Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

When People are Big and God is small: by Ed Welch

People Pleasing: by Lou Priolo

....and here is a blog from my Pastor Corey Schmatjen that he wrote on one side of the Fear of Man a while back that really helped me. You will find a lot of helpful scriptures there.

http://68.178.238.167/pv/Default.aspx?tabid=94&EntryID=8

Note: I will nto know if the liink works until I post the comment so if the link doesn't work I will attach it in different format.

I will be praying for you and your family. Thank you for praying for us. And thank you for overcoming the fear of man and posting this comment.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?" Psalms 27:1

Tammi said...

DAWN!!!! I am absolutely blown away by the power of your post and the questions people are asking and the feelings and true emmotions that are pooring out of everyone's hearts! It is so amazing how the LORD is working through CJ and you to help all of these people. I am one of those people who turned AWAY from God because I was so mad that this happened to CJ and to you and to Chris, Allie Brett and Corey. I actually would yell up the sky at Him. Yell, at God! I know, Right!? Well, I guess my question is this, IS THIS WHY CJ HAS CANCER!??? (I'm not okay with CJ having cancer, God, I'm not, but I see what You are doing. I think)
Well, that's my question. I Love You,
Aunt Tammi

Anonymous said...

Hi,

A few days ago I was talking to Paula and I mentioned to her how sometimes through my fathers illness I worry more about my mother than about my father. And that is how I have felt about all of you. From the beginning I wanted to tell you to take care of yourself too, no matter how selfish it may seem, but was afraid too. Didn't seem appropriate, but I know how an illness can affect the whole family. But I just realized you are way ahead of me... you are already taking care of yourself through your faith, becoming stronger every day. Sometimes when I read your posts it seems to me that it is not us trying to comfort you but rather you comforting everyone else! We think and pray for all of you.

with love,

Nicole Alberto and Ana

Anonymous said...

Dear George Family,

I thank God for answered prayers. Your lives have opened my eyes to how faithful our God is. Seeing CJ out playing with other kids truly warms my heart. The example that Chris sets in leading your family through these times helps me in my struggles. Please know that your post touch my life on some many different levels and always help me renew my faith. I will continue to pray for CJ and the George Family.
Thank You
Your brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

My question is, what do the initials "C.J." stand for?

When I look at a picture of your smiling face, CJ, I think those initials stand for "Christ's Joy".
Not necessarily happiness, because that is determined by what "happens", but joy is something much deeper, rooted in the Lord no matter what the circumstance. Thank you for trusting Jesus the way you do. I am so thankful for your example and the testimony of your whole family!I'm sorry that I don't write to you more...I think that fear of man tells me that I don't have anything profound to say so I should just leave it to others who can say it better. Thanks, Dawn, for encouraging us timid ones to write back. You are precious to me!

Love, Jeanne Joiner

Anonymous said...

Dearest Dawnie...I have no doubt that all the people who haven't blogged have gotten down on their knees and prayed their hearts out for CJ and your family. Some are just more comfortable with prayer than words! I pray and think about him and especially the rest of the family because when you are the sick one..it's easier at times than being the ones who watch and worry about the sick family member. Dawnie you and Chris are doing a fantastic job of caring for your precious family...let your guilt go and know that there are few if any people who could have done a better job with their children through health or during an illness.....normal is all relative and hopefully there will be an entry on your blog that one day says.."CJ's feeling (normal) out playing football and teasing his brothers or going out in public to his sister's recital..." Normal is "relative" and we pray for that relative "normalcy" very soon.
Love you lots,
Aunt Penny
PS My question which of CJ's siblings need some extra TLC during this time of stress in the family?

Tammi said...

Dear Ms. Joiner:

Christopher Thomas George, Jr.

"C.J."

Love,
Aunt Tammi

Tammi said...

But I really like your interpretation, too!

Love,
Aunt Tammi

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, CJ and the George Family,

Dawn, I am one of those people you could have had that conversation with, but I have only met you a couple of times and I don't think I've ever even met CJ personally. I have, however, had that conversation with Janet Sedano, who is my personal link to your family. My excuse was not the fear of man, but the fear of cyberspace (setting up a Google account?). Don't get me wrong. I do struggle with the fear of man in other areas, but that wasn't the reason I never posted a comment. I'm glad you explained how to leave a post without setting up an account. :o)

I am another soul who is being blessed, challenged and encouraged by your blog. At times, after I have read your blog and wiped away the tears, my heart has been more filled with the goodness and faithfulness of God than during my regular deovtional time. I have shared some of your stories, as well as your blog site, with many others. My children faithfully pray for CJ every night and they talk about him and some of your "God" stories to our extended family.

At first, I was afraid to let my daughter know about CJ because she tends to personalize things and become fearful. But, after reading your blog and the comments, I decided to show her how God can use something that seems bad for His glory. She has been wearing CJ's bracelet and faithfully praying for him. Recently, her youth pastor challenged the youth that when they pray for someone, to pray the way they would want someone to pray for them in that situation. Since then, her prayers for CJ have been so much more heartfelt and fervent.

Now that you got me going, I could go on and on, but I will close for now. I just want you and CJ, and the entire George family, to know that the Braden family is another one of the many that you are touching in this journey He has you on and that you have 5 faithful pray-ers in Hollywood, FL.

In Christ,
Colleen

Amber said...

Dear Mrs. George,

I just wanted to thank you for your post on the fear of man. I struggle with that INTENSLY. So intensly that it isn't a fear; its a phobia. I am always thinking 'Well, maybe I shouldn't do this, because what if so and so thinks this of me?' Sometimes I am afraid to worship because of what the person behind me thinks of me. The result of that has been a blockage in my relationship with the Lord, and it hurts.
I have been thinking of my 'phobia' of man a lot and I know that God is really trying to speak to me about that. I just wanted to thank you for being God's faithful servant so people like me can read your blog and be moved and their hearts be softened so He can work in us. Me.
I hope I don't sound selfish since you are the ones who need prayer, (see?) but I would like to ask you to pray for me that God would help my moutain of fear-of-man-phobia?

Thank you George family for shining your light to the world and being such a Godly example and inspiration.

Love you TONS, Allie, C.J., Brett, Corey, and Mr. and Mrs. George.

P.S.
My question for C.J.,
Do you ever feel like people aren't treating you like 'normal' or before you had cancer? And/Or Do you wish people would treat you 'normal'?

Break the Mold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, thank you again for your honesty and willingness to be so "naked" before so many people. It is encouraging to see how your wisdom and humility and to even ask for others to be open with their concerns or questions. On that subject from the blog and the little bit that I know about you, I can see that you have an extraordinary faith and relationship with God. You seem to also have a very strong bond with your church, which seems to be giving you and your family much love and guidance. I understand that this an extraordinary event for anyone to endure and I sincerely admire your courage and your surrender to allow God to work through this. I'm not sure how you and your family will view my next comment...however like you Dawn, I am learning that true love is not afraid of saying in loving concern what is in the heart. So here I go. With all that is going on in your lives has your family considered family therapy from a professional that you trust? I know that this is sometimes a difficult area for very faithful Christians to consider. I know that this was a tool that God has used in the past to guide me and my family. I found out that for me it was easier to discuss and seek help with my beliefs, my medical illness etc., however I found it very hard to seek and be open of emotional psychological needs. I suppose that I had a prejudgment that if I was truly faithful my family would not have this need and was embarased to be open about this. I'm encouraged by your last post to be bold and suggest this option with the intention that this may help not just CJ but your whole family grow stronger emotionally. Warmly, Wilma

Janet M. said...

Hey George Family, Do you know how many times I started a comment and then deleted the whole thing because of "Fear of Man" Ughhhhh. I ask for the Lord's forgiveness for not trusting in Him during those times. I ask for your forgiveness Dawn for not trusting you as a friend because of what I thought you might have thought about my comment -- maybe it was not eloquent enough or spiritual enough. Please forgive me.
I continually need to remind myself that I am free in Christ, that I have His Holy Spirit, that I should not quench His Spirit and that I have the mind of Christ. If I remembered these things why should I be fearful of men.
I pray the The Lord continues to bless you (and your editor) with instructional wisdom for so many of us. Wisdom many of us know, but need to hear over and over again. 2 Tim. 1:7 is a life scripture for me. I was excited to find it when I was a new Christain. Thanks for reminding me of it. Your family is a wonderful example to all of us in how you apply the Word, in your love, in your faith and how the Holy Spirit is alive and acitve in your lives. Thank you.
My question is for Corey. Corey, Why are you so cute?
Oh I also have to thank Janet S. for leading me to your blog this morning.

Enzo said...

I am so moved by everyones reaction to the blog and for the comments to let you know they are there. I know that these comments all mean a lot to you and the family.

Alibrandi -- How has CJ's illness affected you? Do you feel closer to your family, do you feel closer to God, do you struggle in any special way during this time? Do you feel selfish if you want something for yourself.

CJ -- Do you have days that you forget that you have cancer? or even hours that you forget that you have cancer? If you have any secret feelings do you share them with your Mom and Dad? Does it sometimes feel like you get too much attention or does it make you feel special that you are loved so much and even strangers fall in love with you?

Dawn and Chris -- Have you been pleasantly surprised by some people and/or family members during this time and have you been disappointed by others that you thought might be there more? Do you have any long term ideas of where God might lead you after CJ's healing as far as helping others in this situation in the future or will you want this to fade in your minds?

Brett -- Do you realize how special you are and how much every one appreciates how much you help your brother and family during this time? When CJ is well you will get to spend lots more time doing fun stuff out of the house.

Do any of you have questions for any of us?

Love Mom

Janet S said...

Hi, Dawn. Thanks again for allowing God to use you to speak Truth to us..to me. I have found myself quenching the Holy Spirit because of my fear of man. I think I am protecting myself, but I am hurting myself because I am not allowing the Holy Spirit to work in me and through me. I am quenching the intimacy my soul longs for with my LORD, the lover of my soul.
Just recently God placed it on my heart to do something hard, and I didn't do it because of my fear of man. When I realized what I had done, I asked God for another chance. This time I obeyed and WOW! He showed me grace and then blessed me. It was not as hard as I had thought because He gave me the words to speak.
I could go on and on about my Heavenly Father and how good He is to me, even when I don't deserve it. I'm learning to focus on Him and trust Him. It is Him I should be seeking to please. He is the only One who will never disappoint me. As I do His will, which is always for my good and His glory, He protects me.
I read something today that says it well:
Seeking approval from everyone in our orbit is akin to the nauseating dizziness a dancer experiences when she does not keep her eyes on one object as she twirls. Just as dancers are taught to spot, Christians are also taught by God's Word to spot. The Bible tells us that we are to keep our eyes on the Lord and seek His approval only.
I got that from this site:
www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001347.cfm

And Dawn, I love your passion. It pours out all over your posts. I also want to say I am so grateful to you and Janet M for inviting us to Palm Vista. We love our new family in Christ!! We have been to many fine churches, but we now feel like we are at home away from Home.

Seeking the eyes of my LORD in the twists and turns of life...Janet S

Break the Mold said...

Wilma,

Thank you for your question. That is a great question and a very thoughtful one too. I appreciate that you are concerned not just about our physical and spiritual well being but also our emotional and psychological as well. You are a great friend.

This is an interesting question for me because I have a lot of history with counseling both wordly and biblical and I worked as an office administrator for a well known psychology firm for a couple of years prior to my salvation. Honestly, there is a long answer and the short answer to this question but I think the short answer will provide sufficient for what I think you are asking. If I do not answer the question clearly please ask me to elaborate and then I will give you the long answer.
If I interpreted correctly I think you were asking...Have we considered counseling for us and for CJ? Specifically professional counsling? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because we can't help but consider it because it is constantly offered through pamphlets, the hospital, and doctors offices. They have social workers and child life specialists and school teachers and everything you can imagine to help the kids through this time if it is needed. There are many groups that offer group meetings for the cancer patients, siblings, parents, etc.
The answer would also be no for us because we have not felt the need to seek this avenue of support at this time. Although I am sure it has been a blessing to many families in their time of need. As you mentioned in your question, we are extremely blessed to have a church that is structured in such a way that this type of counsel is constantly available to us and our entire family. I am also blessed to have a husband that is able to counsel me (and does whether I like it or not) and is also humble enough to seek me for counsel as his help mate. And of course, most importantly, we have the best counselor available to us at all times. The Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ and the Counselor (Holy Spirit) He promised to send us to counsel us in all truth until his return.

As of now, we have not had to seek that avenue. But as time wears on, and months turn to years...we will pursue any avenue of support necessary for CJ, his siblings, and ourselves.
But, in all honesty, I must add that we would probably hesistate to seek any counsel outside of solid biblical counsel for CJ or our family because of my history and familiarity with it.
This really is the short answer and it is very difficult for me to fight off the urge to really dig into some of the intersting comments in your post that you opened up about the difficulty of that decision as a Christian and the embarassment many Christians feel in even having the need or problems in the first place. Wow! Very deep! Very hard to resist. But resist I will...
Wilma, does this answer your question? If you want I can e-mail you the long answer since I typed it first and them removed it.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support. Youare a blessing to our family.
Much love to you and yours,
Dawn

Here are some scriptures I wanted to share...

Psalm 119:24 "Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors."

Psalm 73:21-24
"When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senselss and ignorant...Yet I am always with You. You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory."

Psalm 16:7 "I will praise the Lord who counsels me, even at night my heart instrusts me. I have set the ord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I willnto be shaken."

Psalm 32:8 " I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you and watch over you."

Break the Mold said...

Colleen Braden,

Thank you for your open comment. It means the world to me to know you are withus and praying for us. Thank you also for the meals you have provided for our family. Who knew when our girls we doing Bright Lights that the Lord was going to give us the opportunity to be Bright Lights for eachother in a dark sitauion.
Love,
Dawn

Break the Mold said...

Jeanne,

I saw my sister answered your question. CJ stands for Chris Jr. it throws a lot of people off because his middle name starts with a T, not a J.

I like your version even better! I want you to know that I just love seeing your smiling face at church and the love I feel emminating from you. You have such a beautiful family and I so admire you and thank you for sharing your talents with the church. They have blessed us immensely.
You remind me of my bluebird friend that I met through this blog. You would love her. Her name is Debbie Warnock and she is married to a pastor in a little town in Virginia. She is creative and beautiful and full of love for the Lord and His people just like you. This is her blog with a beautiful article she wrote about our family and what we are going through:

http://goodthoughts.typepad.com/goodthoughtsblog/2008/12/bluebird-in-a-storm.html

Enjoy,
Dawn

Poppa Jerry said...

Fear of man!!!!! How about Fear of Dad? Remember all those fear filled times when mom had told you "Wait till your father gets home - you and your sister are both in for it!" Then you both would run and get a book and stick it in your shorts because you knew the "TEN SWATS" were coming when dad gets home.
You guys managed to live through it and so did I. (I always knew about the book-in-the-pants). Thank the Lord there was no such thing as 'domestic child' abuse back then.

Dawnie, I continue to be amazed and blessed by what a wonderful, bright, biblically knowledgeable, G-d respecting, emotionally balanced, talented woman you have become...You have blessed me with four terrific grandchildren with your loving and dedicated husband, Chris. You make me proud and humble to be your earthly father.
I Love you very much, Dad
PS
(you can get rid of that book in you shorts)

Alexa said...

Hi Dawn,

Awesome post. I don't think you have to ever fear going back to the way you were before this all started. A volcano has exploded and you have chosen to walk with God through it. One doesn't forget such things, or at least that is my experience and like you wrote in your post "you don't want to go back to the things that God has been bringing out of". God is faithful when we ask Him and you show over and over again that you are asking.

Fear of man. Oh my goodness. That has been passed down from generations before me and God has slowly been stripping them away. He is not done yet, but He has brought me a long way. When I first came to this country I lost 10lb in the first week at college because I was so embarrassed to eat at the cafeteria. I know that may sound ridiculous to some of you, but I had never been to one before. I have feared how I dress, how I walk, how my hair looks, is the plane going to fall, is the elevator going to get to the floor or will I be stuck, do people like me, did I put my foot in my mouth again and so on and on... I have been in so many different cultures and churches and "ways of doing things" that God has finally helped me see that as long as I glorify Him and put Him first all the other doesn't really matter that much. Not that I want to be rude or anything, but you can't please everyone all the time and there is only ONE that I really need to please God Almighty.

I love how so many have posted. Its so rich when people post out of their different perspectives. Perspectives that I wouldn't have had if they hadn't written them.

I just love your openness Dawn, and how you so easily open a can of worms :0)

I have a couple of questions:

What sort of things do people say or do or do not say or do not do that could perhaps be said or done differently since some of us have not gone through this?

Chris, CJ, Aly, Brett, what is the #1 thing you have gained through this experience or the #1 thing that you would like others to be more aware of?

Relatives: I know how much you love CJ and the whole fam. how are you dealing with it all?

We love you and your family, you are such an encouragement to us. Much love, Alexa

Enzo said...

Dawn,

One more question. I remember a couple months ago you were trying to articulate what that first day was like for you, the first 24 hours of absorbing what the doctors were telling you, the fear, the hope, the disbelief. How did you keep yourself together that day and did you think you would pull it together this quickly? I remember you told me the first night you did go home and sleep and you just cried in your bed and Allie was patting you on the back. Did you ever write that out? I'd like to see it and would like to know when you look back at it how it seems to you now? Does it seem like it was a distant dream or does it feel like yesterday. Just something else I wanted to know.

Love Mom

Again, I can't believe the responses, I can't believe the customers and people I talk to that tell me they are reading and praying for CJ all over the country, I can't believe the post from Debbie on her blog about her friend "Dawn". I'm sure one day you will meet her. I can't believe the lady at the Hard Rock writing songs for CJ and starting a book because of being inspired by him. It is unreal and again I can't believe the faithfulness of these people and the fact that they don't forget and don't give up. My three sister in laws that always post each week - I am touched by them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, thank you for answering my post, I would much rather pick up the phone or see you in person, but since this is a wonderful way to communicate and share...I will allow God to stretch me some more and write. Yes, I would love you to email me the long answer. Thank you for the verses that you have shared. Your friend, Wilma

Anonymous said...

Psalm 86
" Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am l godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

I cant say much else, the Scripture says it for me. I'm praying for you guys. May God bless you, and may He reveal Himself to you all.

Joey

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

I am deeply moved by the outpour of response to this post. It is refreshing to log on and see "38" comments. I too would prefer the long version to your "counsel post". I know most of the details, but please post it or email it to me. I feel like God's words pour through you and you should not hesitate to post even if it is lengthy. Remeber "fear of man"? You never know who you are helping! And that is how God works when He does His thing. You are just His tool.

Alexa,

Your post is moving! I never knew that about you. Well for what it is worth, you are an amazing women, mother, friend, and mentor. And I believe the Lord used you in my "devine intervention" and knew all along since we were little girls that was part of His plan. I have learned so much just by your presence and love for the Lord.

And I can answer the family question about how this whole "cancer" thing has effected me.

I have never had such a hard, sad, scarrey thing happen that hit so close to my heart in my adult life. For those of you who have a niece, nephew, or child, you know they hold such a dear place in your heart. Or just the love of a child that you know. They are so precious. But, I never want to return to the "pre-cancer" stage. I know that sounds harsh, but I have learned, and changed so much since this all began. I never want to go back as Dawn says to "normal". Never! I know the Lord has really protected CJ and kept him from severe side effects and our journey is not over yet. I know we can not fully say that CJ is in remisson. But, I believe out of everyones obedience especially "the George family" and all of our prayers, we will boldly be able to celebrate CJ's remission. I just never want to return to where I was when this whole thing started. I believe that this whole experience has changed me. I have learned to truly "trust God" through this whole experience and not just because CJ is doing well with side effects. Because it breaks my heart to see him sometimes and to know that he has to get chemo shots, spinal taps, ports in his body, blood transfussions. It just breaks my heart! But to be quite frank, my heart needed to be broken for this new one to be put in! I love CJ and would do anything I could to take this from him. But, I can't ask that questions anymore, why CJ? Because I can clearly see the answer.

Aunt Jackie
Miramar, Fl

Break the Mold said...

Dad,

That is so funny that you mentioned that. Ten Swats. I was just telling (lecturing) the kids the other day, "you don't know what punishment is, I used to get ten swats with the belt every time I got spanked...none of this one two or three wimpy stuff". They just stared at me like I was doing the "I had to walk to school in the snow up hill both ways story." It was quite hilarious.
And all those early years that you disciplined us in love and never out of anger...I never once feared you! I respected you and adored you. Your discipline and firm hand always felt like love to me. The same hand that spanked, always, fed, ticked and hugged me. And thanks to the lessons and memories of those early years before things 'fell apart' I now see God's firm hand of discipline as love as well. The same hand that disciplines me now, still loves me, feeds me and delights me.
Thank you for demonstrating God's love to me then and God's love to me now. I am so proud of you and completley amazed at what God is working in your life. It just goes to show we are never too old, or too distanced to run back to His loving arms. I pray that with every remaining breath you would grow more and more in love with Yeshua and come to a deeper and deeper knowledge of His love for you.
Your daughter,
Dawn

Dad,
I know it always pained you that you did not get to walk me down the aisle when I became a bride to Chris. But I want you to know that because of your sacrifice as a dad when we I was young and all the ways you lead me to the Lord when I was little, and all the ways you are sharing God's love and grace and power now. You have been used to lead me down the aisle to become a bride afterall. The bride of Christ.
I love you,
Dawn

Alibrandi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Break the Mold said...

Answers to questions:

Your question: CJ -- Do you have days that you forget that you have cancer? or even hours that you forget that you have cancer? If you have any secret feelings do you share them with your Mom and Dad? Does it sometimes feel like you get too much attention or does it make you feel special that you are loved so much and even strangers fall in love with you?
As dictated by CJ....
Sometimes, when I am playing a game and I am really into who I am in the game I become the character and forget all about cancer. But there are too many reminders to forget for long. I will bump my port when I am playing or dressing, or mom and dad will say "CJ come take your medicine" or "wash your hands" or I pass by a mirror....(started crying)
Sorry he couldn't finish answering that one.

After he stopped crying and we talked a minute I asked him about the strangers one and we joked about how it blows the idea of "don't talk to strangers" Strangers have been a major source of strength and blessing to our family throughout this. I've decided "don't talk to strangers" is unbiblical and we won't teach it to our children anymore. I'll teach the opposite....the great commission. Go and make disciples of all nations (strangers)...
I asked about the secret feelings and fears and he said no, not really anythign he could think of that he doesn't talk to us about. He says his biggest worry is that he doesn't want to have to have the port replaced. (if it were to stop working) He says he talks to God about this everyday.


Your question:
Dawn and Chris -- Have you been pleasantly surprised by some people and/or family members during this time and have you been disappointed by others that you thought might be there more? Do you have any long term ideas of where God might lead you after CJ's healing as far as helping others in this situation in the future or will you want this to fade in your minds?

Great question. I absolutely have been pleasantly surprised in many ways. Friends who were distant or estranged drew near and have become a huge support to us. Strangers have supported us through the bracelets and donations. One family anonymously paid for our a/c to be repaired when we were at the hospital when the first a/c broke.(By the way, thank you whoever you are! What a blessing you were to us and a reminder of Gods love and care for us at a traumatic time. You also inspired us to do more annonymous giving and enjoy the fruit of that privelege. I am sorry I never properly thanked you but I never quite knew how to thank you since I did not know who you were. Thank you! I may not see, but God is ElRoi. The God who sees!)
So yes, we have been pleasantly surprised in many ways. As far as family, I have been pleasantly surprised with many family members. The Alibrandi family inparticular comes to mind. They have been such a constant support to me through this blog. I feel so close to them now because of this and have learned so much about their faith. I regret that I did not get to know Nicole better when she lived here. And Sonia has been unbelievable staying in contact throuhg the blog and praying for us all the way from Venezuela. I am so grateful and love and miss them all.
As far as "disappointed"...that is a loaded question. I will just say, yes, of course. Just as I was pleasantly surprised at those who drew near I have been just as surprised at those who have "pulled away". I have learned that I have to have no expectations and guard my heart.

Question: Do you have any long term ideas of where God might lead you after CJ's healing as far as helping others in this situation in the future or will you want this to fade in your minds?

Answer: I think about this alot. I definitely do not want this to "fade in my mind" like you said. I want God to keep it fresh. I never want to forget the powerful feelings of those first days. As painful and anxious as they were I have asked God to keep them fresh for me so I will have compassion for others and not grow cold as time goes on. I obviously don't know what the Lord has planned for us specifically. But I do want to be able to help and encourage others in their time of need as I have had done for me. I did sign up for an Ambassador Program this weekend that trains us how to increase awareness of Lukemia and Lymphoma in the community so I am looking forward to that.
But only time will tell where it will all lead. I know that I can make plans but hte Lord will determine my steps. I know that I can dream big and His plans for me will still far outweigh anything I can think to hope or ask for. I have been studying the book of Esther and I guess I would have to echo a line from my favorite verse of that book..."Who Knows..." Well I rest secure in the knowledge that God Knows! And as He so chooses, He will reveal His plan for us. And then I will know too. And since you are my mom, I bet you will be one of the first to know too! :)
Love you....thanks for all the great questions.

Tammi said...

Dear Dawn,
Thamk you for saying those things to our Father. I know that Dad loves you and your children so, so much. Thank you saying that about the aisle, that was awesome.
TJ

Dear Dad,
I am still afraid of you! Just kidding - you're awesome. That's the truth! I love you and I adore you so much. Let's keep praying, praying, praying for CJ and that this next course of treatment does not have bad effects on him. In the grande scheme of things, CJ is all that really matters here, you know what I mean? I love you and I miss you.

Break the Mold said...

Hey Tam,

I do know what you mean and appreciate the sentiment, but would loving suggest that God and His glory is all that matters in the "grande shceme of things". I love you,
Dawn

Break the Mold said...

Amber,
I really appreciated your post. I responded to it in a long comment and then deleted it because of my fear of man. So you see, we all suffer from it!
I have really learned a lot about the fear of man through the comments and discussions it has lead to. I have been challenged to look deeper within myself. I have to confess that one thing God revealed to me about my heart is that the same things I fear people are "thinking of me" are only because I have been guilty of "thinking" it of them. I am assuming my sin in their hearts. Uggghhh!
And then of course the reality is that most people aren't thinking of us at all. You know that feeling that "all eyes are on you" in a room. Well, everyone gets that feeling. So if that is true, who are all the eyes on? Does that make sense? Our problem is we are making ourselves the focal point of our world and that is where the perspective is off. We need to make God the focal point and it changes everything.

I know we have some crazy "catchphrases" at our church but they really do work. One of my favorites is to 'stop listening to myself and start talking to myself'. (Yes, we teach ourselves how to be certifiably crazy!) Just kidding. But seriously, it really works with this fear of man thing as well. When we hear the thought "what will they think", "what will they say", "I don't want to sound stupid" "what if...." then we need to stop listening and start talking. We know we can "demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." How do we do this? By replacing the thoughts with Truth. God's word IS truth. Tell yourself the truth. Find what God says about you in scritpure, write it down, meditate on it, memorize it. Add it to your arsenol. And then when the enemy comes at you or thoughts creep in....use it. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself to take a hike!
Better yet, just tell God...I am afraid right now and I know I should not be thinking of what other people are going to think of me in this situation...but I am! Still, I am going to obey your leading anyway and let You deal with the outcome. Believe me, He can handle it!
I hope this is helpful in some way to you. In my first comment (that I deleted) I really focused on how we cheat ourselves out of true worship when we allow fear of man to dominate us. Would you like me to email it to you?

To answer your CJ question...in the beginning it was a little awkward for him when we went out after not seeing everyone for a while. And I am sure he did not feel totally normal. It was also awkward for all of you (his friends) I am sure. None of us really knew what to expect and what to do. The most awkward part was the 'shake or not to shake'. What to do if someone extends their hand to shake unknowingly. Chris and I failed to run interference in the beginning as well as we should have because of the awkwardness of it all. But as time has gone by and he has seen all his friends more, it is the less awkward. God has blessed him with amazing friends and this has strengthened his relationships a lot. I think it helps people to spend time with him and see that he is the same CJ. He talks about the same things and likes the same things. He does not feel like he has some big bulls eye on his forehead or anything. We were talking about it when I read your question and we realize it would be weird if people acted like nothing has happened just as it is a little weird the attention he gets now. I know for me that when I am praying for someone a lot and then I see them, it is like, 'Hey! How exciting to see you!' You feel all close to them because you have been praying for them and they sort of just look at you like....what's with you? So I have noticed that a little but nothing too awkward.
I think CJ feels pretty normal still. His brother Brett won't go easy on him in wrestling, Joel and Noah won't go easy on him in combat arms, Joey will still steel a pass from right in front of him anyday, Andrea will still rag on him about his teams! Yeah, I'd say its pretty normal. (Except CeCe can't ruffle his hair anymore) I think he would say that is the only good thing about losing his hair! Ha Ha!
We love you Amber
Dawn

Andrea said...

Hey Mrs. Dawn!
I'm glad you decided to post this post... it really reminded me of fear of man/pride that we have to work on tackling each day. I took the fear of man test!
I absolutely have fear in me! I like how amber said it "a phobia" but hopefully i can give more of that fear
-phobia- to the Lord and fear HIM with good fear which belongs to Him! thank you again it was a real eye opener.
Hey and it just so happens that me and CJ are rooting for the same team this time so i don't have to do any ragging... :p
GO CARDINALS!!

Cj,[dynamite] i don't have any clever questions for you, but i just want you to know..... your my one of my favorite superheros! I don't exactly know what that means... i think it means that i think your SUPER... oh yes thats it! You have always been a super friend to me and i love that sneaky smile you get when your teams winning.....:p
Im praying for you man! and working on setting up CA! :D

mucho love!
Andrea-

amber said...

Yes I would love for you to send me the rest of the comment, but i changed my email address. I think allie has it though...

Thank you!!!

See ya!

Alibrandi said...

Hey Grandma,
Sorry I haven't gotten to answer your question sooner.
I guess it has affected me in that, it changes what I think and do from day to day. It changes what I'm cautious about daily.
I guess I feel closer to my family in some ways more than others. I fell closer in the fact that we have to work together to get through this. We have to participate together, to keep everyone healthy.
Hope that answers your question! If you or anybody else have any more I will be here!
Alibrandi

Anonymous said...

The Son is the radiance of GODS glory and the exact representation of his being,sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3 I will Triumph in the LORD; I will rejoice in the GOD of my Salvation. Habakuk 3;18 Will be praying for all of you, and trusting in GODS powerful words of promise, knowing that he is beside you all in. all my love to!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you annonymous...was blessed at this late hour by your words.
Dawn

Shannon said...

Hi George Family,

Dawn, Thank you so much for this blog and especially the "fear of man" topic. I have struggled with this my whole life. I still struggle, but I've reached a point where I want to totally submit everything over to Him including this "fear of man" thing. Great is His faithfulness. I have grown so much this last year in Christ, yet realize I still have so much farther to go, but I'm embracing the journey instead of despising the climb. I am so grateful to God for using this blog among other avenues to get me to this point. Please don't stop writing...I feel we are linked in our spirit. I home school my children as well and your family's struggle has been something I could share with my own and show them that God hears us and gives us peace when we are in the storm...in spite of the storm. You put to words so many of my thoughts and feelings that I felt no one else but God understood...your words and your "real"ness help me to face all hopes and fears and challenge me to live out loud. CJ has inspired me more than I could ever express...I've adopted an attitude of no looking back...no regrets. Thanks CJ for your words...and I like what one person said about your initials...Christ's Joy...that's what I see in your face in your pictures. I've just shared more thoughts than I've ever shared with you guys and we've never even met, yet somehow I feel like I do know you...only God can do that. I praise God for the whole George family...press in and press on!! Always in my prayers!!

Sister-in-Christ,
Shannon
Waldorf, MD

Break the Mold said...

Shannon,
Thank you for your comment and your words. I like your comment about not despising the climb. That has been the most amazing part of all of this for me. I actually have an unexplainable joy as I face this trial. Oddly enough, I have more joy now than I did before CJ was diagnosed.
I knew for a long time that I lacked the kind of joy that the Bible described. Not the kind the world has to offer but the kind of joy that should come with knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I prayed for joy for a long time. I read about it. I studied it. My bible study partner and I would get on our faces on her living room floor while our kids played in the next room and beg God for it. I memorized verses about joy and one always stood out to me. James 1:2 says "Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so you will be mature and complete not lacking anything."
I wanted this...to be mature and complete not lacking (joy). But that first line always got me... PURE JOY when we face trials??? Huh?
And wouldn't you know it one trial came right after another...(I will honestly admit that I did not pass the 'pure joy' test right away)...but as each trial came, my joy increased and I started to understand! And then CJ got diagnosed, and although this is by far the hardest trial I have faced in my adult life, I consider it pure joy because I know the testing of my faith (and my husband's faith, and my son's faith, and my family's faith) will develop perseverance so that I (we) may become mature and complete.

But that is how it is in God's economy. The way up is down; the way to riches is by giving all you have away; the way to life is through death; and the way to joy is suffering!

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and heart with me. I am right with you on the journey.
Love and blessings,
Your sister in Christ
Dawn

CeCe said...

Mrs. George,
You know how you said I can't ruffle CJ's hair anymore? Well, there is still plenty to ruffle, and when CJ has his hat on, I just ruffle his hat. Ya, I know, it sounds weird. I bet it looks weird too. I am sorry about not commenting. I have really wanted to post though. I didn't have time to read this post, but I think thought it would be nice for me to post anyway. I thought it would be nice to pray too.

Dear Father God,
You know what is going on in CJ's body God, and we trust that while CJ is going to go into a harder phase in chemo that you will keep all of his organs, and everything in his body safe from any harm God. Please help the family to protect CJ from any germs, or infections, or anything God. Please let the Georges get through this time knowing that you have your purpuse for everything, and that in the end it will all be all right.
Amen

Ok, love you guys!

CeCe