by Laurie-Ann Copple
I am increasingly convinced that God uses everything. This is part of many people's testimonies of how God turns around times of incredible crushing, persecution, illness and more and turns it into good in some way. I've heard of stories with 9/11 as a backdrop where God has turned things around for individuals. It could have been so much worse. Kindness was shown in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to the stranded passengers trying to get to the US. I was shown similar kindness in the UK while I was there for three days during that calamity. Likewise, even the covid-19 pandemic that kept us in South Africa during the middle of my inflammatory breast cancer journey, was used to shelter and shield me at a vulnerable time in my life. I had been advised that all or most surgeries were seriously postponed in Ontario, and it may have been very problematic for me to have my mastectomy when I did. I could have had to go through chemotherapy all over again, or worse, the cancer would have caught up with me. But I was protected from all that, and allowed to have medical people helping me that I already knew. I was also protected from an earlier journey when I had less time to work with - when the cancer quickly became so advanced that I needed to begin chemotherapy right away. There was not enough time to return to Canada and start all over again - I could have become stage 4 on the journey home. But I was encouraged to stay and had the peace of God to walk through the chemotherapy journey in South Africa, while continuing ministry with South African children.
I've shared a bit about this story before, and am glad to share again. Testimony is half of how we overcome - our testimony of Jesus working in our lives. I shared a little of my testimony for a podcast by Christina Perara on Charisma Podcast Network. She connected it with a teaching on the crushing of Jesus and the power of communion. My life was nearly crushed, and I am certain that I was spared so that God will use it. You can look for the link to Christina's podcast "The Crushing" below. The testimony is in the last six minutes of the podcast.
Meanwhile, I celebrated a special milestone recently. November 12th brought me to my very last herceptin injection at CapeGate Oncology Centre. I was encouraged to ring the bell, while cheered on by my dear nurse Marianna. From now on, I only have check-ups and chemo-port flushes. I do not need tamoxifen, since the tumour was estrogen-negative. This is a great relief, since we paid a fortune for all these treatments, although we still have lymphedema treatments and compression therapy. Tony is also in treatment for TB, and the two of us await medical visas so that we can recover gently. At the moment, Europe and North America are in hard lockdowns, and travel is difficult (no stopover rests allowed). So it's better to stay.
We have much to be thankful for: South African summer, a centrally located Worcester apartment, a safe place to create more colouring sheets for children (and adults), friends and church family who care for us. Tony and I also have each other.
We are thankful. We also have our salvation in Jesus (the blood of the lamb) and what he is doing through and in us (the word of our testimony). This is from Revelation 12:11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." What are you thankful for? Do you have a story of what Jesus is doing in you? You likely DO. He is making you into something even more beautiful, like the mended Japanese cup filled with pure gold. May you be filled with that pure gold of the Holy Spirit. God bless you.
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
L-A's devotional blog
TONY'S DEVOTIONAL BLOG
Tony's south african journal