Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Latest update- Nov 09

Dear Friends,

What a blessing it is to know so many of you are praying, we can feel the Lord working and His unfailing mercy always goes before us! We want to thank you all for all your support at this time, it has been truly incredible, why should we be surprised when God uses His saints to bless others?

On Friday, Holly saw the oncologist and received good news, as a matter of fact the doctor was so excited she gave Holly a big hug! It has been 6 weeks without chemo and we expected growth in some of the tumors, but instead all the areas of concern either remained the same or continued to decrease! A real answer to prayer. While the radiation was working on the brain tumors, God was taking care of the rest. Although it was a very tiring 3 weeks, finally the energy levels are rebounding as the radiation effects are lessening.

This week Holly is starting a new oral chemo drug and will continue to take the hormone receptor specific to her type of breast cancer as before. Please pray that the side affects will be minimal and remain under control.

Olivia has been given medication for her stomach problems and it seems to help, she is also having a thyroid study done because of some issues she is having. Pray that the Lord will give wisdom to the doctors as they treat her.

We were happy to have many visitors here from far away over the last month, but the winner of the longest distance was our friend Tina from Ireland. It was so nice to see her and we were blessed that Holly was feeling good. We were able to get updates on everything in Ballinasloe and all our Irish friends. The goodness of God was so evident as she shared stories of God's hand working in many areas. Continue to pray for Tim and all the Irish saints as they minister in Jesus' name to that country.

School is going well for our resident teacher and two students. Studies are challenging, but all goes well. Leah has a main part in an upcoming play and Olivia will be the stage manager.

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore. Ps. 125:1-2

May the Lord richly reward you for all your love and support at this time!!!

In Christ, Gary & Holly, Olivia and Leah Gilbert
33 Indian Hills Waterloo, NY 13165

Future Uncertain....

That is the way we must see our lives and I have certainly learned this the difficult way..

For years I would have sleepless nights planning my future…days or months ahead. Recently through God’s design He has helped me to live a more contented daily focus than I ever imagined I could…

You see, a few months ago I thought I was coming to the states for a brief visit with our children and grandchildren. But a series of circumstances that spiraled into a life changing situation changed all my plans.

Before we left Ireland in June I lost a friend very suddenly, helping organize her funeral made me realize just how fast our lives can change.

In a few weeks I was told by my doctors that my breast cancer had returned in many organs and I needed chemotherapy. It was then that we made the very difficult decision to stay in the US for treatment and not return to our home in Ireland.

Our lives were filled with stress from the unknowns of cancer, relocation from another country, transitions of all our accounts and records ,facing new jobs, school etc….

Through all this time God showed Himself strong in many amazing ways. The contentment and peace he gave each of us was truly incredible. The friends who had had cancer or those touched by it in their families were the greatest assets of encouragement. They listened and gave reasonable advise when our minds were no longer able to think.

What a gift from God. To date I have received nearly 200 cards and letters, many with donations from Christians, some of whom I hardly know.( we have no health insurance)

I have always seen myself as a very independent person, yet God has chosen to make me rely on Him and others in a new and different way. In my pride I do not want help, yet I know it is His grace in the provisions. In my pride I was formerly unable to see how I could ever enjoy my life if I lived like this. Yet I have found contentment in the small things that come each day. I appreciate my shower and the strength to have it, I appreciate the trees and birds and the beauty outside my window each day as never before. I enjoy the gifts of grandchildren and children who have faces of love and pray for me.

I have been rereading the book “ Heaven Your Real Home” by Joni Earakson Tada. As a quadraplegic she has experienced much loss in her life, but her insight into the hope we have daily as we depend on God resonates like nothing else at this time in my life. How pale the little things have become and how enormous the essentials that were seldom spoken about…

Another book that I have been reading is by a cancer survivor, Dr. David Jeremiah, titled, “ A Bend in the Road”. His insights are wonderful and tell of his help from the Psalms to minister to his life facing cancer.Also, recently I had a book sent to me entitled "hear my Cry" by Tish Hagee Tucker, so perfect!!

Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6: 17-20

I also have found incredible strength and hope in the Psalms, daily I read and journal as I listen to God speak to my heart personally.

Psalm 77:11- 14…..I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?

14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

He is full of mercy and compassion, Ps. 103 tells us. My confident hope is in my eternal destination, I am certain of His love and mercy. He is so good to me every day. He never changes.