Two weeks ago I was accepted into a NIH Phase II clinical trial which is evaluating two drugs for treating pulmonary fibrosis in scleroderma patients.
That I was accepted is a miracle because my lung function was just below their minimum. It’s a double blind study, so I don’t know which of the two drugs I’m taking (either cytoxan or cellcept), but they are both really strong, serious medications that typically have significant side effects.
My close community of brothers and sisters here in Virginia, and others, have been lifting me up in wonderful prayer. It has been mature prayer, not desperate prayer, rooted in making our requests known but also being at peace in God’s ultimate grace and sovereignty.
I see my acceptance into the clinic trial (which has been showing good results in others who have been in it longer), and the fact that I’ve had almost no side effects, as God’s answer to those prayers.
I’m certainly having to learn to adjust to the reality of diminished capacity, but I have been seeing God prompt people who I’ve invested my life into and mentored in the Lord now step forward – without me asking – and fill the voids. This, to me, has been the most precious affirmation of God’s grace, and I actually see much good come out of me having to slow down and now watch God make it “click” with others.
I always have been good at delegating and making a way for others, but sometimes it becomes more real to them when you are sidelined and they now have to step up to the plate. They are emerging in beautiful ways into fuller dimensions of service and ministry – and some are now exceeding me in the Lord – as I get out of the way.
Yet the Lord is also allowing me to remain a (hopefully) wise but behind-the-scenes resource for them as they move forward. I guess I’m becoming more the coach and less the batter.
Nonetheless, there is much fruit coming forth, and to me that is the biggest blessing I could ever enjoy.
I think the Lord is motivating me to now spend more time writing and uploading a lifetime of service to the King of Kings to encourage, challenge and equip the Body of Christ – in this blog and maybe with some books if He gives me the strength to do so.
Anyway, I have been so grateful for the Lord’s favor, grace and affirmation. Despite it all, this actually has become a wonderful time in my life – especially with Marianne walking beside me as my close, supporting, intimate partner. Her quiet confidence and total understanding have made all the difference, and she is God’s greatest gift to me.
So that’s about it, and thanks everyone for caring and for your continued prayers.