Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Crooked Woman

Many folks on our prayer list are fighting cancer, so I asked cancer survivor Venita McCart to share a devotion today about her life. At the end of her devotion is an update from Emily's family, the 12-year-old girl battling bone cancer we’ve been praying for. Thanks!

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:1-4

Cherish the blessing
I am a crooked woman. I have missing ribs, two partially missing lungs and an altered shoulder. All have an effect on my entire body. Radical cancer surgery has thrown me askew. I learned this was obvious when asked, “Why are you limping?”
I don’t necessarily want to struggle with one-sided weakness for my lifetime, but I’m reminded of Jacob, the struggler-turned-patriarch. At birth, he grabbed his twin’s heel, later took his birthright and blessing, fled from home, then was deceived and chased by his uncle. Eventually at the threshold of the Promised Land, he grabbed onto the Lord’s wrestling man and wouldn’t let go, struggling until he could fight no more. His hip was wrenched. When he walked away he was limping. (Genesis 32:24-31) 
The Lord let go of Jacob’s leg but kept a hold on his heart. Eventually Jacob didn’t make a move without the approval of God. Their relationship became essential to his life. His name was changed to Israel, and he became the father of the twelve tribes. At the end of his life, he leaned on his staff and bowed in worship. 
Life as a limper isn’t considered a good thing but is often a threshold to blessing. When my pain kept stabbing and my limp kept hindering, I just kept reaching for a stronger hold on God. He didn’t remove the pain or limp, but took a tighter hold on me. My life didn’t change based on whether or not I limped. My life changed because God took a tighter hold on my heart. I stopped struggling. 
So it’s okay with me to be a crooked woman. The struggle is over. Now when asked why I’m limping, I smile and say, “Thank you for noticing. It belongs to God.” 
At the end of my life I will lean on the staff of God’s protection and worship Him. For now, I’m glad to practice exactly that, here on earth. 
Are you wrestling with God and cancer? Is your faith shaky, injured, or thrown off balance? Grab on, hold on tight, pray. Read God’s word. Worship. Learn to limp well, my friend. Cherish the blessing. 

Venita McCart, founder of Faith Force Cancer Support Ministries has, with her group, ministered to hundreds of patients since 2005 through group meetings, personal contacts, writing, and speaking. A cancer survivor herself, Venita is currently working on materials to comfort and encourage cancer patients, their loved ones and to help others create support ministries for same. She and her husband live in central Illinois. Venita may be reached at

“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:5
Update on Emily from her dad: 

“On Thursday, February 28th, Emily will be visiting the people we love but hate to see. She has an appointment with Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology. It will be her six month post treatment appointment. She will be poked, scanned, and analyzed. This is part of our quarterly ritual to make sure the cancer has not returned, that her legs are healing appropriately, and that she is not developing side effects from the cancer treatment. Please pray for Emily to be clear of cancer, side effects, and that her legs are healing well! Also, a prayer to reduce her anxiety and stress would be appreciated.

February 28, 2012, will always be a significant date in our family history. Emily endured a long complicated procedure that removed her cancerous tibia. The portion of the tibia Dr. Weber removed was replaced with cadaver bone. Skin grafts and bone were harvested from her hip area. Emily's right fibula (living bone) was transplanted and inserted into the blood supply in her left leg. The fibula transplant was then coupled with the dead sterile cadaver bone to provide an active blood supply through the living bone. The purpose was to accelerate the healing process and improve her odds that the cadaver bone would union with her remaining tibia. This procedure helped preserve her natural knee. We are grateful and as of has been complication free. It is hard to believe a year has passed already. Your prayers definitely helped last year as an unexpected peace washed over our family during the surgery.”

If you have a prayer request, please share in the comments section below or e-mail me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you. Would you take a moment to lift up Emily, Venita, and others on our prayer list, including Venita’s nephew, Sgt. Jesse McCart, who was injured in Afghanistan last summer? Thanks!

God bless,
Laura J

©Laura Hodges Poole


  1. This morning I opened an email and in it was a prophetic word. I believe this word should be passed on to Emily, Venita and others on your prayer list. When life is challenging....


    Even when it seems that there is no place to stand where you can feel sure and stable, and when the world seems to be crumbling around you, I want you to rest in the assurance that I am with you. Turn your heart towards Me and pray in faith for My intervention. I will certainly hear and answer and bring you into undisputed victory, says the Lord. Be strong!

    Isaiah 65:24 "It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear."

    I loved hearing your faith words Venita. What a testimony. God bless you. Praying and praising as you continue to find your health and healing resting ON the Lord. Blessings, Mary Edwards

    1. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful passage. God bless you.

  2. What an inspiring post! Praying for Venita.
    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace!
    Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also:
    Love in Him,
    Laurie Collett

    1. Thanks, Laurie. I'm following your blog, as well. I look forward to your posts. God bless you.