What happens when you are on the field that God took you to and suddenly the bottom seems to drop out? What happens to your faith when the only thing you are sure of is that you will see Jesus one day—possibly sooner than you expected?
Hi. My name is Crystal. My family and I have lived in Brno, Czech Republic for the last 10 years. We came to help national pastors across Europe with our denomination receive training as they need it so they can lead their own church confidently. My husband also organizes conferences with these pastors and church leaders so they can see they are a part of the church worldwide. Another responsibility we have is to pastor an International Fellowship here in town where expats from all over the world come to worship together in English.
About 4 years ago, I went to the doctor and received the news that I have breast cancer. This was NOT what I expected at the age of 35! So, after 2 major surgeries, 6 months of chemo, 5 weeks of radiation, and genetic testing all within 18 months…I was told the cancer was in remission. We praised God for everything and saw God’s story of faithfulness shared with our believing and non-believing friends. We headed back for furlough in the States thanking God all throughout that 10 months.
After we arrived back from the States, our world was once again flipped on end when I found out the cancer came back into my bones. More chemo followed and radiation as well. After 3 months of chemo, my body could not tolerate it and my treatment was switched. My hair began growing back and once again, the tests held amazing results and we thanked God for bringing us through yet again.
Then, in May of this year, the cancer traveled to my liver. And, the chemo began again….this time the tests have not been so favorable. YET, we continue to praise GOD for his faithfulness in everything. A verse that God gave me at the beginning of this 4 year trial was Isaiah 41:13. It says, “For I am the Lord, your God, who holds you in his right hand and says to you, do not fear, I will help you.” I come back to this verse again and again…through the scary times of thinking about my 3 kids without a mom, my husband without a wife…..dying in my 40’s… YET, I also choose joy and recognize that God’s story of how amazing HE is…is going further than I expected or imagined. More and more people are praying…talking to God every day because of this sickness. Yes, God could choose to heal me and keep me here on earth longer….and I would welcome that! However, if He chooses to heal me by taking me to heaven, my purpose on this earth is fulfilled – to glorify God and enjoy HIM forever.
If you would like to read more about my story, please go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/crystalblake . I would appreciate your prayers for me and my family – prayers that God’s story will continue to be strong in us and through us.