The sun had not yet risen over the Houston sky, when our driver dropped my husband and I off at the MD Anderson Cancer Center that cool spring morning in 2015.  I had a full day of blood work and imaging, as well as an appointment with the surgeon on the docket for this day; the day before I would undergo surgery to remove the cancer that had decided to make its home within the walls of my uterus. 

Soon after my arrival that day, nausea and stomach pain began to take over my body. Could I possibly have a stomach virus the day before I was scheduled to get rid of this cancer? As the symptoms intensified, and the trips to the restroom became more frequent, I waited for my MRI, and it became clear that yes, I was indeed sick. After explaining my symptoms to those at the center, they attempted to get me in quickly. The pain in my body began to worsen; by now, I could barely make it to the restroom without assistance. However, delaying the test was not something they were interested in doing. They wanted this MRI, and they were going to get it.

I had undergone many MRI’s since my diagnosis, and I remember wondering that day how I was going to be able to lay on that cold table, without moving, without needing to stop the test so I could run to the restroom. My name was called. Upon seeing me, the faces of those caring for me turned immediately to concern. But they would see me through this. They walked me back, and as I changed into my gown, I was certain I was going to collapse. The cool tile floor beneath my feet beckoned me, begged me to lay down on it; the desire to curl up in a fetal position upon that floor took a strange type of resistance I had not met before this day. I needed to stay focused on the objective of the day, which was to get that MRI. 

The man helped me onto the MRI table. The sterile, hard surface attempted to embrace me as my body shook. Focus. You can do this. Focus. My mind wanted to do anything but focus. My body wanted to be anywhere but on this table. The man explained, if I move, if I interrupt the test, they would need to start it over. I understood. I also understood that it would take more than what I possessed within myself to make it through this test, without rushing to the bathroom, without curling into that fetal position that continued to tempt me. Focus.

What would I focus upon? God, are you there? I can barely think coherently, but I know that you are the only one who can get me through this test. My focus will most certainly need to be on you. The machine began to move me inside the walls of the cylinder. And as it did, music began to play. Not just any music, but to my suprise, a familiar song of promise by one of my favorite artists. “Overcomer,” by Mandisa filled my ears. Yes, God was indeed here. My focus was on Him alone. My frail body. My fearful mind. Both were filled with laser focus on the Father who was in this cylinder with me. The Father who walks this journey with me today. The Father who would walk with me in the days ahead, as the cancer was removed from my body. The Father who made focus possible. 

Focus is not always an easy mission to accomplish. The distractions are endless; ongoing temptations attempt to pull us away from Focus. And then, God. 

I wonder what you may be encountering today that takes more focus than you believe you have within yourself. Do you have a work deadline, one that is weighing you down, that needs your focus? Do you have a spouse who is drifting further from you; one who needs you to take the time to focus on him/her? Do you have a child who is struggling, one who is exhausting you, one who calls for focus in a way that you feel you can’t give right now? You may not have the ability to focus on what is on your plate today, but I guarantee that if you change your focus to God, He will guide you. He will adjust the lens of whatever needs your focus today, and equip you with the strength to zoom in on it in a way that would be impossible without His strength. You may not be able to focus like you need to, but…God, He can.

I hope you are encouraged by these quotes, as well as these scriptures, that offer the reminder to put our attention unto the One who fill our hearts and minds with all things good. 

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.  1 Peter 1:13

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Aristotle Onassis

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25

Choose to focus your time, energy, and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.  Karen Salmansohn

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

Every day is a gift from God. Learn to focus on the Giver and enjoy the gift!  Joyce Meyer

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…think about such things. Philippians 4:8

When trouble comes, focus on God’s ability to care for you.  Charles Stanley

Misty Cramer is an author and speaker who enjoys walking alongside others in this journey we call life. Her deisre is to encourage others, as she shares the hope Jesus provides in the midst of life's darkest challenges, as well as it's brightest triumphs. If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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