I remember that before I was healed a friend posted a comment on here about what a roller coaster all the cancer stuff was. I was still cautious about being so vulnerable on here so I was a little offended. I felt like she was saying I should stop getting my hopes up about about things, to just sort of live in neutral. Since then I have had seasons of wishing for this neutral myself. It is hard to be so passionate about whatever’s going on in life that when it turns out badly it’s like part of you dies a little.
Yesterday at tee ball I chatted with friends and moaned about the heat while Abigail gingerly batted and skipped around the bases. I barely paid attention and mostly waited for the game to end so we could get on with the day. On the way home Abi mentioned that a little girl on her team doesn’t have a mommy. Because her mom died of stage 4 cancer. One of my first thoughts was, “Why didn’t I know?” because I’m That selfish. I actually think I know every woman in town who is sick. Or that I have a supernatural sense for when a motherless child is on the tee ball field. Or that it would have actually made a difference if I had known.
My next realization was that it could have been me. With one different choice from our Savior, Abigail would have been the motherless one on the team. Naomi would spend her time in daycare and the workers there would feel so sad when she was confused and tried to call them “Mom”. It could have been me. God doesn’t make mistakes, so it shouldn’t have been me in that sense, but if you look at how worthless I am as a person, a mother, Christian, wife, sister, daughter and friend, it should have been me. Someone who doesn’t even enjoy the blessings of this life doesn’t deserve to be the recipient of a miraculous gift. But as quickly as that sorrow sinks in, it is replaced by the Lord’s still, calming, all-encompassing peace. He saved me because of His grace, His mercy, His plan–not mine. I could actually be a fruitful person, I could be close to perfect in all I do, gracious, devoted, and compassionate. But I still would never earn His love.
God renewed my passion for writing about three years ago. I had it when I was little then it died off, as the creative bits of me were replaced with interests of a more scientific and concrete nature. I am sure it was He who rekindled it within me, in preparation for expressing this encounter with evil cancer and death. However, I don’t know if it was His original intention for me to pursue writing all along or not. Regardless, I know the novel I wrote a few years back was practice for blogging and whatever writing I will do in the future. Since the cancer journey began I have wanted to write about it, in more detail than this blog, but knew it wasn’t the time. But I’m quite sure now is finally the time. Passages and stories from my book (or articles, too early to tell) come to me whenever I’m not focusing on the kids. I’ll be driving, exercising, or trying to sleep and really good stuff comes to mind. I rarely am able to write it down before I forget, but I’m trying.
‘m going through this blog from the beginning as sort of a starting point for the book. I get anxious before opening each post, afraid I will be embarrassed by what I said back then, or that my heart will hurt so much when I re-live those moments that this time I won’t survive. But each time, God carries me through. I am amazed by the way He clearly carried me through the worst days. I am encouraged by the grace He gave me and the love He showed me through all you readers and friends.
So far, these memories have come back from reading through the blog:
–I actually didn’t think it could get worse than finding out I had cancer (before we knew it had spread; Acts 1:7, “He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”)
–Suddenly had to wean Naomi and she was so distraught…but she finally took a bottle on Thanksgiving! (Matt 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”)–The first very sick person I ever saw, who made it all so real. I am still so sad thinking about her. She was young and her mom had to be a strong advocate for her. It was so pathetic and heart-wrenching to hear her mom begging for a bucket for her daughter to throw up in, as the daughter couldn’t hold a bag. The pessimistic side of me thinks that young woman has probably passed away by now. I pray for that whole family and wish I had the presence of mind to reach out to them back then. (Matt 17:20 “Jesus told them.”I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.)
–The love, love, love God showed me through all His children. (Proverbs 11:25 from the Message Bible “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”)
–It has always been about my not wanting my babies to grow up without me. With His grace, they won’t have to. (Mth 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”)
When I first started blogging I was fearful of going public with my innermost thoughts and fears. I hate to be judged and knew I was exposing myself for just that. But being able to be honest on here is what makes it cathartic for me, and is how I bond with you all. I am still amazed by the outpouring of love I have received from it, and am certain that it is the attraction we each have to vulnerability that makes it a success. So, in addition to thanking each of you for reading, praying, and loving on me, I suggest that everyone considers writing down the details of their trials. It might help someone someday, whether it’s the writer or the reader.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
We got in last night, right before a storm. It started this morning, just in time for my appointments at MD Anderson. There was a tornado watch and flooding everywhere. The signage here is awful so I trudged through the rain (without an umbrella) for half an hour before finding the place. Soaked and frozen, I texted with friends that it could only get better.
Thanks to Joy who showed me the interactive map! I put the states we need prayer for in a comment on the 50 states blog, but couldn’t upload this map. I just wanted you to be able to look and see what God is doing. There are also people in tons of countries praying (full list in comment on 50 states). This prayer for his people is spreading like wildfire, and everyone who’s praying is being obedient and awesome for His Kingdom. 1Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” That’s what you’re all doing for me, and most of you don’t even know me. I don’t even know people in most of the states where people are praying. I am so humbled by your kindness, I would love to beg you to stop and focus on other things. But I really desire healing for the sake of my babies, and I really want to see whatever awesome plans God has for this big experience. It’s so fun to be a part of it. I’ve never personally seen God work in this way, with the spreading of prayer and concern for someone like me to go so far and wide.
Am I the only one pumped about this? Throughout the drama, I haven’t done much wondering of “why me?”, but I have wondered just “why for anyone?”. I know it’s for growth and glorifying Him. I have a few thoughts of how God is going to use this for my own growth (which I’m too blind still to see the specific areas He might be focusing on), and for some family members who just don’t know Him. I’ve gone so far to consider pounding on them until they accept Christ because maybe that would mean the mission is accomplished and God could heal me. I’m relatively certain that isn’t the way to go though. Regardless, I see without any doubt now that this movement from God to get so many people concerned and praying is way beyond me. I have complete strangers emailing me, stopping me in stores, etc. He’s moving on these people’s hearts. It’s about Him and His people, who He’s mobilizing and unifying for His purposes. It’s similar to the time in Genesis when the people got together and decided to build a tower to heaven. They were not doing the right things so in that case God confused their language to keep them from working together. But now that we live by grace and are focused on God, we can work toward the common good of His people and His name instead.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m so glad for all who are on this fast-moving God train with me. God can do whatever He wants, with whomever He wants. He doesn’t NEED us to do His work (remember, He hardened Pharaoh’s heart multiple times, got a donkey to speak truth to a prophet, etc.He’s not waiting around for a few good men to enlist). But we’re invited to join Him and it’s an honor to do so. Big things are going to happen, and big blessings and valuable experiences come from such things. Thank-you for coming aboard!
Worst day yet. Got word it spread to lungs and 2 spots on my spine. This makes it Stage 4, which is considered incurable. Typically I would have 1-3 years, although being so young might help. I didn’t expect the spine part, so I’m sort of blown away. And honestly, I didn’t realize that it’s not curable. I thought there was a cure, it just didn’t necessarily work for everyone.
I didn’t think it could get worse than Friday’s call about having cancer in the first place. But this is a lot worse than I imagined. I guess I thought everything was curable until you get treated and it doesn’t work. So I didn’t think I’d get this info so soon. Blown away.
1 Praise the LORD.<sup class="footnote" value="[a]”>[a] How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The LORD sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12 Extol the LORD, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.
13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.<sup class="footnote" value="[b]”>[b]
Praise the LORD.