Today was so restful. My sweet sister and mom decluttered our tiny house. I was getting overwhelmed looking at all the STUFF exploding from behind every door while being trapped on the couch. Confession: In the back of my mind today, I started wondering if Eva really remembered me (I know that’s silly and I blame the missing hormones and the devil trying to steal my joy) but the thought was still there. So many other sweet people have been taking care of her and feeding her the last week and I really did start to wonder if she was confused. How long does it take for a baby to forget a face or smell? Does she remember the breasturant!? And then, a sweet blessing, I got to take a blissful 45 minute nap with her by my side. I got to smell her and listen to her breathe. She nuzzled up right next to my neck and we both fell asleep. I needed to feel her close. I took the advice from a dear friend, ‘even if it’s for 1 minute – you hug Eva and you let her feel your warmth.’ I felt so much comfort in our little nap together. She surely has not forgotten who her momma is! I’m still here, my daughter!
Tonight I finally had a chance to start answering the flood of sweet messages and kind words pouring in… I’m so encouraged by others who have endured cancer and illness and were able to find the ‘good’ through the pain. I’m absolutely blown away by how PRESENT God is in all of this, in my story… placing me on the hearts of others to write and share with me, such personal pains and praises… weaving all of the stories and connections and relationships together… He is so creative. He is so much bigger than any of our pain or tragedy. You just have to look for it. We can count our misfortunes and failures with blinders on, or we can open our eyes and look for the good. I’m being dragged down this crappy cancer path, and it is going to suck. It already sucks, very much actually: goodbye missing lady parts! BUT by reading and hearing how others are getting encouragement from this already, thinking I’m being brave?! It’s so humbling. I don’t feel like I am at all. I see so many people go through SO MUCH MORE PAIN. I don’t know what brave even is! I’m sitting in my comfortable house with my medications and my baby and my billions of blessings. There are SO many others going through much much worse. But yet, I can’t dismiss it. I can’t belittle what God might be trying to do through this, somehow?
A friend shared her dad’s amazing story with me recently: “…at church this morning we sang “I believe you’re my healer. I believe you are all I need. I believe you’re my portion. I believe you’re more than enough for me. Jesus you’re all I need.” I couldn’t hold back the tears as I sang those words with you on my mind. You are such a gift to those around you. As I sit with my baby I just can’t imagine what you are feeling. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer I was 19. He got the diagnosis of a very rare type as well. I’ll never forget when he sat us down and said “Look. I have no doubt God is going to make an example out of us. Let’s live this journey out with grace and love.” It’s been 9 years since then and it’s so fresh in my mind. And you know what? Several people came to Christ over my dad’s journey, people wondered how we dealt with it so well and asked questions, then more people came to know the Lord. He even had a friend who had been in jail since they were in college who heard about him. He wasn’t a believer. He began a jailhouse ministry and is now out and a pastor. You never know who is listening to your story and I promise, you can’t even fathom how impactful your story will be. You are loved. Please know that! God has a plan and a purpose for all of this and though we may not be able to see it now, I assure you there is.”
So many other kind words are flooding in: “You are being so honest and transparent and so full of faith I know God is already using this for His glory. Look at how many people are praying to our Father on your behalf! You are walking through this horrible thing and pointing people to Him. Bless you sweet brave friend.”
“God is the ultimate healer! He does truly amazing things. So many miracles happen, but we just rarely discuss them.”
“You will look for beauty in the ashes, and share it like very few people could. God WILL redeem this. I know it. One day soon, when the questions are answered, the procedures done, and you have some normalcy back… God will give you opportunities to share your story.”
No pressure, huh?! I just can’t get over how this is moving so many people, people that I love dearly and some I hardly know. God is amazing. I truly feel like I’m just watching this from the sidelines. I can’t believe how everyone is responding, I’m in awe.
One of my friends shared Christine Caine’s story with me and I just have to share this quote:
“Cancer is not terminal. LIFE IS TERMINAL. I will live every second of every day that God has ordained for me to live on this earth, and then I will go home. The devil has no authority over my life. The blood of Jesus covers me, and He will take me home when He wants me. I don’t know how I’m going home, but like most people, I imagine that death will be the doorway; I just don’t think it’s time yet. I am not afraid of dying; that is inevitable, and I just refuse to allow the word cancer to grip me with fear. Tell me what we need to do. I am at a conference this week that is themed, “No other Name,” and I believe that there is a Name that is higher than the name of cancer, and that is the Name of Jesus. We are on a battlefield, not a playground; it’s time to go to war. You tell me what to do medically, and I will fight this spiritually, and whatever happens, Jesus will have the final victory.” -Christine Caine, http://christinecaine.com/content/my-story-of-healing/gjm8iw