answers, cancer, escape, friends, God, Laughter, Life, Love, People, Uncategorized


Today.  Today was the last day of the last treatment for my big guy.  Woohoo!  He’s been a trooper through it all.  He has endured eight weeks of five day stays in Springhill.  He has had 114 bags of chemo pumped into his body.  He has had optimistic days and grumpy days. I would probably have had a lot more grumpy days.  We can honestly and wholeheartedly celebrate Thanksgiving next week!  We are so excited.  We are headed to the mountains.  We planned this trip a year ago.  Lynn has always wanted to go to Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving.  We had no idea what the next year would hold when we gave the kids a year notice to plan for this Thanksgiving.  God is so good!  He knew.  He knew every storm we would walk through.  He knew we would desperately need time away as a family to breathe and be normal.   So we are off to a cabin in the woods.  We will sit around a long table eating turkey.  We will laugh and yes, we will probably cry.  But mostly we will enjoy time together away from the normal we’ve been living in for the last year.  We’ve had good days and bad days.  And He has been faithful.  We have been afraid and confident.  And He has been faithful.  We have been optimistic and unsure.  And…He has been faithful.  Because that is who He is.  He is faithful when we are faithless.

Deep breath.  I am thankful for every storm this year.  Every painful moment, every emotional roller coaster, every shaky moment has moved us to walk a little closer to Him, to hang on tighter to His hand, to acknowledge Him in our lives and to trust Him.  He allowed us to experience the love of His people through texts, visits, emails, meals and hugs.  He took away a job that allowed me to walk every step of the way with my big guy.  He allowed a precious moment with my Daddy hours before he went to be with Jesus.  He had his hand on my new grandson born 5 ½ weeks early without complication for him or my precious daughter. And I watched my big guy walk his beautiful middle daughter down the isle for her wedding. There are a few other storms that I won’t mention here, but in each one God was there, holding me up, brushing the hair out of my eyes and the tears from my cheeks.  I have missed more church then I ever have and I have had to step back in a few ministries, but I feel I am walking closer with Him then I have in a long time, because the walk isn’t based on any “works” or “faithfulness” on my part.  I am not sure if this will make sense to you as the reader, but I know what it means.  It means that inner part of me that sometimes gets a little wrapped up in doing, that pride part of me that rears its ugly head concerning being faithful was taken down a notch or two in the  midst of this stormy year.  I cried out and He heard me.  I cried out and He wrapped His powerful arms around me.  I cried out and He loved me right where I am.  Not because of anything I did or because I deserve it, but because He loves me.

God is amazing people.  We have absolutely no idea what the future holds.  And that’s okay.  Because we know He will be walking with us through it.  I trust Him.

answers, cancer, friends, God, Life, Love, People, Uncategorized

I Am Not Invisible

I haven’t written consistently lately.  I didn’t know why, until today.  My focus has been too much on surviving…emotionally.  Then as I was reading a devotional this morning  about the seasons of our life, I began to race back over this last year of an unexpected and difficult season.  Family issues, sickness, financial difficulties.  I have held my emotions in check, for the most part, in the presence of others.  But at night, laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, I have replayed every “thing” that has happened in my life, in our life, over the last twelve months.  Could I have done something different?  Did I do something to cause this?  Is there sin in my life unchecked? How can I fix it?  Instead of figuring out the answers to any of those questions, I just took a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other.  But today, instead of focusing on the difficulties, I have been focusing on the incredible blessings from this year.

Growing up I moved constantly.  If I could guess, I would say that in the first eighteen years of my life, I probably moved somewhere around thirty six times.  I know, hard to believe, but I am not exaggerating.  My parents were like Air Force gypsies.  I don’t think they every considered the impact on me or my brother the continuous revolving door of schools we attended.  I remember at one point, as a teenager, feeling invisible.  I could slip into a school and attend for a time and then slip out to another school and no one really noticed.  That feeling carried over into adulthood.  I always felt if I disappeared, people would never even notice.  I am sure many other people have had similar thoughts.  It wasn’t until we moved to Mobile after Dad retired, that I began to understand what it meant to have deep, meaningful relationships, and it wasn’t until I fully surrendered my life to Christ, that I understood that I wasn’t invisible to Him. I tell you this because those old feelings are still part of me and I fight against believing those lies, but this last year has shown me that people do care and I have experienced such an outpouring of concern and love.  Friends have listened to the details of the craziness of my sister betraying me and my brother and prayed with us.  I watched friends rally around my daughter and her husband when their sweet baby boy came five weeks early, ministering to them with big love.  Friends and family wrapped their arms around us when my Daddy died.  People reached out over and over as my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we didn’t know what the future held for us.  Meals were brought, prayers lifted up, messages and texts sent checking on my man and that still continues.  When I had knee surgery, again meals were brought and visits made.  A sweet friend sent someone to clean my house and even surprised me by paying for my haircut at the hair salon I use.  When my daughter got married a week ago, dear friends were there to decorate and make everything beautiful.  I couldn’t have done it without them.  God has reached out through them constantly telling me “I see you, Dana.  I hear you, Dana.  I love you.  You’re not invisible.”

I am so thankful for my church family.  I am so thankful for my long time sister-friend who has been with me through thick and thin. I am thankful for this year.  I know, crazy, right?  But I have learned so much.  I have learned what it really means to trust God.  I have learned what it feels like to be loved on by the people of God.

Hopefully, we are coming to the end of this cancer journey.  My big-guy goes in for his last treatment on Monday.  We’re almost giddy.  We are believing that when they do the pet scan after this treatment, we will hear the word “remission”.

The seasons of our life can be calm or chaotic, but we can learn from every season we walk through.  God has purpose in everything we experience.  I hope I have been a good student this year.