This morning I had a sweet moment. I snuggled with my grandson as I rubbed his little back and hummed the same tune I had sung to his mama as a baby. My grandson. Those two words still fall awkwardly from my lips. When I say them, I still feel as if I’m practicing words that are not yet real to me. He’s been here for over ten months and I’ve kept him three days a week since August and still I’m surprised that I am a grandmother. I often think of my Mamaw Bessie when I am holding him close. She had such a kind and gentle spirit. I remember the softness of her skin and the safeness I felt when she hugged me or I just sat next to her resting my face against her shoulder. As I held him and took in the sweetness of his eyelashes resting on his cheek, I continued to softly rub his back and pat his bottom. Without opening his eyes he slid his free arm up my arm and rubbed it slowly back and forth, then rested it there and slowly patted my arm. What a treasured moment of love. He is my grandson, my first precious grand baby and I love him so much.
Well. Today’s the day. We’ve come full circle in this cancer journey as we sit waiting, in a room full of other cancer victims, to have another PET SCAN. This one even more important than the last. This one will tell us the cancer is gone….or not. But our gut feeling is this cancer monster has been conquered! Our lives have revolved around that frightening “C” word for seven months. 2018 will be our year of woes that was filled with blessings. 2018 will be our year of victory over cancer. I am not as anxious or feel like a deer in headlights this time. I am not afraid. My big guy has faced this giant with courage, with determination, with soldier like strength and I believe he will walk away a conquerer. Some say they are cancer survivors, but i think they should call themselves cancer conquerors! Fighting this beast is an all out battle both physically and mentally! God has sustained us and will continue to sustain us. He is worthy to be trusted. He will hold you up when you feel you are crumbling. He will provide when you aren’t sure where it will come from. He will send one of His children to wrap loving arms around you or to hold your hand and let you cry. He will provide humor to get through difficult moments and He is faithful to walk every step with you. I knew this before….but I am absolutely certain of it now. I trust Him…..no matter the outcome of today.
Isn’t it crazy how God will use things that are filtering through your life unassuming and unexpected. It’s amazing to me how He will take the words of someone else and stir something up inside you that cannot even be explained out loud, only through the flying of fingers on a keyboard as you type out the thoughts and feelings building up inside like some long dormant volcano about to explode, spilling lava in every direction. Today. Today I happened upon one of my favorite writer and speaker’s excerpt from her new book. You know, the teaser pages they attach to the advertisement. As I read her words, I was immediately pulled into her life. I understood exactly her words pouncing across the page “Nothing helps me hash things out like a blank Word document with a blinking cursor.” I get it, Beth Moore. I’m there. The need to write causes a million words to swirl uncontrollably in my head until they form some wild tornado trying to find a place to make it’s mark. It cannot be denied.
I’ve resisted. I’ve closed my eyes to squeeze out the stories. To erase the thoughts that need paper. I cannot continue to write aimlessly. It seems like a pipe dream always out of my reach. Publication is some kind of validation for a writer. Some reward for being good enough. It is painful to long to write something incredibly profound and God honoring, only to find yourself reduced to writing in a journal that no one, hopefully, will ever read.
She expressed so perfectly a shared thought of how God can use a book to mark a life. Maybe it is because I have been marked by the greatest book ever written, the Bible. Maybe it is because my life has been changed by words from her Bible Studies and her books. God uses phrases and sentences from random books to reach out and touch that raw place inside of us that needs changing.
She had read a book, 21 Great Leaders: Learn Their Lessons, Improve Your Influence authored by Pat Williams, a motivational speaker and senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. I find it amusing that she was undone by what she read in that book. The questions asked were these: What is your dream? What is your vision for the future? How is it I am affected by these questions. What purpose does God have for allowing these two questions that Beth Moore read in a book a year ago to slap me in the back of the head as I read her words about those questions and how they rocked her world in this excerpt from her new book. If that even makes sense to you….you and I are on the same wave link. Beth Moore. Wow. She is the one Bible teacher, the one author, that has stirred up something in my heart so many times. Maybe not her, necessarily, but God using her. I want to have her ability to paint a picture so vividly that for just a moment, you think you are sitting across the table from her sipping iced tea and enjoying a great friend conversation. And then I read her thoughts, and they resonate in my heart. “What is your dream? What is your vision for the future?” Both wrenching questions that make me suddenly find it hard to breathe and try desparately to hold back the tears. Why? Because I only know the answer to one of the questions. Why? Because I am not even sure the answer I am thinking is even a possibility! Even now, I am faltering as I write because I don’t even know what the point of this blog is at this point.
I know one thing for sure and that is I love the Lord. After this many years of ups and downs, of struggles and victories, I haven’t lost interest in Him. He’s so incredibly worth it. He has and continues to rock my world. He watches me closely just as a parent watches their child as they go through each season of life, standing ready to catch them if they fall, hold them if they cry and high-five them as they conquer! Jesus is way bigger than I ever thought. He shows me over and over that knowing Him is an incredible journey. So whatever the answer is to those two questions, I’m sure He’ll give me a peep at some point. I may be 54, I may feel like the time is lost for me to accomplish a dream, I may not be able to even imagine Him using me as a writer….but I will rest in the truth that He’ll show me when it is time.
A very long time ago…I had a friend who told me “If you say it out loud, it will happen.” I don’t know if that is true or not. I’ve been known to say “Speak it into being…” And I don’t know if that is possible either. But I’m hoping, if I say what has me all anxious and excited, that these two thoughts could be true and it would become reality. But here goes….my friend, Summer, who I have known for 22 1/2 years but have never met face to face, have decided to write a book about our friendship. The circumstances put in place by God to even initiate our friendship are unique. I have followed her via snail mail, email and now texting over three continents. We have laughed together, cried together, rescued each other and encouraged each other through having babies, overcoming marriage struggles, lifting each other up in prayer and supporting each other through whatever life event overwhelms us. We have raised 5 girls between us and understand the ache we each have to see these girls God has put in our care to become amazing women of God passionate about changing the world. Yes, we are kindred spirits. We somehow always know exactly the right moment to write a note, send a card, or make a phone call to the other. We each have some sense of when the other is at a low point and needs to be lifted up. We do not judge. We only love and encourage. And we have never stood in each other’s presence and hugged and cried at the miracle God gave each of us in this friendship nearly 23 years ago. I hope the journey we share in this book will give those who think God isn’t listening a new hope and faith knowing that He is always listening.