One year ago. One year ago we were being hit by one storm after another. But the ultimate storm of cancer came and stayed….and now, on the other side of that storm looking back, I am once again reminded of God’s faithfulness, His provision, His comfort, His healing power. I read back over the blogs of the past year and I see a woman clinging desperately to the Savior. I am reminded of the woman who reached out to touch the hem of His garment and I understand her in a new way. I know myself, that I have tightly gripped the hem of His garment in my clinched fists refusing to let go. We have walked through this cancer journey saying over and over “I trust you” aloud for ourselves mostly, but also to our God, declaring that while we don’t understand, and while we know His plan is perfect, and while we were even fearful at times, we would TRUST HIM, no matter the outcome. Our faith is stronger, our family is stronger, our love is stronger and our compassion is stronger. Today, after a year of diagnosis, biopsies, surgeries, chemo, radiation, doctor appointments, uncertainties, waiting, frustrations and sometimes fear, we got the official words of cancer free. I hesitated to even post this because we have friends and family still doing battle with this evil disease. But I want those reading this who are in the battle to be encouraged, optimistic and strengthened. God is with you and you can trust Him with whatever the outcome of your journey may be. People have stated over and over that “God is good” and it is so true. But if we had gotten different news, and the battle with cancer had continued, the truth is that God is still good. He is good even when things are seemingly bad in our lives and life’s storms are coming at us so fast they are tearing us apart. When we feel like we can’t catch our breath between storms and we are staring death in the face, God is good. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. So wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever battle you are in, trust Him. “Be strong and courageous, do not be discouraged or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
So we’ve reached another hurdle to jump in this cancer journey. Radiation. It started with a doctor appointment on December 13th. We heard many new medical terms and explanations of radiation procedures. We were again in information overload, but, we left confident that this would be the final kick in the butt of this cancer that has been an uninvited visitor in our lives for the past nine months. It took the programmers, physicist, doctor and who knows who else a month to configure and calculate the big radiation machine (I’m assuming it is a big machine at this point but have not seen it). All this for 22 prescribed visits of 15 minutes of a laser type of radiation to be precisely shot into my big guys body, carefully dodging his kidney, aorta, pancreas and spine while basically frying the shrunken mass. Literally from entering the room to walking out of the building only takes 15 minutes! I am praying they clearly have that mass in their sight before they pull the trigger. I am sitting in the car right now waiting, looking at Springhill Hospital and thinking about how much time we have spent at this facility over the past months and feeling thankful that God created people who have the knowledge necessary to treat people who have been shocked by the word “cancer”. God is so good. I am not oblivious to the countless sweet people who are still struggling for answers and successful treatment. I am thankful He has walked every step with us and blanketed us in peace and the security He is with us. I am thankful that Lynn’s treatment seems to be working. I will never take our time together for granted, and will continually thank Him for letting me grow old with my big guy.
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.