Monday, February 11, 2013

Scars and Struggles On the Way

Sunday, February 10, 2013
I put together a playlist of songs that I find encouraging and that remind me that being in the darkest place with God is better than being anywhere else without Him.  They played one those songs in church on Sunday.  I felt comfort and peace with each word I sang.  It was full of so many truths that I just can’t help but feel overwhelmed by how much I am loved by God! Margaret Feinberg put my thoughts to words, "Even in the midst of hardship, God's Spirit infuses us with unexplainable joy." 

"Never Once"
Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

I finally sent out an e-mail to some friends to let them know that I had heard the news.  Did I mention that I really don't like having to share this news?  I really don't.  Here's what it said:
Hi friends!
Most of you know about the whirlwind week of doctors appointments and waiting I've been through. On Friday afternoon my doctor called with the news that I have breast cancer. I'm still in shock and adjusting to this news and I don't know anything else. I'll be meeting with a surgeon on Tuesday morning to find out more about the type and stage of the cancer, learn what the next steps are and what my options are. I would really appreciate your prayers as my family and I make decisions this next week. In the middle of testing and infertility treatment, this was a detour that completely caught us off guard!
For the most part I've been able to stay calm and rest in His peace. I'm definitely overwhelmed with how God has shown the depth of His love for me in the last few days. God has made it quite clear that He's got this and I'm just along for the ride as long I trust in His plan! I am having a hard time putting words to my prayers and am thankful for the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf.
Would you join me in praying for strength for my amazing husband, Rick. He's being so strong for me and Ella, but this is breaking his heart. Pray for wisdom as we gather all the information and make some decisions.
Pray for my parents. As a parent myself, I know it would be near impossible to watch my daughter have to face this and not be able to do anything to change it.
Pray for my sisters as they are miserable and feeling helpless in Missouri (and my sister Jamie's surgery to repair her torn ACL on Thursday.)
Pray for peace and comfort in those moments where my mind drifts to the worst case scenario.
Pray for God to provide financially through this time. We're still getting back on our feet after Rick's season of unemployment and our emergency fund is not ready for this! Rick does not have any vacation time built up yet either.
Pray that I'll stay otherwise healthy and that this cancer will be easily removed and treated. And healed.
And above all, pray that God will be glorified in this situation. That I can be a light to those that need it, that God's message will be shared through this situation and something beautiful will come from this.
As I find out more I'll keep you updated as I can. Maybe I'll start a blog to pass along info. Or maybe I won't. Who knows! Writing about what has been happening has been very cathartic! I am hoping to attend the Encounter worship time at church on Wednesday (If I am able). Would you join me there? Worshipping has been the best way to keep my mind off the cancer and focused on the One who is going to see me through it! Just a thought! And one last thing, I'm still me. I know how a scary diagnosis like cancer can make people unsure of what to say or what to do and to avoid saying anything hurtful or offensive, we say nothing (or at least that's how I felt on the other side.) Please don't let that be the case. I don't mind answering questions or talking about this at all. But, I still want to know what is going on in your lives and want to pray for you, too! So keep in touch! I love you and am thankful for you!
Later that evening, Rick and I were sitting on the couch and one by one, responses to my e-mail came in.  Every couple e-mails, the tears would just start flowing.  Rick would ask, "What did she say?"  Friends are amazing! The outpouring of love makes me cry more than the initial news!  For the most part, everyone is shocked.  That's a popular word.  Along with sad, heartbroken, angry, confused and just about every other emotion.  But they were also full of uplifting words reminding me that I am strong, my God is stronger and that He will ultimately get the glory!  A cancer diagnosis is like truth serum, everyone speaks up and shares how they really feel about you!  Or they are just trying to make me feel better.  I'm going with the first one.  Either way, God used my friends to encourage me and affim my faith!  One even told me that she would be running the Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure in May in my honor. That blows my mind! (First that people actually enjoy running, second that she would do it in honor of me.)

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