Saturday, July 27, 2013

Where to Begin...

For the most part, in my opinion, my blog has been a happy place.  A little section of the web where I can post about the good memories that I don't want to forget.  So, when things happen that I'm not sure I want to look back on and remember, the blog sort of goes silent for a bit.

I'm just not crazy about those kinds of memories.  When Amelia went through her ordeal at one week of age, I didn't want to hold on to much of anything associated with all that.  We did keep the cute little monkey she received on the helicopter ride, which she still has, and she knows she got that because she rode on the helicopter when she was sick.  We kept a blanket that some kind, talented, crocheting lady donated to the hospital to give to a patient.  But that's about it.  No pictures taken of the event, and I remember when we were discharged to go home, the nurses asked if we wanted any of the cute stuff hanging on the door, and I emphatically said "no."  I don't regret any of that.

When my dear friend Terri passed away, some of her things were shared among us.  I kept very little.  I just didn't want the reminders staring me in the face when I wasn't expecting it.

And mom is sick.  I guess it's time to write about it because that's about all my summer has consisted of, and there's not much more to write about.

She was diagnosed with cancer over a month ago, and we're still not in the "treatment" stage.  It seems each test has thrown a curve ball into the situation and held things up a bit.  But we're getting there.

Turns out she has a uterine carcinosarcoma, which is a rare form of uterine cancer, that has metastasized.  Now we're in the hurry up and wait stage while the oncologists determine the best course of treatment.  As we wait, we pray and do all we can in the meantime - exploring nutrition, alternative medicine options, supplements - anything that might help.

I've mentioned on here several times how I love the 1000 Gifts book by Ann Voskamp.  It has come to my attention that it is indeed now time to practice what I have believed to be true in regards to true thankfulness.

My first thought ~ "How do I find thankfulness in this horrible situation?"  And my second thought ~ "Can my mom find thankfulness in any of this?"  I haven't asked, but I'm not sure it would be as easy for her to find thankfulness in the midst of her great pain and nausea that she is experiencing at the moment - but maybe she could?  For instance, a husband and daughters who are doing whatever it takes to get her well, doctors who are working to get her the best help for her situation, kind nurses, pain medicine!, etc.....

As for me, I've had so many situations occur throughout this relatively short time that I just knew were God moments - blessings He has sent my way to remind me He is always here and that He is not surprised by anything that is happening right now.  He has caused things to happen that have directed our steps in ways we otherwise might not have walked.  I wish I would have wrote them down because there have truly been too many to remember.

One particular "small" moment that comes to mind is one morning when I was on the way to the hospital, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast.  When I pulled to the window to pay, she said the driver ahead of me had already paid for my meal.  I nearly started to cry because their kindness was extra meaningful that morning.

Another ~ The work for my job has been coming in exactly as my schedule has warranted - lots of work on the days I'm home and the days I need to be away, either no work or just enough to accomplish in the spare time I have.  Not to mention caring, understanding employers who are willing to do whatever they can to help.

And another ~ Friends and family that have taken care of my children and done things for them that have helped them have a nicer summer than they otherwise would have had.

Also in the grand scheme of things, our vacation was planned at the very beginning of summer - before we knew of any of this.  Not a coincidence.  Nope, I don't believe in those.

I serve a great God who is in control of everything.  I read a rather sad blog post the other day by a "pastor" who believes just the opposite.  He seems to believe that everything is up to us.  He even went so far as to tell one of his church members whose husband had been killed in an accident that God did not have anything to do with her husband's death.  Seriously?  But we are talking about a health, wealth, and prosperity congregation where anything less than that cannot be of God.  Thankfully, he went on to say he never heard from that lady again.  Smart lady!

God is not the author of evil, but He is certainly sovereign over it.

Sort of reminds me of that movie "The Avengers."  You know, that part where the Hulk picks up the little guy who thinks he's a god and throws him around like he's a rag doll.  Afterward, he makes some comment about him being a "puny god."  To me, to say God is only control of the good things that happen is doing just that - making Him a puny god.  A God that is not all powerful.  One who is in control until something bad happens and then He just steps off His throne and sits back and waits to see what's going to happen next!? To see what WE are going to do?!?  How do you find peace in that?  I find peace in knowing that even when things don't go "my way," it is what is best because God is in control of my life and His ways are not my ways. All things are working together for good.

I know, they say it's all about faith.  I heard a good illustration the other day about that.

Two people are in the hospital.  One has been in a serious accident and is near death and the other is near death awaiting an organ transplant, which the person in the accident could provide.  How does God "decide" what happens?  Does He give each family a few moments to see who has the most faith or prays the hardest or the longest and then declares a winner?  That's just ridiculous.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

God has a plan, and He's not waiting on us to decide what to do next.  Have I got God all figured out?  Absolutely not.  Am I sitting back, hiding in a closet, waiting to see what is going to happen and not praying for my mom?  Absolutely not.  I am pleading with God to heal her because He alone has the power to heal, and I am seeking His direction in every suggestion and move I make regarding this.  Once again though, I know He is not surprised by what is happening right now.  It's happening for a reason.  Nothing is wasted with God.

Another thing to be thankful for?  It's drawn me closer to Him.  I've become a stronger person through this as I have felt His strength when I have been so weak.  Believe me, I'm not strong all the time, but at the times when I have needed to be, He has provided.  This has given me the opportunity to see Him in a way I could not have seen Him in health, wealth, or prosperity.  We draw closer to God in our pains more than we ever could from any of that.  I don't think we're smart enough to figure that out on our own and Satan would not stand for it, so where else could these things come from but from God allowing them.
“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis

No matter what, God is good.  He has a plan, and sometimes we absolutely do not understand it.  But He does.  And, I'm going to say it again, He's not surprised by anything that happens.  It's all in His hands. 

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works ALL THINGS according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  Ephesians 1:11-12

Even still, there's another thing to be thankful for.  My mom is still here.  Treatment is on the way, and there is still the opportunity for healing.  I have faith that my God can heal her if that is His will, and that will continue to be my prayer. My main motto during all of this has been to not "borrow trouble."  It can be very easy to let my mind wander to places it shouldn't, but the best thing I can do is take it one day at a time and trust my Savior with each step.

In the meantime, we can definitely use and appreciate your prayers so much!

I think I just made up for not posting for over a month. 8>)

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