cancer sucks. it sucks because i could die. it sucks because it's jacked up my body. it sucks because i may pass it on to my daughter. it sucks because it makes me tired. it sucks for a lot of reasons.
in the midst of something incredibly sucky we get to experience some pretty incredible things. the bible talks about suffering producing perseverance and stuff like that. and we hear that in our suffering we get to experience Jesus. this is true and has been true for us since my first diagnosis last june. it's still hard and sometimes i'd wish it'd all go away. and i'm thankful for it. i'm thankful for the way it's shifting my heart towards compassion and grace. i'm thankful for the way it's allowing adam and i to experience a deeper intimacy early on in our marriage. i'm thankful for the way it forces me to have more meaningful conversations and thus more meaningful friendships. i'm thankful for the way it has stripped me of my pride (in some areas) and made me more okay with asking for help. i'm thankful for the many ways it's allowing others to enter into this with us. that comes in many different forms and i am grateful for each one. it's forced me to think about what kind of friend i am and want to be. some people know what to say and are able to boldly love me with their words. others have been given the resources to step in and provide actual services and gifts. i have been blown away lately by all the ways we are being loved. it's exactly what God desires for us, i'm sure. in all these ways i get a better idea of just how loved we are by God. and i just have to share it
- this past weekend some guys from our church came over to help adam revamp our yard. i've been wanting to get a sort of "fresh start" b/c our yard had turned into a jungle. no lie. we have a great yard but we are barely invested in it. so when it got out of control at the same time as our life we clearly needed friends to step in. and did they!! they gave up a saturday morning with with families to work in the steam of the day and did an amazing job. i wish i took before pictures. here are a few after.
- last week i got a call from the director at Central (where charis went to preschool last year while i worked) letting me know some folks wanted to sponsor charis for the year and her tuition was paid for. i would stop here to give you all a few minutes to pick up your jaws and wipe your tears. that's what i had to do. seriously?! yes, apparently. i have no idea who these folks are and i hope they know how freaking grateful i am for this incredible gift. since i'm not working this feels like such a luxury. and i know that in the midst of treatment i will be in need of a few hours to rest or clean or whatever. this is HUGE. i know charis will love it too. i think she'll get to be in the same class with the kids she started with, which is fun. but one girl in particular is her little buddy, so that's fun.
- this past weekend we got to get away to Asheville for our friends' wedding. i was so looking forward to this b/c a) we got a night away, b) there were going to be a bunch of friends there, c) we needed something celebratory and d) who doesn't love a wedding?! my friend and old YL leader emailed me earlier this summer telling me that adam and i were living out our own wedding vows..."in sickness & health, for richer & poorer." and this has stuck with me, so hearing the wedding vows and our pastor's homily was sweet for me. our friends got us a room...THANK YOU. and we just got to celebrate Reba & Allan at a beautiful sunset wedding in the mountains with a bunch of fun friends. it was so great.
- i miss YL staff a bunch. last week 3 of the staff girls took me to lunch and got me a Trader Joe's gift card. it was so sweet to catch up with them and to be loved by them. i think once fall hits i'll really feel the absence of being on staff. that makes me a little sad. but i'm thankful for the friendships i have with these girls and others.
- last year i started getting these handwritten cards from a "Barnabas Writing Center" and a sunday school class in Louisiana. the writing center is a ministry that prays for and writes to people going through tough times. they diligently write to us to tell us they are specifically praying for my healing and our family. the cards from the sunday school class are filled with encouraging words and names of folks we don't know, but who are praying for us. i also have gotten about 20-30 cards from my dad's cousin, Sylvia, throughout the past year reminding me that she is praying for us constantly. this is ridiculously amazing...to think of all the people i know and don't know thinking about and praying for us. and how sweet that they send cards reminding us of this fact.
these are just a few things out of many. God is providing the funds to help us pay for my COBRA. adam is meeting with a variety of people as he "networks" and searches for a job. I know the right job will come for him. people are keeping Charis for us so we can go to appointments, dates, and consignment sales. people all over the place are praying for us. i think i'm thankful for where God has us. i know that's weird to say. but i'm afraid i'd miss some of the things i'm learning if it wasn't for what we are walking through right now. i feel His mighty hand holding us tightly and gently molding my heart into what He desires. with the intense pain we get to simultaneously experience intense joy. i can't make that happen on my own. i can only allow myself to be bathed in the love of Jesus through others; both strangers and friends.
**blogger is having issues uploading pics so i will post pics later of our awesome yard of the month and fun wedding.