On August 16, 2016 we heard words we never expected and these words have changed our lives completely. Late that Wednesday afternoon the news came that mom had cancer… Mom is the person who never checks the “Cancer” box on forms because it hasn’t been in her side of the family – she’s that person… But in one day our lives were turned upside down as we began to wrap our minds around what this word meant for us.
Since that day we have spent a lot time seeking God, crying out, and pleading for a healing that would most glorify Him. Let’s be honest though, I’ve begged the Lord to let mom live here on earth, to keep being the person I call when I’m walking in a dark parking, to chat with while I shop, to possibly help me plan a wedding one day, and if I ever have children to be their Nana. However, as much as I want her here, when I settle my heart before the Lord I know my deeper desire to for more people to know Him and so if that means losing mom for His glory… it will be well with my soul even if it’s not well with my emotions.
The big picture is that we see God moving in many many ways as a result of the word “cancer” in our lives! We have found ways to celebrate even in the saddest of moments. A “CELEBRATE” banner hangs on the mantle at the house as a constant reminder!
As I look back over the start of this journey I see so many things we have learned, discovered, and embraced – here are just a few
- We have learned new terms and medical procedures
- We have found her favorite chemo caps and learned that mom’s head needs a petit wig not a small.
- We have discovered that the step up into an ambulance isn’t as difficult as the step down although depending on the day they can both be challenging…
- We have learned the importance of iron in the body and nicknamed her Iron-Woman after the bags and bags of iron that dripped into her IV.
- We have learned that recliners come in different sizes and if you take the measuring tape to the showroom floor it’s very helpful.
- We have learned how to let others love on us – and we have been loved WELL! The amount of meals, cards, flowers, money for travel, prayers, hugs, encouraging words, phone calls, text messages, and so much more have been an out pouring of God’s grace, love, and faithfulness.
- We have come to terms with a diagnosis of 3 weeks to 3 months but are daily believing God for a miracle.
- We have discovered that naming the tumor that caused so much pain makes it easier to talk about and it’s much more fun to say “Kill Tawanda!!!” than “hope the radiation shrinks the tumor.”
- We have seen old relationships reestablished, new friendship grow deeper, and seen the Lord bring new and unexpected people into our lives.
- We have learned to celebrate in the dark and hold tightly as we bring those truths into the light.
- We have seen strangers love on us and offer to help – like Pauline in Walmart who used to be a nurse, or the amazing people at Southwest who have booked and changed more flights for me than I can count, and the precious doctors and nurses who took such good care of my momma for 24 days in the hospital.
- We have come to appreciate and covet the prayers of other – there is group of girls on my campus that have been praying for mom since the day they got back to school. I can be walking down a sidewalk (almost daily) and one them will ask how we are or shout across the quad that they are praying (tears, I tear up every time I talk about that!).
- We have seen that tears help the sadness, can bring laughter, and just help make life better – a good ol’ ugly cry is just good for the soul.
- We have seen the Lord open conversations for the gospel in ways we never would have had otherwise. Deep conversations about the Lord have been life-giving and happening constantly.
Now that’s a LIST!!! And that’s only what I’ve thought of this morning! God is working and He is up to something great not only in our lives but in the lives of those around us.
For those of you who see yourself in this list – THANK YOU! For those of you I left out, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.
If the Lord has somehow used mom’s cancer in your life would you comment and let us know? We want to celebrate with you! Thank you all for being on this journey with us!