Saturday, April 30, 2011

A "God Week"

There have been all kinds of things happening this week, so I decided I would call it a "God-week"....his reminder that HE is in charge - not us.

In the last 7-10 days, areas from Kansas to Ohio and Texas to Georgia have been pummeled with rain, flooding, and tornado's. People are losing all the material things they have worked so hard for - and some of their most prized possessions.... loved ones. Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, AL, my Army home for six years, was torn to shreds in EF4 and EF5 tornado's. This pains me as I watch the people look for their loved ones, their pets, and pieces of what may be left of their homes. My heart truly aches to see anyone feel such great loss.

My cousin is making her way through the beginning stages of her breast cancer experience and I pray for her daily, to receive good care from the doctors, and mercy from God. And my friend Debbie, well, she is not so good. She is in the last stages and is now with hospice, and back in the hospital with a signed DNR. She has a tube running through her nose into her stomach to drain the fluids that have built up. I could feel the tears as I left her bedside. I don't know if that is the last time I will see my friend or not.

On a spirited note, this morning, I went for my Graduate photo's. I will finally graduate this coming month and I am thrilled, however, it is overshadowed by the things going on around me. And that is very much ok - so many others are in such great need. Lord, give them strength....

We should all say this: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and staff, they comfort me." I don't know what HIS plans are, but I must trust they are good and our lives were planned for us long before we entered this life.

I know that my own journey with breast cancer has been quite a haul. There were days that I wasn't so sure I would make it and sometimes, like this morning, I feel guilty. Days when my body hurt everywhere, and I looked just awful (to me)... and I was hit by a car, and got the flu....and the list goes on and on....but I never gave up. On the contrary, I would look up and just say, "Really?? Come on, give me a break." Now, I just want to say, "Give them a break."

If you are entering into a journey of your own with cancer, you set your pace between you and God. Trust HIM to get you to where you are supposed to be. I can only say that of all times when I should have lost faith in everything, I found it and found myself, and remembered that family, faith, and love is what living is really all about.

In this "God-week" of turbulent times, hug your loved ones a little closer, smell your child's clean hair, sit by the beach and let the sun warm your skin, or just sit quietly and listen for God. HE is there, watching, waiting, and carrying you just when you will need him most. And, if you can't hear him - call me....he might be a little busy.....

Much love....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time Flies - Easter Message

It has been some time since my last post and I have been very busy. My oncologist has finally allowed me to go 6 months in between appointments, and my reconstruction specialists are about done. The only thing left to do is paint a pretty picture, if you know what I mean (color them in).

I've been doing well taking vitamins regularly with minerals to help support and sustain that which my body needs. I have also taken my awareness to a heightened level where stress is concerned. I do not want to become very stressed out any more as a part of me believes that for so long I lived that way. Now, I let go and let God as much as I possibly can. At least I'm trying...the fates test me regularly.

Too many classes and two thesis' later, I will graduate with a Dual Master's degree, with Honors, on May 7th. Throughout all the chaos of the last two plus years, I continued my education. Mostly, to show my children that they can do anything they set their hearts and minds to do regardless of the situation. It has been a very challenging and difficult time as my mind has wandered all too often, compliments of chemo I'm sure. I've been lucky in that my instructors have allowed me to use my laptop when my hands and bones hurt, and notes at critical pathways that would help ensure my success. I thank them all genuinely for their patience and support. I hope to become a successful and compassionate college instructor myself after graduation.

Just recently, I learned that my cousin has been diagnosed with Stage II IDC. I remember that awful gut wrenching feeling of not knowing what really lies ahead. Not being in control. Cancer sure has a way of reminding us what humility is. She is a strong woman though with a strong family and friends network, and I believe that she will come through this just fine.

As a young girl, a few years her junior, I always looked up to her. She was tall and beautiful, and a model. And she had this infectious laugh that could make a whole room laugh. And she did, and still does. I still remember my dad saying something to her that made her blush 50 shades of red and the family roared with laughter. Carolyn, you are still beautiful, and regardless of what you choose to do, you will STILL be beautiful when your treatment is over. The good Lord knows what he is doing. Keep the faith cousin, and remember what your knees are really for. HE will carry you as he has promised. For my friends, please say a special prayer for her.

Now on to a special sermon of sorts. With Easter on our door steps, may you all be gently reminded of what Easter is really all about - the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a time to celebrate HIS victory over death and man's hope for eternal life.

Before His death, Jesus had promised eternal life to those who followed Him. That Jesus rose from death reflected his infinite power. And ever since I was a little girl, the one message that has been said over and over and over that Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting eternal life." (John 3:16).

This Easter, wherever you are, I wish you hope, peace, and love. Always.