This is a little different blog entry because I am writing to you my dear sister! You are feeling weary and restless. Constant nausea is so draining. Not being able to eat to give you nutrition and energy is taking its toll. You have now been back in the hospital for 19 days waiting on the Dr.'s to have understanding a plan for treatment. Still no plan. Still no relief! Still not feeling well enough to enjoy doing anything while you wait to help pass the time. Billy's job requires him work from noon to 11, or 12pm or maybe later. You both are feeling the pain of your children almost having no parent at home since they only see Billy for a few minutes in the morning and on weekends. While you are joyful and full of hope and patient most days, you are hurting and battle some discouragement right now. You are especially discouraged that it seems to take your Dr.'s sooo long to figure out how to treat you. You are weary of hospital surroundings, and beds, and food, and care. You are so sad to miss another holiday with your kids. Remember... Your friends and family hurt with you and for you.
You have been here before. Right after the surgery. When you encountered your first setback with infection and a small bowel obstruction, and now again with this infection and possible fistula. It is because of where you are and where you have been, that I wanted to encourage you to Remember a few things. Things you have said at other moments that have helped you endure. I wanted to write them here so in the days ahead that will also be hard, you can return here to your story. The story you started to record in November of 2010.
You started this blog with the picture in your mind of the green meadows of our hometown of Meeker, Colorado. The picture of this in your mind gave you peace and rest. You had Psalm 23 in mind as our only TRUE rest is in Christ. "You make me lie down in green meadows, You lead me beside the still waters. YOU restore my soul; You lead me in the paths of righteousness FOR YOUR NAME'S SAKE." You have wanted all your suffering to glorify God's name sake. You have wanted it to be about HIM!
Saint Augustine said "You have made us for yourself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
REMEMBER: On these other occasions you have had these thoughts.....
-Following surgery when you were in
terrible pain, struggling to breath,
lifeless from low blood pressure,
and feeling the mental and emotional
impact of what this surgery
permanently means for your life,
you reminded yourself of those
in the rooms next to you that
were being given no hope for a
future and no opportunity to
raise their children or love their spouse
or family or friends. You thought of others in your
Cancer Posse struggling to fight off cancer and live.
This gave you perspective and kept you battling.
- At other times, when you were soooooo weary
of being bedridden, you told us you had a new
understanding and compassion
toward those who were permanently
bedridden or paralyzed, and were grateful
you could move around and still had
a future of walking and moving.
This perspective brought THANKFULNESS
and kept you in the battle.
REMEMBER; Corrie Ten Boom said
"Look outward (at what the Dr.' aren't doing) and be distressed,
Look inward (at your own strength) and be depressed,
Look upward (at who God is) and be at rest".
This morning we studied Jonah in community church and we learned 4 good lessons from his story. I told the pastor afterwards I thought he was speaking directly to my row of weeping people.
Lesson #1 : God's will is not always the same as my will! (His is bigger and better. His will is not to make sure we are happy, but it is to make sure we are more like Him. - Jonah 1 & Romans 8:28-29a)
Lesson #2 : Being out of God's will is a dangerous place to be! (God will do what he must to bring you back to Him and His plan will prevail. Jonah 1:15-17) There will be thanksgiving when you are in His will. Jonah 2:9
Lesson #3 : When God steps in and interrupts your life He IS thinking about you! (When God's plan is fulfilled he will step in and help you. Jonah 4:10)
Lesson #4 : Be careful - Learn from God's interruptions. (We cannot only have faith and love God when life is good. Jonah 4)
Jonah's journey shows us that God is in control and he cares about every single step we take and all people we meet along the trail. I pray that as I put one foot in front of the other I will listen for my Teacher's voice helping me to be faithful and transparent so that those I encounter will see God's will in action.
I looked back and want you to REMEMBER the many songs that you have spoken to you/us along the journey. Here are a few. May these words remind you and encourage you to keep on!
Dancing in the Minefields - Andrew Peterson (You and Billy's song)
And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for
While I'm Waiting - John Waller
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
Blessings - Laura Story
We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, you hear each spoken need
yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
You wrote this "In the words of a song from church this morning.....may I be sweetly broken; wholly surrendered."
Great is Thy Faithfulness - "All I have needed Thy hand hath provided" Strength for TODAY and Bright HOPE for tomorrow.
I remember one day in particular at the apartment and you were struggling and God gave you the perfect words and scriptures to calm your mind and spirit. He has done this on so many occasions and often through a note or scripture people have given you. You also received the following card in the mail that hit you perfectly on that hard day.
"The Oak Tree"
A mighty wind blew night and day,
It stole the oak tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found, with thanks to you,
Im stronger than I ever knew."
It is a known fact that once a tree is established, storms and drought actually make the roots grow deeper as they look for water. You dear sister are in a big storm and drought. Your roots are growing very deep and you will be as it says in Psalm 1.. "You shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit "in its season".
When we are hurting we all have to remember God's faithfulness in the past and His promises for the future. We are all weary of feeling helpless as you struggle and are grieving some of these losses with you. As you celebrate Easter in that MDA Hospital room, may you and our sweet Dad experience the comfort of sharing in HIS sufferings today (Good Friday) and the POWER and HOPE of HIS resurrection in new and personal ways. "...."That I may KNOW Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.." Phil 3:10
Can't you just see us all 7 of us marching out the door when its still dark to attend the church for sunrise service? Wearing our new easter dresses...and sometimes hats..and sometimes hating all those curls mom put in our hair!! ha ha Can't you hear us all singing one of Dad and Mom's favorite songs at the top of our lungs (not talking about you Joshua..ha ha) ?.................
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
I LOVE YOU and join the rest of your family and many, many friends and prayer warriors in asking God to comfort you, strengthen you, and encourage you....and may God receive the Glory!! --Nina