Specific days are interesting. Looking at the date on the calendar can bring back so many memories and emotions. It’s fun to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and see how far you’ve come. There are dates that you didn’t intend to necessarily remember; they aren’t written on any calendar, yet you know. I know that April 19, 1997 is when Ray and I started “going out.” I remember that it was September 11, 2007 when we first got a call about Lily. There are, of course, sad days to remember, as well as the happy ones. I looked at the date this morning: January 4th. I guess this is a day I will always remember now. One year ago, I sat for hours in the ER hoping they could give us some answers about my health. I hadn’t been feeling well for over a month. I was running a fever, and Ray said, “It’s time.” We dropped the kids off at school and walked into a Covid filled hospital. It was so full and so many people were sick. I thought several times, let’s just come back later, I’m not that bad. It was finally my turn, and I told them I had a pain in my stomach. Maybe my gallbladder?? To be honest, I was afraid they’d tell me I was just constipated! Ha! They, thankfully, decided to do a CT scan.
I got back to the ER room, and we waited for the results from the scan. I remember the Dr coming in and sitting down. He was so kind. He looked at me and said, “your abdomen is full of cancer.” I was calm and listened to the facts – which were few and unclear. I needed more tests, I would meet with an oncologist, I needed a colonoscopy. What? What did he just say? He left us alone. Ray then came to me, held me, and that’s when the tears started. I remember saying, “I wasn’t done! I still have things to do, we have to make it to 25 yrs!” It was all so overwhelming and difficult to process. We then went home and told the family. I am glad we did, because after the next day, things started moving very quickly. I was admitted to the hospital a few days later, and my first chemo was on the 12th.
So, one year later… I have had two clear PET scans. As far as we know, I am in remission. It may sound crazy but 2022 was a beautiful year. I was closer to death than I have ever been, and therefore able to look at life through a new lens. I am different. I have experienced the peace and comfort of Jesus in the most amazing way. I finally understand James 1:2 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” It still doesn’t make “sense,” but I experienced the Joy of the Lord during the difficulty. What a beautiful miracle. Joy during pain? It can only be from God. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to lean on HIM alone.
We sang “Make Room” on Sunday & these are some of the words:
I will make room for You
To do whatever you want to
Your way is better
Here is where I lay it down
You are all I’m chasing now
This is my surrender
What a beautiful way to start the year. I’m confident that HIS way is better. I want to make room for HIM to do whatever he wants to with my life. Whether it is in Health, sickness, or death. I surrender it all and trust HIS ways.
January 4th, 2022 was the start of a beautiful journey of love, trust, growth, strength, and victory.
Can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2023. His way is always better!