Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reminders

I'll remind you all again that I am a born and raised Presbyterian. We do not go to the alter. I've been one time for myself. The day Elliana was born. But I have found myself drawn to those steps several times when friends go forward. For health of spouses, dealing with addiction, pain of miscarriage or anything else. This past Sunday I went for a dear friend who's son was recently diagnosed with diabetes. It has rocked their world. Yes, there are worse things, but this was a game changer for them. I adore this friend. She always has a smile. She is always helpful, welcoming, her hugs are like coming home. Her son is like my own. My heart was broken because hers was. As I went forward to pray, my husband followed me.

Little did I know that it would become a blessing for me.

I realize I am open with my struggles and my walk. My 6 month follow up appointment with the breast surgeon is on Friday. Dave and I will have to ask her some difficult questions. But the sermon was on Living in Fear and I have basically made up my mind on what will occur to my left breast. But while down at the steps, praying for my friend and her son, a new friend began praying over ME.

Knowing my road is twisting, she prayed for peace. For guidance. For God's hand in what decision I made. For my complete healing (I hope she meant my mind too!). That I have four children and a loving husband that I needed to be here for. That I had a ton of living left to do. For God to watch over me, protect us, and to let me know in my heart that He is there.

As my friend and her family left, I felt God surround this new friend, others, and my husband, and I knew I could no longer live in fear. I cannot stop the chatter in my head. I had breast cancer. It may come back. It may come in the other breast or somewhere else. But my story has been written!!  By a glorious and loving God! Why was I afraid? Why did I think I needed to make Earthly decisions when He had already written the upper story of my life???

So, thanks to the spoken aloud prayers of a new friend, I know what I will do. If the surgeon does not recommend doing a mastectomy on my left side, I will let my plastic surgeon do the lift he wanted to do to begin with. And I will live with the knowledge that my breasts will be matching for as long as I live. Or if my cancer comes back, until then.

But really, as much as God has done for me? How dare I not trust him??? How dare I live in fear of what is to come?? I will not. I greet it with open arms. God is my provider. He is all we need. He will blend my lower story with His upper story and it will be beautiful. I only need to do my part.

To walk in Faith.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

"Hold the hand."

Scared cries wake me from a light sleep and I lay and listen to see if they will settle and stop, or continue and I will need to get up. The house is quiet all except the whimpers that come across a baby monitor on the dresser. As the cries turn into shouts for me, I get up and go to our little girl. A bad dream. A scary moment in time. She wants held and to be "rockey." I comply. As I hold her small body close and she clutches me around the neck, we rock. Slowly she drifts off to sleep again, breathing deep, her clenched arms loosen.

It reminds me of how so many times I have had to let go in life and just be held. That I try so hard to be in control but in reality, I am not. My house gets dirty, my schedule gets messed up, my kids get sick, things don't turn out right.....but through it all, I am held. There is a Casting Crowns song that says in it something about when it feels like your life is falling apart, the pieces are really just falling in place. Cullen said this song reminds him of me. How I try to be so strong for everyone, yet in the end, I allow God to hold me close. My eleven year old is watching and learning how to lean on Christ through rough times. My heart is full.

In the darkest of the night I am always reminded of the journey of how I got to where I am. Times when on my knees I called out to God to direct me. Times when I did not wait around to listen, and other times when no answer came right away. Yet, there was always a path I was on that lead me following Him. With this small child's heart beating next to mine, I find myself in a prayerful state for those around me. For my family, for friends with stage 4 cancer, for friends newly diagnosed, for friends adopting, or finalizing, for friends going through painful relationships or infertility, for friends with new babies, or pregnant, for friends who's children have medical concerns or learning issues, for friends who have life long issues that never seem to go away. For myself.

In a few weeks I will meet with my breast surgeon again. We will run the six month follow up tests and make sure I am ok. That cancer has not popped up anywhere else, or in the other breast. I feel confident that my right side is ok. That unless micro organisms are in my chest wall, that the breast cancer is gone, along with the breast and nodes on that side. But I am worried about the left side. The side that sags because my implant bottomed out. The side that constantly hurts because it's misshapen. I have a decision to talk to my surgeon about. Do I keep this breast or have it removed as well. So I can stop the chatter in my head. Dave and I have talked extensively about it. In my gut I know I made the right decision to remove only one when I did, but in my head, I wish I had done them both. So we will see. The thoughts of having another mastectomy swirl in my head as I rock my baby back and forth. I'm ready for my breasts and cancer to no longer be in the forefront of my mind. I'm ready to do what needs to be done, and move on. But right now, I'm nervous, worried, and scared about what the decision holds.

As I lay my sweet daughter back into her crib, she stirs. I lean over the side and pat her making comforting noises that I have whispered to all of my children. To let them know I am there. I am watching over them. They are safe. As I lift my hand away from her warm body, she looks up at me, her arm shooting up in the air, "Hold the hand, Momma? While I sleep?" I eagerly reach down and grasp the small hand of the child of my heart and I am reminded again, I have always been held by God's arms. That He has always been close to hold my hand when I needed him. That is the greatest gift of all.

Hold the hand, Heavenly Father, hold the hand.............

www.youtube.com/watch?v=50lu1j2r53I