I wrote this blog entry in my mind for a couple of weeks but it took me longer to type out the words. The problem was that as we neared the end of this chemo marathon, weariness set in like a cloudy day. The reservoir of emotional and physical energy sunk quite low, and Jared and I were in desperate need for sleep. Thankfully, after a week of early bedtimes and no plans on the agenda, we are feeling a bit stronger.
With the weather so nice this week, I ventured outside for a walk. I decided the sun, fresh air, and a little exercise was just what my weary soul needed. I brought along my IPod, turned up my worship music, and stopped to smell the flowering trees as I strolled. I reflected on how faithful God has been to us through the last six months. Although this journey was more challenging than we even envisioned, God always provided what we needed.
My mind began drifting to the tangible ways God provided for us. It struck me that each was what I needed to help me endure a difficult day or a long week. And then I almost laughed to myself as I thought, Why am I surprised that God showed up during this overwhelming time? It’s who He is and what He does best.
Feeling inspired when I returned home, I pulled out my laptop and brainstormed the many ways I saw God provide for us over the last six months. I decided to share them with you because I am so grateful for the ways God used many of you to encourage me during my difficult journey. I will never to forget the ways He carried us through this time.
~Immediately after the troubling biopsies, we were referred to a talented, renowned oncologist who has given us great confidence in her knowledge and skills.
~Several women who have survived ovarian cancer and chemotherapy have encouraged me profoundly with their stories and advice.
~Friends in my Bible Study organized weekly meals for us. We have been in awe by how generous our neighbors and friends have been by providing for us so tangibly. And wow, they are amazing cooks!!
~I received countless emails, calls, and cards from loved ones showing their support. Being the words person that I am, the encouragement and reminders of truth have been invaluable to me.
~We have been so touched by the packages that have arrived on our doorstep and the ways they have sought to put smiles on our faces.
~Friends from Chicago helped me embrace my hair loss by planning a fun evening to shave my head. Friends too far to visit sent me beautiful scarves and hats.
~I experienced minimal side effects from my chemo treatments and remained healthy throughout the ten weeks—a testament to me of the power of prayer!
~Many friends visited me in the hospital or took me to chemo treatments. I will never forget how selflessly they pushed their agendas aside to sit with me even if it may have felt uncomfortable for them.
~Both my mom and Jared’s mom dropped everything countless times to serve us—whether by doing our laundry, swiffering our floors, preparing food, or hanging out in the hospital with us. We truly can’t express how grateful we are that they were here at the time we needed them most.
~My twin brother shaved his head and my younger brother called often to assure me that they were walking this journey alongside of me from afar. I felt so loved by all of my family members scattered across the country.
~My husband has communicated more unconditional love to me than I ever knew existed. I have always been madly in love with him, but my love and respect for him has grown exponentially as I’ve watched him handle this tough road. While still working full-time, he balanced his work obligations with taking care of me with such grace. He never once made me feel like I was a burden even when exhaustion threatened to overwhelm him. I couldn’t have chosen a more amazing man to stand by my side during such a challenging time.
Although I’ve just scratched the surface, I am truly humbled by how God has provided for us through this season. But I’ll be honest—there certainly were days where the fog of weariness shaded our eyes from seeing God at work. Yet, through those times, Jared and I tried our best to remind each other that even if we couldn’t trace His hand on a certain day, we trusted that He was working behind the scenes and that His character was still the same.
Do you need that encouragement now? Do you need the reminder that God is working in your life? Whether life seems to be working out quite well or life is collapsing around you, I encourage you to intentionally recognize the big, small, and seemingly insignificant ways God is working. I’m learning that sometimes it is just a matter of changing our perspective to notice His hand in our lives.
As I was finishing this post, a song from Jared’s and my wedding kept playing through my mind. The song, written by Sara Groves, plays off of the old hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and says, “All I have need of His hand will provide. He’s always been faithful to me.” I smiled as I remembered how faithfully God orchestrated every detail in bringing Jared into my life as my husband. God showed Himself faithful then, He continues to be faithful as we walk through our most difficult trial yet, and I am confident He will be faithful in my days to come, as well as yours.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion;
Therefore I will wait for Him.’”