Since I was a little girl, I've loved to read and write. Stories with happy endings are my favorite. I still have some of my first stories. They feel like little treasures that I can't bear to have anyone make fun of. The written word is my love language. Well, that and doing dishes and folding laundry (as if you couldn't guess!).
More recently, I've written our love story. I wrote about how God brought the Coach and I together. He's been so faithful to us. Orchestrating events in our lives to bring us to Himself and to one another. Then giving us the troops. Each of them such a precious gift and blessing to us and to each other. Each of them unique, each such a special part of our family.
I'm so thankful for it it all.
Maybe, I've thought, someday, there's a book out there for me to write. How God has provided and directed and cared for us. Along with some of the humorous things that life with eight kids has brought. Maybe some of the things we've learned along the way. Certainly never a lack of material around here, which is why this blog has been such a fun outlet for me for so long.
But now we're fighting this cancer battle. Something I never imagined we'd experience. A difficult, heart-wrenching, exhausting season that we are walking through.
I find myself telling God that this isn't the story I wanted to write. I wanted the funny, the entertaining, the tender parts for our family of 10. I wanted the troops growing up and marrying and giving us the grand kids that everyone says are so wonderful. I wanted the Coach and I, enjoying happy, healthy kids who are loving and serving Him. I don't want the cancer story, the sickness, the weakness, the pain, to be our story. I don't want this for my boy (God please have mercy!), and I don't want it for the rest of us. This is the hardest thing we've ever faced and I beg God every day to take it away.
Yet, in the middle of this, I keep remembering God's faithfulness to our troops. In the good and the bad. For over 22 years. He's led, protected, provided, tenderly cared for us. We've faced some hard things and He's never left us. We've come to know Him and found Him faithful. We can fully lean on Him and He will sustain us. He never fails.
In that way, whether the courtship story, or the big family story, or the cancer story...
It's all the SAME story.
Because it's not about how we were only engaged for eight weeks or how we didn't kiss before our wedding. It's not about how funny it can be to raise eight kids or how crazy it is to have them all in school together or even the six, six and under, season. As fun as that was. Sort of.
The real story is God's faithfulness. How He gave His Son for us. Offers us salvation for eternity. And along with eternal HOPE, daily HOPE for all of the seasons of life. All of them. Even the cancer one.
The real question? Isn't if I'll have a chance to write our story someday. Or which story it will be. The real question is how well my LIFE will tell the story of God's faithfulness. Because that's the best story of all.
Almost 23 years ago, when the Coach and I sat on my parent's porch and talked about our future together and prayed together for the first time, we promised each other that if God did indeed bring us together, we'd give Him the glory. That whatever story He gave us, we'd be faithful to share it. To honor Him in it. We didn't know what our future together held and we certainly couldn't have imagined this, but the commitment to honor God and glorify Him was in our hearts from the very beginning.
Today's part of our story didn't take God by surprise. He's been showing us all along that we can fully trust Him.
I pray for each of you as well, that you may know Christ, the fellowship of His suffering (even while begging for His mercy!) AND the power of His resurrection. So thankful for the HOPE He gives.