Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hard is hard is hard.

We're enjoying a weekend at the farm.  All eight of the troops here, I'm so thankful.  Even the coach, who never stops working, has slowed down this weekend.  When I got up this morning (late), he and Little Man were out on the pond fishing from the paddle boat.  Little Man wants to break yesterday's record.  Six, I think.  Now they are out shooting handguns at targets in the yard.  While I sit here in my jammies.  At almost noon.

The farm is one of our favorite places.  Along with Breckenridge, Colorado.  This Summer, we've traded vacation in Colorado for Chemotherapy.  So the farm it is.  Hopefully more than once.  Depending on treatment schedules and how our boy is feeling.

I think my blood pressure lowers when we pull in the gate.  There is still a lot of food and cooking and laundry and cleaning up.  But it's so lovely here and somehow I don't feel guilty sleeping in, or not showering until evening, or drinking coffee all day, or putting my feet up on the porch with a good book. 

This morning, as often happens, I woke up praying.  It's funny how when you go through something hard, it makes your heart more tender to those who are also suffering.  Even things that have happened in the past have made my heart hurt all over, again.  I understand, on some small level, what they've been through.  I've grieved the loss of others more in the last four months than I ever did at the time.  I just didn't know.  I still don't fully understand.  But I have some idea, at least. 

The Lord tells us that this will happen.  "Grace be to you and peace form God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."  2 Corinthians 1:2-4

For whatever reason, I've had sweet friends hesitate to tell me the hard things they are going through. Because comparatively, they say, it's not as hard as what we are experiencing.  And every time, I tell them, Hard is Hard.  Is Hard.  Your hard may be harder than mine, but that doesn't make this any easier for me.  My hard may be harder than yours, but that certainly won't help you hurt any less. 

Whatever trial you are in is hard for you.  And can I just remind you?  God is with you in the midst of it.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  He will give you the strength for today (or even this minute, if it's all you can do right now) and He will give you hope.  In the darkest days of our journey, we've learned this.  He continues to go before, prepare the way, and walk with us.  Every step.

It's doesn't take away the hard, but it makes it possible to keep going.  It keeps us getting up in the morning and facing another day.  Even when the day holds something we dread.  

We've so enjoyed this two weeks off of treatment for our boy.  He's feeling well.  He's only needed one transfusion and he's been able to stay out of the hospital, otherwise.  He was able to be with his class for graduation and make us SO proud as he shared what God's been teaching him.  

But the hardest is before us.  And we all know it.  It's the undercurrent in every moment we share as a family, even when we are laughing at Boo (daughter #5) so hard that we are crying. Even when we sit on the porch and talk, or watch through Monk episodes we've all seen several times.  We are enjoying these moments together and we are so thankful.  But we all know that on Tuesday we have to walk back into that infusion clinic and start chemo, again.  And our boy has such a long journey still ahead.  

The Lord knows.  He's with us.  And He's with you.  He promises He will be.  

"It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend

These are exhausting days.

The pace is different.  We do a lot lot less in many ways - activities, events, parties... we just opt out and stay home most of the time.  Then we do a lot more in other ways... doctors appointments, treatments, labs, meds.

It's so different from our lives six months ago.

I told the Coach last night that I find myself forcing certain thoughts to the back of my mind without even realizing it.  I can't keep going if I let those creep in.  But then something will happen and all of a sudden they are all there again, and it's almost unbearable.

This is our normal here.  We are getting used to the pace and the medical issues and our handsome son/brother and his amazing strength and heart.  He's ours and we are so proud.  But then someone else sees him for the first time in a few weeks, or says something (even kind), or asks a question (which is completely fine!) and we are pulled back to the shock of it all.  How horrible and sad it all is.

We don't live there every moment of every day.  But sometimes it hits with overwhelming waves.

Most days?  There is a lot of joy and laughter.  Sweet friends and family stopping by or sitting with us at treatments.  Movies and fruit smoothies and popcorn and more laughing.  Laughter is a gift.  It reminds us that even in the worst heartache, there can still be JOY.

We don't know how to do this.  It's a new challenge every day and we find ourselves with the rug pulled out from under us again and again.

So we've been hanging hard onto Romans 8:18, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Great suffering, great glory.

I don't understand how it works.  I don't understand WHY the suffering.  But I hang onto that great glory for my boy.

God promises us that the suffering cannot compare to the GLORY.  Oh Lord be glorified in us.

Some days I'd trade that glory for relief.  For no more suffering.  But that's not the choice we have in front of us.  So we choose over and over again to submit to this trial.  To ask for the grace for today.  The mercy to endure.  And that God will use it all for His glory.

Thank you all so very much for your continuing prayers.  I know that prayer is the hardest work in this.  Having you stand with us is an amazing overwhelming gift.  I can't adequately thank you for that.  

Thank you also for the meals, the cards, the messages, the LOVE you've showered us with.  It softens the heart ache on the days we don't think we can bear it any more.

We are so thankful that our boy was able to attend baccalaureate last week.  A hard and beautiful blessing for our troops.

We continue to thank God for these gifts.  And we continue to ask Him for graduation.  And the end of the induction phase of the protocol (hopefully in mid-June).  And more than that, for healing.  And most of all that God will be glorified in our family.  Even on the days we'd rather just run away from it all.  He is our strength.

Happy Mother's Day from our troops to yours.  With our love.