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