Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Whatever Befall"

When you stop and think about it, the things we look over and miss are probably pretty profound. I find myself being really nostalgic about small trinkets, thinking about how much they mean to me. I am emotional with many photographs all over my room, remembering how deeply I care about the people in the pictures. I have lately been impacted more than usual by many songs, hymns, and verses; even small lines contain huge thoughts.

My favorite hymn of all time is "Be Thou My Vision." I have sung it probably over 100 times but have never considered the line that says "whatever befall, still be my vision." I was struck last Tuesday with that thought - that I would be, in prayer, willing to accept "whatever befalls." I'm not sure I am ready to say that. If I have said it for years dealing with heartbreak, I don't know that I am ready to continue to ask for that faith.

But, I will continue to hope. To ask for faith. To remember these blessings in disguise. To be hopeful in mercies new each morning. To be encouraged by dear friends... I am not sure that I knew what it meant to "weep with those who weep" until now. The people in my life willing to enter into my suffering have impacted me more than they will ever, ever, ever, ever know. I desire to be that kind of friend, and I am learning a lot from them.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Staci, Erin, Campbell, Christi, Abby (Hassell and Cahill), Jamie, Bridgette, Katherine, Aubrie, Emily, and Jessica. Your witness makes me want to be a better person. Thank you for sacrificing your life and your self for me.

I leave for Mexico City in 24 hours. That beauty in the picture above is one of my greatest friends in the whole world and will be my tour guide for the next week. She is a teacher in Mexico City with the week off, and I am in desperate need of a little change/vacation.

I was worried about leaving - I can't lie. I have plans to be in constant contact with my family and to come home if I need to, but I just need to share about how grateful I am for my mother's heart. She has completely encouraged my trip, never once making me doubt, feel guilty, or be concerned about leaving. I simply envy the way that she cares for other people; I want to be like that.

This trip is for you, Mom - to enjoy life the way you enjoy life. To remember to seize each day and to value relationships above all else. Mexico, here I come!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011


This season of life has brought about so many different emotions in the midst of Mom's cancer. I can't even begin to start to explain the different thoughts that fly through my mind at each moment of the day. Yesterday was different, though. I was struck, convicted, and almost embarrassed at the small amount of thought that goes into what Jesus did for me. For all of us. We have this incredible redemption because of the Crucifixion and have an eternal promise of heaven, and yet, how often do we completely overlook that promise?

One of Laura Story's new songs reminds of "every promise kept," but I'm not sure what promises I cling to daily. I think that I falsely consider that Jesus promised we would always be healthy. Always be happy. Always feel loved. Always have what we want. I forget that in this fallen world, I am promised heaven. Redemption. Mercies new each day. Sins forgiven. Unconditional love. A Father. Jesus. To never be abandoned.

I was struck yesterday with gratitude for me and for Mom and for my family and for my friends and for every single person... Struck with the promise that redemption is ours. That we will not be let go. And that we are promised heaven. I want my mind to be so intrigued by that truth that my mind would consistently be drawn to that promise. In the midst of the sadness and grief, I would be grateful for what lies ahead - no sin, no sickness, no sadness. I want to go.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beauty in Death

(Warning. This is a raw post about death and suffering. Just want you to know before reading.)

If you know me, you probably know that my Mom has been battling cancer now for almost 6 years. She is the bravest person I know and has battled this because of her love. She loves life so much that she wants to live for it - for me, my siblings, my niece and nephew, my dad, her friends, her church... I'm very sure that she is the most giving person I know.

Very recently we found out that she has brain cancer, which essentially means that the cancer has just gone to her brain now. From the way it appears, we are in the last few weeks, maybe even days of her life, and my world is vast with emotions. I am grateful that Jesus is near to her. I am jealous that she is closer to heaven than all of us. I admire that her faith is so strong that she has full confidence in her Savior. I am mad that I won't grow up any longer with a mother. I grieve over the sadness that I see in her body. I fear the next few days and what that means for her body. I cry when I see old pictures of my family. I laugh at stories that Mom has told maybe a few too many times. I am confused about how I am supposed to feel and how to go about life like this.

So, I take things one day at a time. I am surrounded by things that remind me of my Mom, of the love that she has for me as a daughter, of the strong and believing Christian that she has always been, of the constant sacrifice she has made each day of her life. I long to be the mother, daughter, friend, believer, sister, aunt, and companion that she has been in her life. If you know Mom, you know that is not an easy task to take on because she is the best, but I long to live like she has lived.

In the midst of all of this, I am so grateful for how I have changed and grown. I love better and want to be a better person. I know stronger of the bonds that I have in my family and fight for those on a daily basis. I remember on a moment-to-moment basis of the blessings that we have. I focus on living each day in a way that would be pleasing to God and make my dear mother proud.

I long to be someone who treats others as if they were in my shoes. Or mom's shoes. Or anyone else's shoes dealing with terminal cancer. May God make me a compassionate, kind, loving, generous person and nurse each and every single day.

And from the bottom of my heart, Mom, I am proud to be your daughter. I won't ever forget you, and I can't wait to tell my husband and children about the incredible life I have had with you. Thank you for what you have done for me; I could not have asked for more.