What a difference a few days can make. Whether it’s your life, your health, your outlook, or your attitude……having a chance to reflect on “what was” and “what will be” can truly be good for the soul.
Sunday through Tuesday of this week this cancer and chemo kicked my butt. BAM – outta nowhere, I was feeling fine and then…..not so much! I found myself disappointed that I wasn’t feeling better, that i wasn’t able to do something so simple as go to the grocery store by myself, that for a few days, cancer was “one-upping” me. But yesterday and today…..things shifted. I felt a bit better. And today – very clearly – I was able to see that even in those moments where I felt like crap, where my life was not like I would have wished it……….I was able to see that God was absolutely continuing to bless me even in the midst of all the ugly.
Last summer, our son Hunter spent over 30 days away from home. Between Scout Camp, a 2 week Out West Trip with his Scout Troop and a mission trip with his youth group – we saw our son very little. It was, indeed, a summer of growth for ALL of us. Yes, he’s spoiled, but we have been very diligent about pushing him out of his comfort zone at times. He just needs a little push – and then he’s fine. I firmly believe he’s become a better kid because we’ve allowed him to venture away from us and experience life without us and on his own terms. Having a full summer last year, this summer we were all okay with scaling things back a bit. A week of summer vacation, a week of scout camp and a youth trip would be plenty. As luck would have it – his church youth trip and the week he would attend Scout Camp fell on the same dates – so he made the decision to attend Appalachian Service Project with his youth group. They will spent a week in rural Kentucky doing mission work and helping do service projects like build porches, paint houses, etc. (they leave this coming Sunday)!
I realized yesterday just how much I’m going to miss this kid next week while he’s away – for reasons totally different than in the past. This fella has been my constant companion and side kick since school was out. He has been stuck at home this summer with a mom with cancer and dad out of work on disability due to a herniated disc. He’s had to pick up some slack and he’s done it with a Servant’s Heart! He’s not let me over extend myself. He’s always saying “mom, I can do that, you don’t need to”! He’s always made me proud – but I’ve been extremely proud of the “can do” attitude he has maintained over the past few months. He grocery shopped for last night’s dinner – and he prepared and cooked it by himself. Dad drove him to the grocery store, but he took my list and came back with everything we needed to prepare our delicious meal! I lit the grill for him and dad supervised – but otherwise, he was in charge. Not sure who was more proud!
So looking in my rearview, while I felt badly that his summer would not be as adventurous as last……turns out God knew we were going to need him here with us this summer. I know it wasn’t the summer he had planned either – but we are all going to make the best of it! I’ve promised him a fun “reward/make-up” vacation when this “shit storm” is over. I intend to make good on that promise.
And then there’s his dad. Our workaholic provider – always, always working to make sure we have everything we need and then some. CC has been out of work unexpectedly since early June when he was diagnosed with a herniated disc/pinched nerve. He has been in excruciating pain up until this past Monday, when he was FINALLY able to get an epidural steroid injection and some relief of the constant pain. While it’s never fun to have two sick folks in one household at the same time – there have been some blessings of both of us being “out of commission” at once. We’ve joked that we have taken turns taking each other to doctor’s appointments. Thankfully our “bad” days have not come at the same time! He and Hunter were both able to accompany me to my first chemo treatment. That was good for me – to have them there, to see that it wasn’t awful, to know what goes on. Under normal circumstances, he would have had to take vacation time to accompany me, or work a Saturday to make up for the day off during the week.
Coincidence? I think NOT! It’s nothing but “God-incidence” that our summer has turned out exactly like it has. God’s timing and God providing. Providing caregivers for me when I didn’t know I would need them. Providing a cheering section for me on the days I feel like crap.
So you see……looking through the rearview mirror TODAY – it turns out my Sun-Wed was not really all that bad. It stunk a little bit at the time – but I can look back now and see how that even in the midst of all that ugly – God was continuing to bless me and provide for me. Allowing me to have two wonderful caregivers right within arms reach.
We continue to reap unexpected blessings each and every day. Phone calls to say “I’m bringing food”, folks just showing up with food, folks providing meals and texting notes of encouragement from all corners of the world, emails to say “I’m going to do this for you”…….we have been so very blessed!
Today I’m thankful for my rearview mirror. Thankful that life looks much clearer through my rearview, and thankful that my windshield gives me a much bigger view of where I’m actually heading!
Proverbs 4:25 (NIV)
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.