I was a stay at home mom for 17 years, and this past fall, I started working "almost" full time. I work about 32 hours a week and sometimes more if I'm needed. For the last week, we have had 3 "snow-days" as well as two additional days off school for "Winter Break". Because I work for the schools, I have received the same "snow-days" my children have. I have quickly realized why kids are better off at school all day and not at home. My two teenagers rarely leave their bedrooms and my two younger ones who "love" to play together cannot stop fighting. I am thankful that God guided me to a wonderful job/career because I definitely believe that my time as being at home all day with children is over.....
Their is a purpose in me sharing that. I will get to that later.
These last 6 months feel like a few years, not months to me. It seems as though there has been so much change and so much going on in our lives, that if we blink, we might miss another day. Today, I was thinking about the sermon I heard on Sunday by the Pastor from my childhood church that I visited this past weekend. He was referring to his sermon topic, which was on forgiveness, but he mentioned "journal-ing" and how it can really help you heal and move forward when you journal. I though to myself, "that's what my blog is for, to help me!" Then I thought about how little I've written in it lately. Life has fully consumed me to the point that I haven't been doing very many things very "normal" these days. Even things that I shouldn't be putting off, like balancing our check-book or my husbands business "check-book".
Today, I have decided to update the blog, but when I started, I had no idea what I was going to write about. Did I want to write about how Jerry has been feeling very ill these last few days, he is loosing weight, not eating much, and fighting a "bug" that his body seems to be too weak to fight. Or did I want to talk about how my husband, who is in the middle of the biggest physical battle he has ever been through, threw me a surprise birthday party over the weekend because he wanted me to feel "special" in the midst of our chaotic life.
What I have decided to write about is simply how every day that we are given is truly a gift that should never be taken for granted. The days that your kids won't stop fighting or your husband leaves his clothes on the floor for the 1028th time, or the dog hair is in your cereal, etc...etc... I'm sure you get the idea. One thing that people have said to me over the last 6 months is how I have inspired them or how "I'm amazing", and I honestly don't get it. If anyone was given the life that I have, so many would be doing the same thing I am doing and many would be doing so much more. I've been given a "life" and I am dealing with the hand I have been dealt. I have no choice but to move forward and live each day as God leads me to live it. I believe that God has a hand on our situation and on our lives because we have invited him to be part of it. He has not caused it, he cannot prevent it, but he is working in it and will work with us and the Dr's and we ask him constantly to help us get through each day. We have seen God work many different ways over the last several months. We have received a tremendous amount of financial help, we have received gifts of food and pantry items, we have received a free house cleaning, a tremendous amount of support through prayers, hugs and well wishes. Satan has tried to work as well, he has tried to taunt me with the people who have shown little to no compassion for Jerry, myself or my family during our struggle, people who we thought cared more than they really do. He has tried to get us to focus on those one or two relationships who have lacked empathy instead of focusing on the literally hundreds who have shown us so much more than we could have ever imagined. In the end, I choose to see God and I choose to see the blessings and gifts and I try to pray for those who do not know the hurt they have caused. Another gift/lesson I have received through this journey; To pray for those who hurt me.
"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
So, in the beginning of this blog, I was talking about my children and basically how they are driving me crazy being home so long. At the same time, I know the two older ones will soon be gone and out of my home instead of just in their bedrooms and before long my 11 year old will be in her room all day instead of constantly asking me to "snuggle" with her after a long day when I want space to myself, and my 5 year old will soon NEVER ask to crawl into my bed again at 3 o'clock in the morning, and one day, my husband may not be around to leave his clothes lying on the floor anymore. The truth of the matter is that these things still drive me crazy, but I really wouldn't want them to change. Changing one thing about a person or situation can truly change who they are in so many different ways. This situation that my husband is in and ultimately our family is in has been life changing. Every day is still just another day, but I consciously try to be thankful for each moment, good and bad. The things I have learned have brought me to a new place of closeness with God. A new understanding of what we, as Christians, are suppose to be doing in his name. And I have learned how to pray from a deeper, more intimate part of my being - a part that I let no one else see but God.
I dont' know what the furture holds, but I know who holds the future. I know that with God by our side, we will be ok. No matter the outcome.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans proper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future"
"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."
Update on Jerry's condition:
My husbands battle is far from "over". We just had an appointment with his Neuro-oncologist yesterday and once he is fully recovered from his 6 week regimen of chemo and radiation (he finished Feb 10), he will start his chemotherapy again for 5 days every month. This chemo will be a stronger dose than what he received during radiation. He will do this for 6-12 more months. He will also have another surgery to replace the bone flap that was removed, hopefully in early June. He had an MRI last night for his new "base-line" and he will receive new MRI's every 2-3 months. He is currently having a lot of swelling from the radiation which we believe is causing some numb-ness and tingling on his right side (his tumor is on the right side of his brain, which affects the left side of his body - he has weakness in his left arm/hand and in his face from his tumor) the fact that he is feeling some tingling on his right side is concerning, but we are hopeful that it is just from swelling from radiation. We will find out more once his most recent MRI results are in.