Monday, December 28, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 67

As you might expect, looking back on this year brings a flood of thoughts and emotions. I've been reflecting on this time last year, when I'd only had a handful of chemo treatments and though we'd done some hard, scary stuff, we had no idea what lay ahead of us.

At different points in my life I've wished it was possible to see into the future. We've all done this. We think, if I could just take a quick peek at what is around that corner in time, then I'll be able to sit back and rest. What I've learned over this past year is that God, in His great mercy, designed it so we cannot see what's up ahead. If 2015 had been laid out for us, if we'd been able to see the end at the beginning, we would have laughed, cried and, with finality, declared it impossible. I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.

1 Port placement surgery
1 Ovarian transposition surgery
1 Tumor removal surgery
1 Echocardiogram
2 Separate drain placement procedures
3 MRIs
3 EKG's
3 Days in local hospital
4 Trips to ER/Urgent Care
4 Chest x-rays
9 CT scans
14 Rounds of chemo over 8 months
22 Days in NYC hospital over 3 separate stays
30 Radiation treatments over 6 weeks
Dozens (and counting) days of home nursing care

Millions of prayers prayed on our behalf
Thousands of dollars given for medical costs
Dozens of flowers sent
Countless emails, texts, calls
Dozens upon dozens of meals made
A large shoebox overflowing with cards and notes snail-mailed

2015 was a gift...a wonderful, hard, blessed, terrible, amazing year.

2015 taught me what a vapor of a life we live, even at its longest.

2015 caused me to consider how, why and what I live my life my home, in my community

2015 brought nearness as well as distance to people I love. Limited strength and limited capacity made it difficult to maintain relationships.

2015 forced me to define my actions, my thoughts and where my energy is spent.

In 2015 we experienced the gift of a true Christ-centered and serving over and over and over again. Not so they would have good deeds to post on Facebook, but just to love us....quietly and consistently.

2015 taught me to see the absolute beauty in brokenness and the grace that is there.

In 2015, I got to take the "gumdrop pass"...I believe suffering provides a shortcut to knowing God better and deepening a relationship with Him.

I would have never chosen it for myself and I am so very grateful and elated that cancer is winding down, but I can honestly say I am thankful for the things I learned and the heart-work that was done. There was a lot of "me" stripped away...sinful pride, self-reliance, illusional control, lack of compassion and empathy.  I'm truly excited to see how God works through me to use this experience.


Melody said...

WOW. Seeing it all listed there is intense. Here's to a 2016 of restoration!

The Bug said...

2015 was QUITE a journey! I'm so glad we were along for the ride with you, and I'm looking forward to a Blessed 2016.

Amy said...

This is very powerful! So thankful for the New Year looming. You have been so incredibly brave and faith-FULL. The best is yet to come!

Karen said...

Wow, just so MUCH of everything...Thank you Lisa for your words, your sharing. your example, your strength even in weakened times. You are a true inspiration. May God continue to bless you and your family with a wonder..full New Year 2016. Much much love! K