So two years ago, our lives changed unexpectedly & drastically! My mom (Carol's mom) was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer! And yes...that's as awful as it sounds...no, much worse. We really had very little idea of what that meant but it didn't take long before we did. It meant immediate radical surgery; it meant putting plans and life on hold; it meant fear; it meant tears and uncertainty...and so much more that can't be expressed in words.
We knew it was going to be tough, but we really were clueless as to how tough it would be. Thank God for that!!! There's something to be said for not knowing what lies ahead. It's scary, but I really wouldn't want to know how hard thing are going to be! Just taking it one step at a time is enough, right? :-) We had strength for the moment and that's all that was needed.
So here's what we did know...we knew it would be crazy hard! What we didn't know was that our sweet Jesus had pockets of delight and beauty in the midst of our pain and tears. The most beautiful things unfolded before our eyes. We got to see what an amazing impact our Mama had made on so many lives throughout the years. The outpouring of love on her has been absolutely breathtaking! (Keep scrolling to see what I mean...and these photos are just a tiny glimpse of the love poured out). Friends, Family coworkers and even strangers have been a part of her beautiful journey thus far. So many moments, mom was completely overwhelmed by all the love poured out on her, and we just kept reminding her that she has poured her life into so many for years, and this was just part of the return on her investment. She has been so completely humbled by it all. I would definitely say that she has been more overcome by love and support than by Cancer itself! Take that, Cancer!!!
Another beautiful part of this journey has been more time together than we ever imagined. Time spent sitting together while chemo dripped into mom's veins, all the while wondering if it would work; time spent just sitting together during chemo-crash days (yes, chemo-crash is totally a thing); and time spent crying together over exhaustion and laughing together over memories of the past & dreaming of hopes for the future. The most lovely moments were spent reliving God's goodness and mercy on our lives...just being amazed by His love!!! He has truly been so good to us!
There's no way we could have predicted what the last 2 years have held for our family - the challenges, the tears, the closeness, the joy. We had no idea what God had planned for us in the midst of the struggles, but this we know..."Our God is good and we can trust Him". A beautiful person at our marriage retreat shared those words that she held onto in the middle of her grief and pain. I have since adopted them, because it reminds me that when life doesn't make sense (as is the case in the word right now), there is a higher power, our almighty God that is still in charge and loves us eternally.
I could go on about God's goodness but will save it for another day. For now, I will just end by thanking all who have been a part of this crazy journey with us. From encouraging cards, phone calls, yummy meals, donating sick leave, just coming and sitting with us, and especially praying for mom & all of us, each little act of love has not gone unnoticed. All of you are part of Team Nana and we are so grateful for you!
Although our battle with cancer continues, we stand firm in believing that "God is good and we can trust Him!" My adorable 2 year old & 5 year old nephews keep saying this verse to Nana: "Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you, wherever you go" - Joshua 1:9. That about sums it up. That's exactly what we will do as we journey on. Whatever you may be going through, remember to be courageous and do not be afraid. You are never alone.