Thursday, January 24, 2008

I thought I was ready...

I thought I was ready to get back to my life the way it was BEFORE cancer was diagnosed in my little boy. But I discovered my life will never be what it was.

I thought I could jet off to Africa like I did in 1997 and 1998 serving the poorest of the poor, helping to love women and children who were and are suffering beyond anything we in America can really understand. Back then we had just the four girls. It was difficult to leave them, but I knew it was right, I knew they were in good, capable, loving hands for the three weeks (each trip) I would be working alongside my husband in eastern Africa. Our youngest daughter was only four years old and yet I had peace as I traveled far from home.

I havn’t ministered in Africa since the late 90’s, because God blessed me with my “surprise grand finale”, Joshua, in 2000. My husband traveled to the eastern African continent often, bringing resources for the nationals who work for the non-profit ministry that allows them to help their own people. It was and is vital work. It’s a ministry that has flourished and grown, changing lives and making a difference. Then in 2004, Joshua was struck with childhood cancer. Africa and our work there were shoved into the background, no longer a priority.

Fast forward three years after cancer and with life settled down and calm again, I thought I was ready to go. I thought it would look and feel and taste the same as it had before. Back when life seemed more innocent. I felt such a strong desire to minister to the suffering mothers, to share my Joshua journey and all God had done, but I was wrong. I faxed in my application for the trip, a sure sign of my commitment to go, but... I felt no peace. I wrestled with God all that night and throughout the next day, finally realizing, I wasn’t supposed to go.

I discovered emotionally and mentally and yes, even spiritually, I am still healing. I was disappointed in myself and in my reality. Why isn’t life the same as before? Why does the past trauma still seem to have a grip on me? I can’t leave Joshua. It’s that simple. It’s not the time or season in my life to go. I always want to be willing to be willing and open for what God might have for me. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the change. I am not who I was before childhood cancer. I need to give myself grace.

Joshua is such a gift in my life. My girls are gifts too, but in a completely different way than Joshua. I can’t put it into words really. He is God’s message of His immeasurable love for me. Josh is my love picture. I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. It may never be right for me to go again. But that’s ok, because I am serving here in my home, with the precious women God has placed in my life, with my children. I am not the same, but I am still serving.

I thought I was ready...

Maybe one day, I will be…

Friday, January 4, 2008


Recently I found these words, which I had discovered last year and saved. I should have posted them during our Christmas season, but having only just found them, I decided to post them NOW as the meaning is relevant anytime of year.

Again the subject has to do with JOY. If you have a moment, I would love to hear your thoughts about JOY...about this poem...please add your comments.

Thank you in advance.


There is nothing I can give you, which you have not;
but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future, which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take Joy.

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away."

From “With Christmas Greetings” from Greville MacDonald, son of novelist George MacDonald, and Mary MacDonald

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year...

I bring no resolutions, no goals, no plans into this year marked 2008. With a heavy heart, I welcomed the turning of time after only just having learned of the death of yet another pediatric cancer child. Her death was not expected nor looked for by me. I was surprised and saddened. She was but eight years old.

Recently I gave my testimony. It was arduous for me as I prepared my words to share. I felt I had literally wrestled with God for five months as I grappled with what I was to share. I had much to process, tough questions to ask and answers to come to grips with, and I longed for calm. I finally came to a point of revelation, peace and understanding.

On the day of my sharing with a small group of dear women, I felt a freedom I never have felt before. I realized I could trust God with my son, my daughters, my husband and with my life. After all, whom else could I trust? Logically, there is no one else nor anything else to trust. I know my own fickleness. I know man’s faults with his lack of full knowledge and wisdom. I know medical science’s barbarous ways. How comforting to know I have One whom I can trust. This One has created every molecule of my son’s body and directed the making of our unfathomable universe. Why would I not trust Him?

What will 2008 have for me? What will this year bring my children…my husband…my country…my planet? I do not know, therefore, I bring no resolutions or goals or plans. I only walk into this New Year with my eyes wide open and my heart full of love. I walk into this New Year with a contented joy and gratitude. I walk into this New Year with no guarantees of a “happily ever after” at least not here on this earth. I do not step into 2008 with fear and trepidation, but rather with the assuredness of there being pain and sorrow, but also untold joys and laughter. I read in the Bible man plans his future, but God directs his steps.

And so I am being led into this New Year 2008…