I have a dear sweet friend Amanda that is 18 years old. Amanda had her pancreas taken out on Tuesday...14 hour surgery...only the 13th person to have this procedure done. All has went well, but today her mom callled me to let me know there is a blood clot in her vein that leads to her liver. Very serious situation, but can be disolved with blood thinners. After going thru the last few days on little sleep & high emotion...it's just difficult. I stopped & prayed with her over the phone.
Two of our young Pastors wives...Misty & Liz...both found out their moms have breast cancer.
My friend Zena lost her mom last week...very emotional for her. But many blessings have came also.
Matt & I have several friends going thru a divorces that are full of bitterness & anger. Many hearts broken from some decisions that have been made.
And...my cousin Lori whom I have asked prayers for many times. She was diagnosed with melonoma cancer a year ago in October...given 4 to 6 months to live.They didn't know Lori had already decided to beat those odds...and she has. It was in her liver, lungs & many other places. She went thru many rounds of chemo & was told the cancer was pretty much gone in each area!!! Praise God!!
Over the last few weeks she has became very weak. A PET scan has revealed the cancer is now in her hips, pelvis & a spot on her skull. Lori is very weak & can not walk on her own at this point due to the severe pain she is in. Yesterday...I took her to her first radiation appointment & I wanted to share this story with you...
I walk in her house...she is sitting in her chair. She says.. "Can you get me some hair out of my bathroom?" as if this is a normal conversation & I shouldn't think twice about it...as I walk in her room to "get" her hair...I notice my hair in the mirror & think of how chemo takes so much from you.
I help her up out of her chair into her wheel chair...with every move she is in pain, but she is so strong inside & determined this Cancer will not take her down! We make it to the Doctors office & begin the routine of her trying to pull herself out of my van & me trying to help her...without hurting her. But what you have to understand about Lori is...she makes you laugh & cracks jokes the whole time.
The Radiation technician comes out to get her for her treatment...I know him from my sons football team & it makes me feel so much better. Thank you Jesus for that moment.
I begin to work on my BSF bible study in the waiting room. My bible on my lap...in a big room filled with empty chairs I notice an elderly lady approaching me...pushing her walker along...hair all in place...very petite...dressed in her polyester pants & little jacket. She sits right next to me...with all the empty chairs...she picks the one by me. We greet each other & I knew immediately the bible study I was working on needed to be put away. She needed a friend...someone to chat with & that someone was me. I learned she was 87 years old...a widow for 30 years...her son lives in Colorado so no family around, she drove herself there & she has throat cancer. Didn't complain one minute. Just a Joyful lady who loved the Lord.
They wheeled Lori out...I said Goodbye to my new sweet 87 year old friend. Wheeled Lori back to the van & drove home. She was completely wiped out by the time we got home.
I don't even really know why I'm sharing all of this with you. Just so much on my heart & mind this week. I'm not trying to get sympathy...or have a pity party because by all means I'm not in their shoes. I have been reminded...my trivial daily issues...well...they are really nothing. Walk in the shoes of a cancer patient for a day & you will just be glad you can walk...fix your own hair...eat & actually taste your food & many other things I take for granted each & every day.
My flesh wrestles sometimes with the position God has put me in & my ability to comfort & encourage those who are going thru such hard times. I want to say the right things...I want to make their pain go away...but it's not me who heals...who comforts, it's ALL God. I just have to be available to be used. I used to be scared to pray with people...pray in public...but bringing it to God is the only answer & there's no right or wrong way to do it. Just be available to pray.
Please continue to pray for Lori & her family...Amanda & her family also. Lori was taken to the hospital last night due to dehydration. Take time to stop & notice who God has put in your path. I leave you with a thought from the Justone conference I have been attending with my other Pastor's wives.
God doesn't expect me to be perfect....just available.