November 21, 2018
It’s a photo I’ve been looking at a lot. It was a family photo taken on Thanksgiving Day 2017. Our family had no idea of what was to come. Or how amazing it would be.
In December 2017, our youngest daughter had a kidney transplant due to a rare, inherited kidney disease. A friend of hers gave her a kidney and they got to come home from the hospital a few days before Christmas. Christmas day was a day of quiet, gentle thanksgiving and praise.
While taking care of my grandchildren during my daughter’s recovery, I developed a hernia and needed surgery. In March, I had robotic surgery to fix that hernia. It was during the surgery that something unusual was discovered.
That something unusual was a mucin that a rare cancer was secreting. Yes, the C word. It was a shock and a punch to the gut (literally). It rocked our world but caused us to look to the One who anchors our souls. So thankful for our God who hears even the prayers we can’t say out loud.
After several months of scans, tests, and doctors’ visits my surgery and chemo treatment was scheduled. August 1st would be the day. The heated chemo would be done during the surgery which ended up lasting 15 1/2 hours. Every organ that my body didn’t need to survive was removed. This procedure has not been around for very many years, but it was available locally with an experienced doctor. Thankful, thankful, thankful.
Now, months later I’m still recovering and getting used to a new normal for my body. We’ve had many, many times of praise for answered prayer – big and small things that we’ve seen God do.
During all of this, my husband had a rare eye problem that required 11 rounds of laser surgery to keep him from going blind. His latest check up showed that his eyes are good although he still suffers from blurry eye sight and occasional eye pain. We’re so thankful it was caught early and there are laser procedures to take care of this.
Also during this time, we found out that our oldest daughter has the same rare inherited disease as her sister and I do. This one was hard to accept and be thankful for. Why, Lord? But we will praise you anyway.
Have you noticed how many times I have had to use the word “rare”? I am beginning to prefer the word “special”. As in “we were especially chosen for this”.
One day recently, one of my doctors asked me how I was feeling emotionally. I told him I wasn’t sad about anything but I was feeling overwhelmed. When He inquired about the feeling of being overwhelmed, I simply said “How do I get to be so blessed?”
He seemed surprised by my response and asked what I meant by that. I listed all of the events of this past year and gave brief descriptions of how God had provided for our every need. My doctor had no words and seemed overwhelmed, himself, by the thought of someone who had been through so much feeling so blessed.
Blessed. Thankful. Grateful. In all things.
I’m pretty sure this is not normal. At least not for me. I can easily be the first person to complain about something. My thoughts can quickly to “Life’s not fair”.
And that would be correct – Life. Is. Not. Fair.
Life is not fair but God is good. This could have been a year of heaviness and despair but God gave us joy and peace through it all. How could I not be grateful for this life of mine.
Lord, you constantly amaze me by your plan for my life. I certainly would not have chosen this path for myself and my family but you have led us to this place and we have followed you. You have shown us how to love and rejoice and be grateful in many different situations. Help us to give thanks always. Help us to be an especially grateful people.