My life has been one of relative EASE. I mean I had lived 48 years somewhat unscathed by any "real" suffering. I am not saying I was living in an untouched bubble of paradise and had never had struggles, hurts, or loss but overall my life as I said was one of relative EASE.
This new journey, as I posted in my first blog has sort of changed that. This new place is a hard place. It's a place where I am learning to surrender, to be content.
When Bobby first felt a knot on the side of his face in June and then shared the news with me I was slightly concerned. He went to our local doctor and it was thought it was just an infected lymph node because he had had a virus for several days. When the antibiotics prescribed didn't fix it, he went back and was sent to another doctor who cautiously thought the same thing and another round of antibiotics was prescribed. Knot still there and with more time even getting larger. A needle biopsy and CAT scan were done in July and results came back, CLEAR. Yeah! We were relieved. Time went on and football season began (Bobby coaches) and the knot became larger. Back to the doctor and a recommendation to have surgery and take the growth out and biopsy it. The doctor even said it COULD be lymphoma. Bobby wanted to wait until football season was over. At that point, there were three or four games left, I think. On Nov. 11th he had the surgery and one week later to the day, we sat in the doctor's office together as he removed Bobby's stitches. There he informed us that it was lymphoma, but he did not know what type of lymphoma at that point. I've learned that there are about 30-40 types of lymphoma. My arms and hands got a little tingley, but other than that I was just as calm and okay. Bobby appeared the same. We stepped out of the doctor's office and walked out by the elevator and Bobby teared up for a moment. Then I'll never forget what happened next. He raised his hand to give me a "high five" and said it's going to be okay. The elevator opened and all I wanted to do was hug him and never let go, but of course, the elevator opened on the next floor and someone got on. Bobby isn't one for much PDA even after finding out about lymphoma. We reached the car and after some phone calls to friends and family we talked about it. We talked about several things, some of which I cannot remember(I'm terrible like that), but I do remember us talking about that we are in God's hands and that we are not alone. We have each other and we have God. We knew we had friends and family supporting us as well, but we would soon find out that we had no clue the SUPPORT we had. The outpouring of concern, prayers, and love was humbling and overwhelming to say the least. Bobby talked that day about how he has had a great life and has been blessed and how could he now complain about something like this. We were and are determined to trust God.
After we got home and things settled down from all the encouraging visits and calls, I had some time alone with God and I could say I was truly at peace with one slight glitch. I was trying to come to terms with the reality that "our lives" "my life" was going to be different. Remember, I had that life of EASE going on. Either that day or maybe the next or so, a good friend, Tracy called or I called her(that remembering thing again) and I shared with her what I was struggling with. She basically shared that it was SURRENDER. When she said that word "surrender" I knew that was it. I had to surrender the way my life WAS for how my life IS. Shortly after that conversation, another dear friend, Sherrie and I were talking on the phone and I shared with her the same thing and she used the word CONTENTMENT. These two insights from wonderful friends helped me as I got alone with God and asked Him to help me surrender to this new journey and help me be content.
The two passages that I believe God used to really speak to me were Philippians 4:11-13 Paul speaking from jail, "Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
Then Jesus before His arrest and crucifixion recorded in Matthew 26:37-39 "And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt."
These two passages and some others I didn't write here, plus talking with God and friends led me to a place of surrender and contentment. If you read my first blog post you read that I am taking this one day at a time. Please understand this is a day by day by day surrender and contentment. I am learning as Paul did in prison, that in whatever circumstances I can be content. I can even be joyful because I have not been abandoned. God is near as Philippians 4:5 says. God seems more real than ever to me. For some mysterious reason, it seems in the darkest times, He shines brighter.(more on this in another blog)
Part of the reason I wanted to do this blog is because it gives me a way to say THANK YOU to all the people who are loving us through this journey. So one more time, I say THANK YOU for all the love, concern, prayers, talks, visits, Facebook messages, etc.
God is good all the time and all the time God is good as Bro. Mike my pastor says pretty much every Sunday. There is a song that I love from a few years back by Pam Thum. It says life is hard, but God is good. It's worth looking up on You tube. Anyway, I'm learning how true that is.
As the Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow, had on his eye black in the SEC Championships, John 16:33 Jesus speaking, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Surrendered and contented today. What about you?