Five years ago, I would have been SOOOO angry at God-a God that I didn't really even have any type of relationship with. I was a believer... believed there was a God, that Heaven exists, and would even pray for others (and somehow even gave thanksgiving for the blessings in my life). But I definitely hadn't started any type of walk with him. The concept of having a relationship with God was foreign to me-actually, non-existent since I had no clue that concept even existed. I just knew Jesus loves me because thats what the song said. But if I had been diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago, I would have blamed God and asked, "What kind of God can do this?!?!" In fact, those were my exact thoughts when I walked out of the alley where I was raped. Thank the Lord that he loves us regardless of how many times we reject him or point the finger at him. It was because of him that I walked away from that alive and I know that one day I'll be able to use my story of survival to touch others' lives. If I hadn't survived, I never would have moved back "home" (which became NW Arkansas while I was in college in WI), and I never would have met Ben. I'm so thankful for all the curveballs that God has thrown to get me where I am today!!
My relationship with Jesus started right as my grma (see the geese story) was dying. She had been my rock- for those that watch Grey's Anatomy, she was my person. She was the epitomy of what a Nana is suppose to be. I LOVED spending the night at her house, waking up to her French toast (no one can even come close!), her back scratches, and as I grew older, the person that helped make me who I am today, the person I ran to when it was ugly and when it was pretty, the person that constantly reminded me that I am beautiful inside and out. She demonstrated along with my Papa what a marriage is suppose to look like. We talked on the phone at least 3 times a day every day. She lived 1.3 miles from me in Bella Vista, and was at every single OBGYN appt with me when I was pregnant with Bella. She had been sick for a long time and in immense pain. I remember praying on that last Monday, "Lord, please just hold your arms wide open and let her know the pain can finally end." God had put me in a bible study at Fellowship with some amazing women that came along beside me during that unimaginable grief (just plain physically HURT) and let me know how beautiful a relationship with God is, and it just opened my heart to him and lit that desire to know him.
Fastforward a few months to April 2008, I was on birth control-had been since I gave birth to Bella. OUR plan was to start trying for numero dos in the fall. Thankfully God's plan is powerful!!! We became pregnant with Hunter totally unexpected but we took it as a "Nana & God thing". Her favorite holiday was always Christmas-it seemed like she spent the entire month of December baking and decorating and man did she make it awesome every single year. My due date.... Christmas Day. Definitely a touch of Nana in that one!!! And now we know, God most definitely had this as part of this huge plan for us... walking us in everything we've been thru up to today, preparing us for what we are facing.
God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy on December 12.
He entered the world in quite the dramatic fashion including the OB on call having to be paged "stat" because Hunter was in distress and needed to be delivered immediately. I even got the pleasure of riding down the hallways of NWMC on a gurney on all fours-how many people can say that?!? LOL God knew what lied ahead for our family and he laid in our arms a baby that is so insanely laid back (doesn't mind at all when Princessa Bella demands more attention-he just chills and waits patiently), so incredibly happy (at 1 week old, he started what the "sleepy grin" where he would have a grin that took up his entire face as soon as he doze off, and now cracks up laughing all day long-God's greatest medicine!!),
and totally outside of what I had planned-would rather eat from a bottle than Mama (definitely God's hand in that one-Bella nursed for 15 months and refused bottles).
God knew exactly what we needed before we even knew what we'd be facing. He made the most amazing, loving, understanding, affectionate, supportive husband just for me-one that would be a rock from the very beginning (how many guys do you know that would stick with it when he knew I was a rape survivor AND suffered a grand mal seizure and couldn't drive myself for 6 months?!?! most would run the opposite direction faster than pronto)
and has grown into what every mom can ever dream of having as the father of their children (I could seriously write a novel of all the ways he has just totally stepped up and been the man that God created him to be).
He provided us with a home and jobs in NW Arkansas so we could have our families (both sides!) close to us. He led us back to Fellowship so we could re-ignite our relationship with God, have him become the 3rd person in our marriage, and surround us with the most loving and supportive people ever. He gave us 2 gorgeous children that we both absolutely adore and they just light up the lives of everyone they come in contact with. He gave us these children before the ability to have anymore would be taken away.
I've been to so many doctor appts, scans, tests, pre-op visits over the past few weeks, and every single time I hear, "You are so young and this is just horrible. How can you not be terrified?" My response, "I have absolutely nothing to fear. God is already healing me and has completely wrapped his arms around me and my family. God is using what would typically be considered a horrific situation to show us his love and all the awesome ways he has already worked in our lives, and opening an incredible amount of doors for us to use this as a way to touch other peoples' lives. And even if its part of his plan that his purpose for me here on earth has been completed, then I get to go to Heaven and meet him face to face-how awesome is that!!! Even the worst case scenario is totally beautiful so there is nothing to fear." I'll probably never see any of them ever again so I'll never know if what I say brings them to Christ but I know it touches their hearts and they will remember it.
On Monday night, I had the awesome opportunity to meet with the Elders of our church. They anointed me with oil and prayed over me-it was truly just the most awesome thing I've ever experience that I can't even describe it. Later that evening after Ben got home we were sitting in bed talking about it and we both had the exact same story. We both felt an immediate peace after the prayers were said. We both silently prayed, "Please Lord just heal, just take this cancer away and amaze the doctors." We both were greeted with the Holy Spirit telling us, "Why are you praying this still? ITS ALREADY DONE." We were in separate cars, going different places when this happened and had no clue until we shared later that evening. THAT has given us both so much peace going into next week's surgery.
We're also stoked about going to "The Well" on Sunday night at Fellowship so we can just get completely filled to the brim with the Spirit and God's love and just worship him and remind ourselves that he gets all the glory through all of this. I'm excited to just get totally pumped going into next week-thanks God for awesome timing:)
PS-I'll update tomorrow after I hear the results of the PET scan!