Not to be a Debbie Downer, but when things are quiet here at the blog, you can probably safely assume that things aren’t going so hot. Of course, half the times I post these days, it’s all moan-&-groan anyway.
I’ve had a few bright and shining moments in the past week, but for the most part, it’s been lots of hard stuff and several huge handfuls of self-pity.
Then I got a jolt this morning at Victory Sports Camp.
One of my friends who I don’t see very often (we were in Bible Study together, then she taught Nina in Children’s Church, we sang in a Christmas Choir together, and we served at Somali Club together last summer) was there.
I walked up to her and said, “I love your hair! It’s sooo cute!” She’s had super-long blond hair since I’ve known her, and it was cut in a cute, shoulder-length bob.
“Thanks,” she said and asked me how Cambodia was. I couldn’t decide if I was just going to do the “awesome” thing and then say how fine everything was now or tell the truth, and then it all came spilling out.
“Long story short, Gabe had a heart attack, we went to Cambodia, then he’s been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks ever since. It’s been really, really hard. We went to a healing prayer meeting Thursday night, and God did some awesome things. Then Friday was one of the hardest days of my life. But God is good.”
“He upholds us with his righteous right hand, right?” she said.
And then she knocked the wind out of me. “Well, about my hair. It’s a wig.”
Hmmm, I thought. That’s interesting.
“I have cancer.”
I had no idea and felt like crap. And so worried about her. It’s breast cancer. She was diagnosed in January. She’s been through chemo and surgery is on the schedule. She goes in tomorrow for a check-up.
In the meantime, she’s volunteering at Victory Sports Camp with her daughters, because that’s what she does. She has 4 girls (ages 10-18 maybe) and had a foreign exchange student from China last year. She just got back from a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with one of her daughters. She teaches full-time, and when she’s not teaching, she serves wherever and however she can.
With a smile on her face and a wig on her head and breast cancer.
Lord, please give me joy in the midst of this trial. Please remind me daily how blessed I am. Please help me to surrender completely to you, to die to self, to be able to type up these words of John Wesley and mean them with all my heart.
I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
p.s. Ava’s definitely planning on going to camp. So proud of her for overcoming her fears. She’s going to take over the blog sometime later today to share a bit about herself and sell some fun things to raise money.
p.p.s. Week 2 of our Summer Read-Along tomorrow!