Monday, March 30, 2009

Trusting and Believing

One of the greatest joys since being home and slowly regaining strength after the transplant is simply spending time with my family. One experience specifically that I could not wait to have with them was going back to church! This past Sunday was the third service that I attended, and it is so wonderful to be a part of that praise and worship time. We have always been able to drop Audrey off at the nursery without a problem. Caleb and Lauren, however, have made it clear lately they want to stay with us in the "big service." As important as I believe their programs are on Sunday morning, we have allowed them to stay with us. It can be a bit challenging to keep them quiet and as non-distractive as possible....but it is also so precious to have that time with them.

This past Sunday, a husband and wife stepped out of the choir to sing the special. As soon as I heard the music begin, my heart and eyes were glued to them. They sang "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me. (Thank you Crystal and was so beautiful. Although it touched many people, I felt like the Lord had you sing it for me!) This song has been "my song" since I was diagnosed a year ago. Oh, the words are so powerful....I would like you to read them. If you would like, you may also go to the bottom of the page and click on the song in the playlist to hear it.

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

My favorite part of this song is "Maybe since my life was changed long before these rainy days..." I am just so thankful that Jesus was part of my life before the storm began. It is because of what He had already done in my life, that I knew He was my Rock! When we learned last March that there was something wrong...something more going on inside of me than what we ever imagined...I knew my life was forever changed. I knew then I had the choice to panic and be full of fear, or to run to Jesus and hold on for dear life! There have been plenty of days since then that I have struggled to understand why this is happening or why it hasn't disappeared yet. I can tell you with an honest heart though, there has not been one single day that I didn't know He was carrying me. There is a lot that I don't understand, but even in the midst of my questions....I can trust Him. I am grateful for all of the blessings of this past year. I am more in love with my husband than ever before...I been blessed to spend so much time with both sides of our children are even more priceless to me...the generosity and kindness of those who have taken care of me in the hospital inspires me...the cards, e-mails, and calls encourage me and remind me I am not fighting this fight alone!

The first Sunday morning that I was back at church after the transplant, a sweet lady that was walking in with her husband spoke to me. She said she knew we hadn't met yet, but wanted me to know she and her husband read my blog and were praying for me. She went on to tell me that she had passed it on to family, friends, etc., and she knew that hundreds of others were lifting me up, too! I was so touched by the week went on, there were other "surprise" reminders of the great number of people (both friends and strangers) who are lifting me up to the Lord. To realize there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of you praying for my healing is so humbling and powerful! I know with all of my heart that there is power in prayer...thank you for believing that with me.

It is hard to believe just how weak I was after the transplant. I have progressed leaps and bounds in terms of energy and strength. My three beautiful and fully-energized children were great sources of motivation for me! Last week was my first week on my own while Doug is at work. I've laughed and told people it is hard to decipher between the post-transplant fatigue and the normal exhaustion of a mother with three little ones! I try to nap during the day, (if they are all three down at one time...doesn't always happen!) which helps so much. I know it is a relief to those of you who see me. What I mean is, I am sure people are thinking of me in a weary and maybe somewhat frail state. When one of my dearest friends in the world recently saw me, she was shocked at how "good" (I equate that to "normal") I looked! I just laughed and told her obviously she was expecting that I would look horrible! Although I am making lite of it, I am so grateful for all the many ways the Lord has helped me to bounce back from everything in the last couple of months.

I will not have any appointments until my scan in early May. They have yet to call me with the exact day. My doctor's appointment is scheduled to follow the scan on May 11th. I am still holding onto the positive news from my one month scan that the nodules on my lungs have disappeared. I feel very hopeful and excited in a way to have the next scan, yet at the same time a bit nervous. Even with the mix of emotions, the Lord continues to bring me a peace....a peace that I know can only come from Him. Let's keep trusting and believing together!

Much Love,


Cara said...

Melissa - Your testimony is amazing! This week we studied the story of Job during our Bible study. It is so cool how God just used what you wrote to drive home the points we learned about in our study on Sunday night. His timing is perfect and He is so big! Thank you for the updates and thoughts from your heart. We are praying for your family!

lovelymomof3 said...

Wow! You are amazing! You inspire so many of us moms to live each day to the fullest no matter what storm we may be facing. I miss you so much! I am always praying for you each day for God's strength to allow you to have another great day with your little blessings! We miss you guys. Can't wait to hear the news in May. I pray God continues to bless you with GOOD days! You are amazing! Love you and miss you!

michelle said...

i love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FrancisMoore said...

Melissa,your children were so well-behaved in church on Sunday. I didn't hear a sound from them, and I sat right in front of them. You have a lovely family. I am continuing to pray for complete healing. Francis C. Moore

Sue G said...

Melissa, the first thing I learned when I was diagnosed five years ago is that fear and faith can coexist, but not equally and that I must choose which I would serve. What a gift that was! Because in the world of cancer diagnoses, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and out of control. So I was happy to find something I could control. Would I serve faith or would I serve fear?

Five years and five separate cancers (yes, 5 different primary cancers) later, I still choose faith. I still praise God for taking this burden from me, for telling me to give it to Him and just show up and be a light.

Five years later, I am still in this battle (mets to the lungs). I know there is only one reason that I am still here. It's because I show up to battle, but the war is His.

And God never loses.

May the Lord of more than enough continue to light your way as you travel this path. We all know that His light is in you and clearly emanates from you...quite brightly.

And we also know that darkness cannot remain when light is shone upon it.

Keep shining!

Sara said...

Boy I miss you! I love reading what your heart pours out. We still pray for you constantly and I love the pictures! And just so ya know, if we brought Andrew into the service, we'd be getting plenty of dirty looks. :) Love you and always lifting you up!

Andy and Wendy Ingram said...

How wonderful, that your family is enjoying worship together! Often our kids choose to come to our big worship service too, and we love it! It brings joy to our hearts to be doing this together. Praise God for his healing and goodness! Incredible! Jesus, thank you for your healing power in Melissa's life! What an amazing testimony of God and who he is, that he giving you! I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Aspiemom said...

I'm so glad to read this and so happy to know that you are feeling so much stronger and able to return to church!

Hope said...

What a delight to read your words and to hear the things God is doing in your life and the life of your family. Your children are beautiful. I know you take joy in every moment. They grow up so quickly. Thank you for sharing your heart and the words that God has given you to bless and encourage others. Love, Hope