some time ago, this past summer in the month of july, i was staying with melissa and family. jennifer had just been there for awhile and i came after her. it was during this time that i feel we experienced some of the darkest hours with melissa's illness. let me be clear, at no point, did any of us, including melissa, ever cease to feel the constant presence and strength of our heavenly father. however, she was the weakest she had ever been and was experiencing tremendous pain in the area of the cancer. she was basically bedridden. it was so difficult to see her like that. it was during this time that her doctor in indianapolis was not offering too many more options. (this was before she saw the oncologist in new york city and was offered the chance for some wonderful, possibly lifesaving options.)
i remember one night in particular, the children were playing with sparklers in the backyard. they would come up to the master bedroom window and peer in so that she could see them from her bed. she was so terribly sick. it was all i could do to fight back the tears. i am not sharing this with you for pity, but to celebrate the wonders of faith and true joy. i was in her bedroom when i noticed a book on her nightstand entitled "contagious joy." she was basically battling for her life and she was reading "contagious joy". oh, the irony.....but i wasn't surprised at all. she asked for her bible different times, a paper with her handwriting on it fell out and i picked it up. it was dated june 26, 1993. i choked back the tears as i read what she had written years ago, knowing full well that she was living her words out in a way that i am sure she had never imagined.....
1. true faith needs no feelings to rest upon.
2. especially in matters of greatest importance, human intellect and emotions cannot be trusted.
3. it isn't the sense of god's presence, but the fact of his presence that brings peace.
4. god is not interested in so much that we're comfortable, but that we'll allow him to comfort us.
2 corinthians 1:3
".....god of all comfort....."
"the will of god will never lead you where the grace of god cannot keep you."
i needed that at that moment. i was reminded in her own writing that god was in control though our situation felt so completely out of control. melissa is amazing, but it is only through the lord working in her life and her willingness to be used by him. after reading her words, i had no doubt that he had begun preparing her years ago for what she would face later down the road. i am moved daily by her faithfulness no matter her circumstances or how she is feeling at that moment. god is good!!!
now to bring you up to speed.....as of this past tuesday, melissa was day 89 post transplant. she is doing well overall. the nausea has finally subsided and she is eating better. she has struggled some with neuropathy, a common side effect of the transplant. as a result, she recently has had severe pain in her right foot. this has caused difficulty in walking and simply wearing a shoe. please pray that this condition will improve. her numbers continue to look good. she goes back to see her oncologist on monday, may 3rd. at that time, her 100 day post transplant scan will be scheduled. this scan is critical.....this will allow the doctors to see just how much her cancer was impacted by the transplant. please pray, pray, pray, and pray some more that she will receive wonderful news!!! we appreciate it so very much. god has been so faithful to melissa and our entire family and we give him all the praise for that!!!
one more prayer request, doug and melissa are in need of a live-in nanny starting in june. kristen will be leaving then to get started back to college. we love her and she has been a tremendous help!!! melissa prefers that it be someone in their local area and perhaps, even within their home church. if you know of someone or have any ideas, let us know. it is a bit overwhelming, but we have a peace and know that god has the perfect person for this important job. we would appreciate your prayers as they begin the nanny search.
i want to close with melissa's latest facebook status update. it moved me. it just serves as a reminder to all of us that no matter what any of us may be facing, god is there. he cares. he is faithful. and, he is ever watching over you and me. melissa's words....."i sing because i'm happy. i sing because i'm FREE. for his eye is on the sparrow, and i know he watches me. LOVE THIS SONG! thank you, jesus."
blessings and love to each one of you!!!