Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who I Am is Whose I Am

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7

Sweet friends,

The Lord has taken my heart on quite the journey this past week and I am so excited to tell y'all about it. As I shared with you in my previous post, my heart was deeply struggling with the reality of losing my hair last week. Oh, how anxious, afraid and insecure I was. Dr. O'Shaugnessy had predicted that I would lose my hair last Thursday (1/26), however as I was getting ready for church last Sunday morning (1/22), my hair started to fall out. Not in chunks as I had expected, but just gradually as I brushed it. It was as if the Lord was easing me into it. I burst into tears as it first started coming out, I just cried out to my Heavenly Dad, "Lord, I know that your ways are not my ways, and I hate that I have to lose my treasured hair, but I am so tired of being sad about my hair. I hate that I care so much about it. I know that my beauty is in you alone, so help me to feel it. Please give me a peace that transcends all understanding and guard my heart and mind in Jesus (Philippians 4:7)." Y'all I was on my knees in sadness and desperation, and the good Lord met me right where I was and answered my prayer in abundance. For the next 3 days, little by little my hair fell out. Each time I brushed it, I was scared, but I wasn't sad and I didn't cry. I was peaceful. By Wednesday night of last week (1/25), about half of my hair had fallen out and I knew it was time for Matt and I to shave it. So sweet Matt, who had watched YouTube videos all day about how to shave a woman's head, got everything ready. In more love and tenderness than I can possibly explain, Matt prayed over me and my hair; that I would know that I am a daughter of the King, beautifully and wonderfully made for His purposes. So, as my precious husband cut off my remaining hair and shaved my head, we prayed over 3 verses:
  • "I praise you Lord because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:14)
  • "All Beautiful you are my darling, there is no flaw in you" (Song of Songs 4:7)
  • "The King is enthralled with your beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord" (Psalm 45:11).
Oh, what sweet reminders of true beauty. As I looked in the mirror for the first time as a baldy, before I could even react, Matt assured me I had never looked more beautiful, he wrapped me in his sweet arms and made me feel more loved than perhaps ever before. So although I didn't quite feel more beautiful than ever, our sweet Lord used Matt to remind me that I am beautiful, without a flaw, and the King of the universe is enthralled with my beauty. Not because of my hair or my outward appearance, but because I am His precious daughter.

Even as the daughter of the King, it was still so hard to look in the mirror without my wig and not hear the enemy's lies that I was ugly and unlovable. Oh, how thankful I am that God knew that the only antidote to these lies is the Truth. This past weekend He blessed me with the opportunity to go to our church's women's retreat at a beautiful ranch in east Texas with some of my closest girl friends. It was so much fun and physically, I felt so great! It just refreshed me as God knew EXACTLY the Truth that my heart needed to be reminded of! The quickest way to bondage is by believing a lie. The quickest way to freedom is to tell the truth: "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Throughout the weekend we were challenged to find our identity in Christ alone. That we as women, tend to put on so many 'masks' trying to be someone we are not. We allow our roles, responsibilities, and recognition of others define us. As one author states, "We cover up who God made us to be. We invent a new self that every body will admire but nobody will know." I have struggled my entire life with trying to wear the masks of "Being Perfect;" "Being all things to all people;" and "being consumed by my appearance." Even though I have found tremendous freedom in all of these through my relationship with Christ, they are still daily struggles for me. I often believe the lie that if I'm not perfect or pretty, then people won't like me. Lately, I have believed the lie a thousand times over that when I'm bald, I won't be loved or accepted. Oh, but how I was sweetly reminded that my value, my worth is in Christ Alone! We were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) to reflect Him and who we are in Christ is more than enough. We are so passionately loved and significant that Christ died for us. As I've heard it so perfectly said, "Is what your living for worth Christ dying for? When I think about it that way, it makes me want to live for so much more! Oh the plans God has for us (Jeremiah 29:11) are so good. I love that when Christ died on the cross, your name and my name were engraved on the palms of his hands! (Isaiah 49:16) Now that's romatantic love:) If we really stop to think about the depths of Christ's sacrifice for us, how could we not be overwhelemed by how much He loves us? I love that God calls His people, His Beloved. It's as though Jesus is just crying out to us, "BE LOVED!" Let me love you, just as you are, just who I created you to be. It still blows me away that God knows every single thing about us, and passionately loves us. Isn't that every person's desire, to be fully known, fully accepted and fully loved. Now, If we would only let ourselves just Be Loved then it would completely change our hearts and our lives. I am learning every day to accept Christ's crazy love for me, as the imperfect, baldy that I am:) How thankful I am that He is not finished with me yet! At the end of my retreat, they asked us to reflect on everything we are in Christ. Here is my list: In Christ, I am...
  • Loved
  • Beautiful
  • Adored
  • Whole
  • Secure
  • Accepted
  • Forgiven
  • Humbled
  • Encouraged
  • Full
  • Refreshed
  • Redeemed
  • Complete
  • Not lacking anything
  • Without fear
  • Free to be me
  • Not a slave to sin
  • Made in the image of God
  • His work of art
  • His messenger
  • Joyful
  • Peaceful
  • His Beloved

Oh friends, my heart is so refreshed when I think on who I am in Christ. Today, when I looked in the mirror, I wasn't appalled by my bald head but instead it just reminded me to think about my identity in Christ. I encourage you to take time to remind yourself of who you are in Christ. To take off the masks that rob us of the joy of being who we were created to be. I pray that you will see how adored and significant you truly are. I am so thankful that God continues to remind me of my worth in Him alone.

Today, January 31st, I was supposed to have my 2nd round of chemotherapy. However, it was postponed until next Tuesday because my white blood cell count is too low, which means that my body hasn't fully rebounded from my last treatment and is not able to fight off infection right now. So, if I were to have received chemotherapy today, Dr. O'Shaugnessy said that I would have been really sick for the next 3 weeks, which would have been terrible! I was so bummed though when she told us, "Not today" because I feel really healthy and my heart is in such a great place with the Lord. I wasn't anxious at all this morning, I was ready; or so I thought I was. I just hate that my sweet Mom and Dad drove all the way from Colorado to take care of me, and now they have to go home and my mom is flying back here next Monday. And it means that all of my following chemotherapy treatments are also bumped a week, so my wonderful sisters and friends that had made arrangements to come here for a specific treatment now have to reschedule their flights and other arrangements. Oh, the people pleasing nature in me feels so terrible that this is such an inconvenience. I just thought, God why? Today would have been great, it was in my 'plan.' But the Lord gently reminded me that His timing is perfect and that He is in complete control, and just as He reminded me this week to find my identity in Him alone, today he called me to Trust Him completely. "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 Please pray that I would completely trust God's perfect timing and that my white blood cells would be replenished this week. Friends, we just love you. We are so thankful to have you in our life to walk this journey with. I will be praying this week that each of you realizes how unbelievably loved you are by the King of the Universe and that you would claim your true identity as His sons and daughters. It's not Who you are, it's WHOSE you are! Have a wonderful week!

Joyfully in HIM~


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Love in Love Week

1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT - Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.

Oh, My dear friends,

It is with a humble heart and so much gratitude, that Randi and I write to you concerning the love that is being lavished upon us. High School is often a time where one thinks solely about themselves and only upon what concerns themselves. It is a rarity indeed to find any in this stage of life that would concern themselves with others. We love high schoolers and have such a heart for them, but we know that for so many this is just an "all about me" time in their lives. However, the students at Allen High School have blown us away with their selfless love through something called Love Week.  Love Week is best described on its' website which you can go to here. It is also described here on Allen ISD's website. As you may have seen on one of our earlier posts, back at the end of October Randi and I shared the challenge ahead of us with our YL friends who are in high school. Randi was shortly thereafter nominated by the student body to be the Love Week recipient. It has been reported to me that the nominations that came from the students were overwhelming in number and very humbling in content. Randi says she doesn't believe that but I know what a treasure she is! Once the student body had nominated her, the administration and the IB students (International Baccalaureate) voted her to be the 2012 Love Week recipient. The amazing thing about this is that it is all student led! Below is a picture of one of the purported 10,000 flyers that have been printed and distributed throughout Allen... 

Students even designed the shirts that are being sold. The design is shown below. You can order one on the website as mentioned above. Randi said that she would love it if you would send us a picture with your Love Week T-shirt on!

Even the buttons were designed by and are being sold by the students.

Are you kidding me!? When I was in high school this type of thing was not really even on my radar. I was more concerned about the next game, next event, or worse, the next homework. Faith's fullest expression is in Love, Hope's fully anticipated in Love, and Love is the greatest of these three. How someone in high school might understand that and live it out is beyond my capacity to explain in this post. Randi and I are still in shock. 

Our favorite part about all that the students designed for Love Week is the common theme throughout of John 10:10 which states "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." This is one of our favorite verses and one which we remind our YL friends of quite often. The only thing that has sustained us through and in every new day of this journey has been our relationship with Jesus Christ. To paraphrase John 10:10, Jesus, in an eternal sense, not only adds years to our life, but life to our years! Oh, we are so grateful for the power that He provides, hope that He honors, and Love that He gives. Notice, we are promised that the enemy is coming and has come to rip us off, to steal life, and to destroy any hopes or dreams that we have. I am so glad that the enemy has NOTHING on my God! Perhaps more now than ever, Randi and I know that ABUNDANT LIFE is found nowhere else but in Jesus. That is why even on our most challenging of days as we abide in Him, we can abound in love, because He gives abundant life. Is there anywhere where you are allowing the enemy to rip you off? Or are you experiencing the abundant life? After all, 1 John 3:16 NIV - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us...

I remember well when Randi was first diagnosed and we told friends about what had come upon us. The response was quite varied from people but for the most part the majority of those with the kindest of intentions flooded us with advice. Although so much of it was helpful, we were already overwhelmed. When we told those in high school, however, they perhaps did not know enough to tell us how to solve our circumstance, they just simply loved us, and they continue to do so. This last Saturday, while Randi and I were out celebrating her birthday, some of our friends in high school went to a YL event at Cowboys Stadium to play flag football against other schools. To our surprise, we got a picture of one of the teams, as seen below. They, as their shirts reveal, were "Team Randi." Some of these are my sophomore boys who I lead in YL. Oh, how they bless our life! I have played on many teams in my life but let me assure you that there is no greater team than Team Randi!

Friends, oh how you bless our lives too. We are continually amazed by the encouragement and love that so many of you have poured out upon us. Philippians 1:3 NIV - I thank my God every time I remember you.

We LOVE you,


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Just Give Me Jesus

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24 

Sweet Friends, 

   What a wonderful day today is! For many reasons, but one of them being that today is my 28th Birthday:) And like never before in my life, I feel so blessed to celebrate my birthday. I feel so privileged to have this day to praise God for the life He has given me. I have experienced more love and joy in the past 28 years than I can possibly explain. When I think about the blessings that God has poured upon my life, I am overwhelmed. There have been many hard days in the past 28 years; time periods I would love to forget, but oh my, the love that Christ has lavished on my life leaves me speechless! I am married to the best husband in the world, who I fall more in love with every day. We have the sweetest, most beautiful daughter who is just a ray of sunshine. I have family and friends who love me and care about me in ways I will never fully understand. But more-so, than all of these wonderful blessings, I have Jesus... who has proven over and over again to be my life's greatest treasure. So today, and everyday, that is so worth celebrating! 

For the past 2 days I have felt fantastic! Yesterday, it was nearly 80 degrees here, so McKinley, Trooper and I got to play at the park and enjoy the beautiful weather. It felt amazing to feel like me again:) Praise God for restoration of my health! Oh, how He answers the prayers of His beloved. The past 2 weeks have definitely been challenging; the seven days following chemo were probably the hardest physically of my life. Matt and my mom took great care of me, they made my most painful moments so much better. Not painful in the same sense as recovery from my surgery, it was just overwhelming in sickness and weakness. But friends, I felt your prayers and the strong arms of our Savior in a profoundly deeper way than I have ever before. In my  weakest of moments, where I didn't have the strength to do anything but lay still in bed, I experienced probably the sweetest times I have ever had in my life with the Lord. When there was literally not an ounce of my strength left, He showed up in such beautiful ways. He captivated my every thought, my heart's deepest desires, and in my stillness, I was just with Him... and I loved it. There was a song that played in my mind a thousand times that week, and the truth of it blessed my heart in inexplicable ways. Its called "Give Me Jesus" by Jeremy Camp. Close your eyes, listen to the words, be overwhelmed by its beauty....

Just give me Jesus. That's all. Oh, how I hate being sick and I hate chemotherapy, but I love that in my sickness, Jesus was literally all that I had; evermore all that I needed. I pray that would be my heart every single day: just give me Jesus. I pray that none of you will ever have to face cancer or go through chemotherapy, but I do pray that God will bring you to a place where Jesus is it for you. I count myself so blessed to be in this place where I know that the love of Christ is better than anything in this world. I want that desperately for each of you, because it really is the greatest thing on this side of heaven. :-) 

This Thursday is the day Dr. O'Shaugnessy says that I will lose my hair. If I let it fall out naturally, it will take about 3 days. However, I know there is absolutely no way I can go through the trauma of pulling out all my hair, so as soon as it starts to fall out, Matt and I are just going to shave it off. As I have shared with y'all before, that may be the hardest day of all of this for me. I know that for many of y'all, losing your hair doesn't seem like that big of a deal, and how I wish that that was true of me. But I love my blond hair, I love feeling beautiful and I am so scared to look in the mirror and be bald. I am crying right now just thinking about it. So, please on Thursday, pray for me. Pray that my heart would be so captivated with Christ that I would be okay as my hair falls out. Pray that as I look in the mirror I would know that my beauty comes only from the Lord: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4.  Pray that the mirror wouldn't say more than the Master. Thank you sweet friends for your prayers! Oh how I need them:)  I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend that you know how deeply loved you are!

Joyfully in HIM~


Monday, January 16, 2012

He Giveth More Grace

1 Chronicles 16:11-12 ESV - Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered,


This last week has been quite the whirlwind.  Randi received her first dosage of chemotherapy Tuesday, January the 10th. The actual infusion itself, although somewhat scary with its bright red color and awful nickname, was easier than expected.  It was just a long day of labs and doctor's appointments. I was so proud of her, her strength in the Lord is so evident that even the nurses had to comment.  Peace pervaded her heart even as chaos entered her veins. Oh, how good is our God? 

Isaiah 26:3 NLT - You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

As we got home Tuesday night, it would seem that things took a turn for the worse. My poor bride had already been having stomach issues prior to her first dosage, but that night they got intense. After a call to the doctor and a new prescription, the night settled into a peaceful sleep. Jane, Randi's mother and herself a breast cancer survivor who had been through much of this before, was here all week. This proved to be a great blessing as she knew much of what Randi was experiencing and what could be done to help.  She as well knew what foods would be palatable to my wife and was a great taste tester.  Her and Randi joked that one day they might write a mother, daughter chemo cook book. The rest of the week seemed best summed up by Pat Green's song "It Came Upon Me Wave on Wave." There were moments of feeling great and almost healthy, followed by moments of utter weakness and painful nausea.  Throughout it all my sweet wife just felt extremely weak and tired, and for the most part was confined to her bed. Any energy that she had was spent sneaking out of bed to play with McKinley however short lived. We had the expectation that this weekend would be the beginning of the upswing for Randi, however the intensity of the pain reached its peak last night and it was scary.

There is a pain that I have not known all too well but am becoming well acquainted with. This pain is quite different than all others that I have felt, as it is something where I cannot just "tough it out." As much as I would like to avoid it, run away even, this pain is inescapable and as much as I would like to fix it, this pain is outside the scope of my solutions. This pain is keenly felt and it's sharply penetrating; it strikes at the core of my soul and tests the strength of my character.  This is the pain of watching my most beloved suffer and Oh how painful it is! In front of her I try to be strong in these weak moments, but I soon run to my Savoir with abundance of tears and cries for mercy. I am so grateful that He hears, and it seems that these tears water the soil in which His answers grow. With the depths of my soul I do not for the life of me know how someone might go through such pain without knowing Him! Many with the kindest of intentions have said to us that God will not give us more than we can handle. I have found this to be completely false, what we are experiencing is overwhelming. However, as someone has so eloquently stated here, God does give us more than we can handle.  He does this to show that it is never more than HE can handle. 

Randi and I have garnered much strength from the hymn written below.  It was authored by Annie J. Flint in the early 1800s who herself was an invalid completely dependent upon everything outside of herself. We have found this hymn's message to be absolutely true.

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

When we have run out of things to do and medicines to take, my wife has shown me what it means to pray. When we have run out of things to say and words do not seem to satisfy, my wife has shown me the power of the Scriptures coming forth out of the wellspring of her heart. God, in the scariest of moments, has shown Himself to be most faithful and has been our comfort when nothing else can. Faith implies helplessness, for if one could do it themselves, there would be no need to trust anyone or anything else. I feel as though we are learning the true meaning of Faith as dark moments force us to walk by faith and not by sight. What is it today that you are trusting in yourself for? Perhaps what you face is much more than you can handle, but it is never more than HE can handle. He is faithful; His riches abound. When we feel as though there is nothing left, God shows up, and He Giveth More Grace...

Please pray that last night was the worst of it and that this week shall be for the better.  If not, please pray that His strength would cause us to soar on eagle's wings as we wait on Him.  We are so grateful for you and your friendship! Your prayers have been powerful and God has shown Himself good!


Monday, January 9, 2012

The Focus In The Fight

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still." Exodus 14:14

Precious Friends,

I feel as though it has been so long since I wrote you last. I hope your holidays were richly blessed. Ours were wonderful. God is so good in allowing us that sweet time in between surgery and chemotherapy to rejuvenate and celebrate who He is and all that He has done in our lives. It was so wonderful to have a little break from all this cancer stuff! One thing that I treasure about cancer is that it helps my heart to find joy in the simple things. Things that I would have never even thought about doing before, now I feel blessed every single time I get to do them. For example, when McKinley wakes up unexpectedly at night, I can't wait to go into her room, reach into her crib and just hold her. Oh, how I love to hold my sweet little girl. About 2 weeks ago, I was cleared to lift McKinley. Praise God! Certain lifting that I wasn't supposed to be able to do for 6 months post-surgery, I can do now! How great is God! I know He is answering the prayers of His beloved. Thank you for praying.

Years ago, I read a wonderful book called Wild At Heart, that completely changed my picture of God and what He wants for my life. I had long thought of God as a meek shepherd: all loving and all forgiving, but not really someone I would want to go to battle with; more like someone I would want to go to coffee with. But as I have fallen more in love with Christ and have gotten to really know Him, God has revealed to me that although He is our all loving, all forgiving, sweet Shepherd, He is also the mightiest, most courageous Warrior in all the universe. Psalm 24:8 NIV - Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. There is absolutely nothing that he can't conquer and that one day, when Christ returns, that He won't completely conquer. So although, there have been many days since my diagnosis that I just needed the loving, compassionate arms of my heavenly Dad to hold me, today, more than ever, I need my Warrior to fight for me. I find so much peace in knowing that since Jesus conquered Death and healed his beloved from the depravity of sin, I know, with full confidence that He can and will conquer cancer and heal me.  One of my favorite sayings is 'Faith is not just believing that God can, but it is knowing that He will.' Tomorrow (Tuesday, January 10th) at 10:30am, I start chemotherapy. I will have labs run and will see Dr. O'Shaugnessy, but my actual infusion will last about two and half hours. So, for two and a half hours, I will just sit there as the medicinal poison flows through my veins and seeks to kill my cancer cells. How awesome then that God promises us: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still" Exodus 14:14. For perhaps the first time ever in my life, God is not even allowing me to step foot on the battle ground. He just strongly reassures me, "Randi, just be still, I will fight for you, this battle is mine." Although, if you know me, you know that I love to be part of everything, I hate to miss a thing. I want to be on the front lines (more like in the front row) of everything. Its hard and humbling to be taken out of the game. I often think that God just needs a little of my help to accomplish His purpose. Ha! The King of the Universe doesn't need me to help Him at all, He has it all under His perfect control. He just asks us to hand over the reigns, to give Him the steering wheel of our life. That is the ultimate beauty of the gospel; that Jesus died for us and all He ever asks is for us to give our broken, sinful lives to Him. Oh, how I love that truth! So although, I desperately want to actively fight this cancer battle, I am so thankful that God loves me so much that He will fight this one for me. 2 Chronicles 20:15b NIV - This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. I know the victory is already won, so today, tomorrow and every day for the next 6 months, may my heart just "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10 Please pray that I would find a perfect peace in letting God fight this battle for me; and that in my stillness, I would fall more in love with my Mighty Warrior.

Although I find immense comfort in the strength of my Savior, there are many moments where I allow the fear of what is to come to grip my every thought.  I often forget that most people have never seen someone they love go through cancer treatment. (If that is you- awesome!) Unfortunately, I feel like I've seen too many. So, I have a pretty good idea of what is to come and the nasty side effects of chemotherapy as well as Lupron. When I dwell on these things, especially since one of my chemotherapy drugs is nicknamed the "Red Devil," I become so scared and anxious. I don't want to be sick and exhausted and irritable, and I desperately do not want to lose my hair. I'm scared to not look or feel like myself. Matt often has reminded me that chemotherapy may change my body for awhile, but it cannot change my heart. Oh, how thankful I am for that. Last night, as Matt and I were spending some sweet time reading God's Word, we read this verse: "But seek First His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:33-34 Please pray that this would be my heart, that I would seek the Lord and His glory before anything else, and that I would be so focused on Him that I wouldn't worry about tomorrow, or any of the tomorrows to come. Matt's mom has wisely told me so many times that God doesn't promise us the grace for the 'what ifs' only for the 'what ares.' I know with all my heart, that God's grace is sufficient for every single thing that is to come and that His power will be made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). With that being true, I have nothing to fear. Anything and everything I am about to face, He will be right there with me, fighting the battle for me. I've heard it reported that it says in the Bible 'to not be afraid' some 365 times. Can you believe that! How perfect and sovereign God is, that He gave us a reminder every single day of the year that we have nothing to fear with Him. So Lord, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." Psalm 56:3 Please pray that every moment that I start to fear, that I will trust completely in Him.

Many people have asked me why I still have to go through chemotherapy, even though they took out all my breast tissue and all the visible cancer during surgery. It has been explained to me that it takes at least 1 million cancer cells to decide to land in the exact same spot, before any medical test can detect them. So although, during surgery, they did get all the cancer in my breast tissue, there is a chance that those silly cancer cells are still floating all around my body, and 1 million of them haven't decided to land in the same spot yet. So, chemotherapy drugs are like mass destruction agents. We don't know where in my body the cancer cells could still be lurking, so the chemotherapy drugs seek to kill all rapidly dividing cells. The hard thing about chemotherapy is that it doesn't just kill cancer cells, in the process, it kills many healthy cells too. That is where all the side effects come from the nausea, fatigue, weak immune system, hair loss, etc... Dr. O said that I will experience the worst of the side effects for the 3-5 days following chemotherapy. So that would be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. I will then have a 'medium' week and then a 'good' week, before I have chemotherapy again on January 31st. We don't know exactly what this all will look like for me, but we are praying for miraculous healing; that I wouldn't experience any of these icky side effects. But we are also praying that if I do, that I would rest in the fact that God's grace is sufficient for my every weakness, and that through my weakness, His strength would be so evident. Please pray that I would have a gentle and quiet spirit, even when I feel irritable and out of control. Although there is great uncertainty in how I may feel, there is greater certainty in who my God is and the beautiful plans that He has for me. I don't know how I could do this without Him.

Sweet friends, I feel as though I have asked you to pray for so much.  As Matt and I have mentioned before, we believe that there is no greater blessing that you could give us than to go before the King of all the universe on our behalf.  Your prayers mean more than I could ever express.  I wish I could be praying for you specifically, but know that I am faithfully praying that you will allow God to fight whatever battle you are facing for you; that you would find still moments just to be with Him even in the busyness of life; and that you would not fear anything that tomorrow has to bring. Is there a battle that you are trying to fight in your own strength? As I have mentioned before, you may have heard of the Loving Lamb, but I hope today that you get to know the Mighty Warrior who desperately wants to fight on your behalf. I love you and am so thankful for you everyday.

Joyfully in HIM~


1 Samuel 17:47 NIV - All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's..."