Thursday, September 13, 2012

A New Morning; A New Day; A New Outlook

Isaiah 43:19a NASB - "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth...

Sweet Friends,

   How are you? I hope this letter finds you well, that you have been able to settle into the busy fun that is fall!   I so LOVE summer but I am always excited for fall. I know that for most, spring marks new beginnings, but somehow fall always seems for me like the time of the year for fresh starts. I love the excitement of school and activities starting; I love watching football games and ordering pumpkin spice chai tea lattes at Starbucks. I love the warmth of deep conversations with friends and the way my heart is overjoyed when bible study starts up again. I love getting out fall clothes and putting away all the pool toys. I love wearing scarfs and boots. I love cool afternoons spent playing at the park with McKinley and our new puppy, Trigger :) I love thinking about what our little family will dress up as for Halloween. I love kicking off another year with Young Life and watching kids who accepted Christ at camp this summer really start walking with Jesus. I love the beauty of fall colors.  I love this fall especially because it marks a new beginning in our life. Nearly a year ago, this cancer journey started and tomorrow we get to take the final step (hopefully)! To say that I am excited, is a complete understatement! I am over the moon thrilled! At 7:00am tomorrow morning (Friday, September 14th), I will have my last surgery. Dr. Carpenter, my wonderful plastic surgeon, will take out my expanders, and replace them with beautiful, new implants! During the procedure, he will also take fat from my tummy (awesome!) and add it to my breasts to make them look realistic. God has such a great sense of humor that the surgery that gives me new boobs would also tighten my tummy!  The surgery should take 2.5 hours and I should be released from the hospital later in the day.  Compared to my first surgery, this should be so much easier. I will have those terribly, icky drains in until Tuesday, so Dr. Carpenter said I will feel pretty bad until then.  But after they are removed, I should make a quick recovery! I just can't do any heavy lifting for about 4 weeks. So once again, I can't lift my precious McKinley, which breaks my heart.  However, she is a very independent little 2 year old now, so I'm sure it won't even phase her. How much she has grown up since my first surgery last November! How much the Lord has grown all of us over this past year.

Tonight, on the eve of my last surgery, my heart is overwhelmed with the idea of newness. Perhaps because tomorrow I get new boobs, which is awesome; but as I really start thinking about it, God has given me so many new things over the past year. At times, I start to think of everything that has been taken, but then I am reminded of the joy that comes from focusing on what God has so graciously given. I have been given so much. Besides my new breasts, I feel as if I have a new body in many ways, one with out any cancer in it. I have new hair, which is really growing in, it is about 2 inches long!  I finally have new eye lashes, that I am so thankful for. And I know that I have a new perspective on life. I'm sure anyone that has had cancer, looks at life a little differently: sweeter, more precious. God has given me a new standard of beauty, one that comes from a heart that is so in love with Jesus. I love knowing that God makes all things new in His time. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17. I love that because of Christ, we are completely new; that God doesn't see any old in us. He removes our sins, our old self, as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) God, in His abundant goodness, only sees us as new creations. Oh, how wonderful would it be if we never focused on what used to be! I pray that I will be able to see all of my new things, without remembering how they used to be.  I pray my mind will not dwell on what I used to be, but rather what God has made me into. "To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:23-24. He made my heart new years ago, but this year He has given me so many new things to remind me of how He wants everything to be made new, and when it is made new, the old is completely gone. Oh Lord, I pray that my old, cancer filled body would be completely gone.  And when I look in the mirror and see my image that isn't what it used to be, I would rejoice in the fact that it isn't as it used to be. God has made me new. He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:5  

The view we had from a new morning on Lake Texoma! 
Lamentations 3:22 NIV - Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Friends, I don't know where this finds you tonight; perhaps you are on the eve of some big change, perhaps tomorrow is just a regular day. Wherever you are, I pray that you have given your heart to Jesus and been made new.  As our heavenly Dad says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;" Ezekial 36:26. And as a new creation, I pray that today you would sing a new song, one that rings in the heart of heaven. "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:3. I pray that you would only be able to see your newness in Christ, and that you would let your old be completely removed. How great our God is to make all things new! How beautiful it is to focus on the new. Please pray that my surgery goes well and that Dr. Carpenter's hands would be guided by the Great Physician. Pray that my heart would cling to the cross when pain overwhelms my body. Thank you precious friends for all your love, encouragement and prayers. We will keep you updated!

His New Creation~