A friend of mine overcame breast cancer last year. She has this picture, standing in a beautiful wild, with a valley behind. I really like this picture. That range in the distance is similar, but not the same. The climate is pretty much the same, there will be some of the same vegetation, but it's not the same place. When you look in the distance, to the hills behind her, they are steep and once you step down, you're committed, down you go.
|Isn't she beautiful?! Jen, we see your strength.|
... Lyrics from the song, "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North say....I know I need to lift my eyes upBut I'm too weakLife just won’t let upAnd I know that you can give me restSo I cry out with all that I have left
I think I would feel this way just in the midst of regular life without ever walking this cancer road. I feel entitled to a break, to rest, but life just won't let up. I'm seeking my rest in places that aren't satisfying, and as much as I feel I deserve a break, it is a mercy and grace that doesn't belong to me. God only promises to be with us. It is true, life just won't let up. I am feeling that more acutely through some other difficult circumstances.
I know it's been a long time of need for all of us, and it's hard to keep asking, but please hang in there with us as we figure out how to get back into a life that has been lived for a year without us. I feel like the new person a lot. Spending time with people we've known before cancer is strange. It is clear we haven't been a part of their lives. Relationships between friends have grown and changed with each other, kids have grown and changed. We can't just go back to normal and I don't know how to start over as a completely changed person. I feel like I have to get to know everyone again. I suppose it's a bit like Anthony and I. Coming out of this, we are changed people, our soft spots are different, we need grace and to encourage each other in ways we didn't need before. We have to commit to relearning each other in meaningful ways, and I need to do that with the people around me."
This desire for rest will not be met entirely in this life. There will ALWAYS be hurt and pain in some degree. This morning at church we sung "You're Beautiful" by Phil Wickham. At one point in the song I just started weeping.
"Now You are sitting on Your Heavenly throne. Soon we will be coming home. You're beautiful."
"As we arrive on eternity's shore where death is just a memory and tears are no more."
There is a promise ahead. A promise of no more pain, no more weeping, no more death. A promise of perfect relationship with the One who loves us more than any ever could. Life will let up, and the rest I will never completely find in this life will be found. Soon we will be coming home. It was an encouraging morning of worship for me. Honest...I don't want this hurt...and real...I am so, so weak right now. Through one of the other songs, God reminded me of a passage that has long been a cornerstone of my personal faith, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10...
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
It was refreshing to cry this morning and feels good to just confess that this is still really hard, and we are still incredibly needy.
Esther is doing pretty well. The skin on her face is showing breakdown from this final round of accutane. I am so glad we don't have to worry about her Broviac site anymore. She is feeling well and still showing everyone that her tubies are gone. Tuesday we are going swimming! She's going to be so excited. We're trying to soak up as much summer as possible and will be starting school Wednesday. Here's some pictures from the last couple of weeks.
The weather finally got warm enough to ripen some of our fruits and veggies!
We had a dance party after lunch today and taught our kids about the awesomness that is old school Weezer.