Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Piece By Peace

Hello friends!  Since it has been several months since my last post, let me quickly catch you up to speed on how things are going.  I had another PET scan this week, and there was no sign of cancer growth on the scan!  I have been in remission for over a year!  Is that awesome or what?!?  After my scan, Todd and I visited with my oncologist.  He shared information about current research in bladder cancer treatment. It was interesting to hear what lurks on the horizon with regard to improving survival rates for this type and stage of cancer. While the information was somewhat above our scope of understanding, our biggest take away from the conversation was further hope.  The research involves genetic mutations and is still in the clinical trials phrase.  We look forward to updates on this research as they become available!  For now, the oncologist encouraged me to take care of myself and live a normal life (um, did I mention this was our first visit with him, and he has yet to learn how much of a weirdo I am?).  So, here’s to being “normal” and continuing to enjoy life in remission!

While remission has me feeling better physically, I am also incredibly proud of the progress I have made mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  For the better part of 2019, I fought a great deal of depression and anxiety.  However, little by little, my body, mind and spirit are being restored.  I have been able to engage more socially, started singing at church again, and joined a weight loss program in hopes of shedding the weight I have put on. I still have to rest quite often but, set small daily and weekly goals and am thankful to see myself capable and able to accomplish them. Todd and the boys are doing well too. Jack is gearing up for golf season at school, and Joseph has been busy with school band and making his delicious homemade pizzas. We are also looking forward to spring and hope to do some traveling during the boys’ spring break.  I so enjoy being a stay at home mom and wife.  It makes my heart happy to devote my full attention to my family. There are still challenging days for us, of course, but we will take whatever triumphs, big or small, come our way! Sharing these struggles and strides with you is helpful and I so appreciate your encouragement and prayers for me and my family.  I hope in sharing I can be an encouragement to you also.

If I had to describe or give title to the progress I have made, “Piece by Peace” seems fitting. The restoration I have been going through has occurred and is occurring piece by piece.  One step at a time.  Little by little.  Made possible because of my faith, trust and peace in Christ Jesus.  I have been thinking a lot about the word, “peace”.  What does it mean?  How does it feel?  What does it look like?  Here is what I have come up so far…to me, peace means, feels, and looks like:

Rest. Lack of chaos. Slow breaths. Stillness. Calm. Serenity. Security. Healing. Order. Freedom.
In the New Testament book of Philippians, the apostle, Paul, wrote,

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT)

Though Paul wrote this to the Christians in Philippi, the same message is applicable to our lives today. Whatever circumstances we face, we can still have peace. The peace that comes through faith in Christ is a peace like no other.  It is a peace that fills our minds even when we don’t know the answers to all our questions.  A peace that comes even when we don’t know what the road ahead looks like.  A peace so amazing it is beyond our comprehension. Man, I am thankful to have that kind of peace.  I cannot begin to imagine life without it. 

Rest. Lack of chaos. Slow breaths. Stillness. Calm. Serenity. Security. Healing. Order. Freedom.

God provides it all.

Piece by peace.