Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Heart of Christmas

I just watched this movie, "The Heart of Christmas".

WARNING!  Do NOT watch this unless you want to cry.

I went through a pile of tissues.

Ok warning over, but I need to tell you that it is a story about a family and their child going through the struggle of cancer. (I didn't read the info. about the movie beforehand.)

Anyhow, this movie really got me thinking about all of the relationships that develop between doctors, nurses, other cancer patients, the techs, the schedulers, the patient's family and the patient.  It's mind blowing how 6 months ago I had never met them, and now I have a close relationship with some of them.  We have been through ALOT together.  And you know what?  They genuinely care.  They are cheering us on.  I'm so grateful for their care and their concern about this cancer and my victory over it.

It also made me think about all of the blessings that have been given to us over the last several months.  You guys have poured love into our family and we can never say thank you enough.  We have heard about the prayers that are being said, we have received your emails, texts, and cards of encouragement, and we have been blessed by your generous giving.  People have traveled from near and far to visit with us--it has truly been humbling.

Along with all of these blessings,  we have also experienced all kinds of new things. 

Right now I am severely nuetropenic.  Which means that my immunization level is almost non-existent.  My doctor has basically made me quarantine.  We can not have visitors/family around because even the smallest infections could cause me to get sick and end up back in the hospital.  In our home you will find us wearing masks, spraying down common areas,  eating no raw foods including fruits and veggies, and being very careful to avoid germs.   By the way this is very common with cancer patients to experience this issue.  Chemo kills the bad AND the good.  It's one of the ugly side effects.  I could sit here and have a pity party--cause it is very difficult to tell your family they can't come around other than to the door to talk across the room. AND It is really hard to call your son and daughter-in-law and tell them that you can't host your granddaughter's 1st birthday party because you might get sick. (A few tears may or may not have been shed.)

Instead I've been trying to find "The Heart of Christmas" in this less than ideal situation.  

The first thing that I believe God arranged for me to experience was a visit in my chemo room this week.  Instead of chemo, my doctor arranged for me to have potassium and magnesium because they were low.  I was put into a large 4 person room and started getting my cocktail through my port.  About half way into my time, an older woman was wheeled into one of the "rooms" by her (daughter--I later found out).  I overheard the daughter tell the nurse that she was the "favorite" daughter.  This made me laugh because my daughters are always telling me that they are my favorite.  Anyways, we began a conversation with this family and soon found out that the older woman and her husband had been stateside missionaries during their marriage.  Over the years they had worked with unwed mothers, women and children who were abused, and a faith-based alcohol program for rehabilitation.  This woman was so gracious and wise (even though she said she didn't consider herself "wise).  She explained how using the things we have experienced--the good and the hard times--were ways we were supposed to minister to others.  Her daughter was just as precious.  She had flown in from out of state to help take care of her mom.  I later found out that she has stage 4 lung cancer and is having surgery on the 20th.  (Please put her on your calendar to pray for her--God knows her name.)  You want to know what?  At the age of 97 this sweet sister of mine in Christ was doing exactly what she was talking about.  She really ministered to me that day.

The second thing God arranged for me was to be blessed by was First Baptist Screven Youth Group last night.  Just yesterday I had posted that one of the things I missed about not attending church was singing with my church family.  Well last night the youth group came and sang Christmas carols outside of our home.  They didn't know it because I was wearing a mask, but I was singing right along with them.  And tears of joy snuck out.  What a joy it was to share that time--me on the inside, them in the yard.

The Heart of Christmas is all around us.  Are you looking for it?  What things has God done for you to let you know that He cares for you and loves you.  It's happening whether you recognize it or not.

Let me encourage you to take a break from your "crazy" and look and see what God is up to.

Love yall,