Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Thursday, November 27, 2008

These Things I Know For Sure

I am writing this post on Thanksgiving Eve. it is late, 11:09 now and I know I will still be up for a while. A cheesecake is finishing its last 10 minutes in the oven and then it has to cool for one hour before going in the fridge for the night. It is a delicious recipe and oldest son wanted to make it with me, so I waited until later tonight when we could do it together. My "famous" broccoli and rice is put together for tomorrow and will bake after we arrive at husband's folks.

I have some time alone now to reflect and compose this post.

My thoughts are so deep right now. As I think back on these last 6 months, I KNOW I have much to be thankful for.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day will be the 6 month anniversary of my heart attack. The event which began the chain of events that will shape the rest of my life.

These things I know for sure:

1. God is faithful.
I guess I have known that in my head for quite some time, I have read the Bible enough to see that fact repeated in scripture. I have heard others proclaim that time and again when they have gone through crisis. I guess though, that it was never made more real to me than it has been in the last 6 months. There were so many events, and not just in my own life, but in the family as a whole, that might cause some to doubt God. In each situation though, even ones that did not turn out how we would want, God proved that He is right there, every step of the way.

2. My Husband is incredible.
Most every marriage vow includes the phrase. "for better or worse". I just don't think that when you are standing at the altar that you really think that time will come. Might I just be real and say that even though God was and is faithful, I would have never chosen these last 6 months. I cannot think many people would choose a heart attack, followed by cancer, followed by an emergency surgery, followed by a breast biopsy. Worse came all at once for us and my husband was my biggest ally. He was my support, my nurse, my advocate, my encouragement and my love. I cannot thank him enough for loving me in such a way.
I remember one particular moment that will always be etched in my mind: We were at the local emergency room when my neck had suddenly swelled. I was so afraid, and I was not handling it very well, I was crying and scared. I feared what was going to happen as I was struggling to breathe. My husband was at the end of the bed and to calm myself I just had to stare into his eyes and lean on his courage for a moment. He stood there and returned my focus. He was keeping his eyes fixed on mine to give me the support I needed. They quickly gave me a medication which knocked me out, but I remember the love and encouragement in his eyes. Oh how I love this man.

3. Family means everything.
I am blessed to have two sons. They were there the day of my heart attack at my bedside. They were there the day of my cancer surgery. They have encouraged me along the way. They are a sweet motivation and a huge reason to "press on".

My sister has gone over and above the call of duty and made so many trips to the hospital and to my home to care for me, to visit me and to love me. She and I have been close for a very long time, but the way we feel about each other now is amazing. Since the day of my heart attack we do not end a single phone conversation without telling each other "I love you". It is that important because we now know how fragile life really is. When the time ever comes that God separates us we will have no regrets.

My brothers have made countless calls to check up on me and several of them were able to make trips to the hospital to see me. I am so blessed.

My husband's family means the world to me and have been there through it all with many phone calls, visits, and prayers. They traveled many miles to be with me and have shown so much love, even though each of them had been dealt some pretty serious things in their own lives and families.

Husband's parents have loved me as their own ever since I married into this family and these last 6 months were no exception.
These were hard months for them as well, but that never stopped them from showing concern for me.

4. Friends are icing on the cake.
We are such a blessed people. It is not enough that the God of the Universe loves us and calls us His own, not enough that He puts us in an amazing support system known as the family, but He sprinkles our lives with friends to top everything off. What can I possibly say to all of my friends to express my thanks? I never wanted for anything. Meals, housework, yard-work, errands, visits, you name it and it was provided. Many things were provided before I even expressed a need. The prayers and phone calls helped carry me through each day and the cards poured in. During the "heart attack" period I received 79 cards, during the "cancer" period I received well over 100. I have kept every one, they are such encouragement. I have had church friends, school friends, old friends, and very new friends all rally around and shower me with love.

5. This world is not my home.
I think the most important thing I know for sure is just that. This world is not really my home. I now know life is fragile, that life can turn on a dime and be completely different in just one heartbeat. As much as I love life and love my husband, family and friends, I know that we are all here for such a short time. The God of the Universe knows that as well and thankfully made a plan for all of us to live forever. The salvation that I have in my life is the one thing I am truly most thankful for. Yes, even more than everything else I have lived through in the last 6 months. That more important even than waking up this morning breathing, I have an assurance of eternal life.

As I finish typing I am noticing that now it is indeed the 27th, the 6th month anniversary mark. After all I have gone through in those 6 months, I may not really know much, but those things I know for sure. I truly do have much to be thankful for.

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