I have been wanting to write this post for a long time. I have put it off because I am afraid that I am going to leave someone out. However, I believe that God wants me to share the amazing ways that He has provided for our family. I read this verse recently, and it reminded me of the importance of sharing God's work in our lives:
"Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story." Psalm 107
The people that God has surrounded us with have held us up every step of the way. We have been fed, prayed for, lavished with gifts, and flooded with cards and notes. Our kids have been loved and cared for. People have spent hours with me in this dreary hospital room. Our home has been organized and cleaned by friends and family from near and far. I even had a friend travel from KY to be with me during my surgeries!!!
Our families have traveled hundreds of miles to come run our household when I have been unable. They have taken time off from work and their daily routines to come take care of me and my family. They have sacrificed energy and money to travel. They have put off home projects of their own so they could make sure that our house was in order and that my kids needs were being met. They have housed my kids for a week while I was in the hospital. The beautiful thing is that I didn't even have to ask. They just jumped right in. They have taught me a lot about what it means to "do for family." It has been a humbling experience for sure, but one that I will forever be grateful.
My diagnosis came 3 months after moving to a new city which had many people concerned. People were worried that we wouldn't have people to help us out, but God knew exactly what He was doing. Ben grew up in East Tennessee and we both went to college in the area. We both have family members around who have stepped in to help.
When Ben and I were in college and later when we got married, we became very close with a group of friends that we have stayed in touch with over the years. We have known some of these friends for over 20 years! Yikes that makes us sound old! I am confident that this group of special people will be our friends for life. They have traveled 45-90 minutes to come spend the day with my kids, including homeschooling Chase. They all have kids and busy lives of their own, but they have made themselves available to meet our needs on a practical level. When we were going through the many years of infertility and waiting for our family to grow, I would get so frustrated because all my friends were having babies and we were not. I so wanted our kids to grow up together and be the same age. During this season of our life, however, it has been a BLESSING that my friends' children are older than mine! My friends' kids have been able to help out with my littles, making it a little easier on the mommas who have added my 2 extra into the mix.
In the beginning of this process, one of my sister in laws told me that the new friendships that I would be forming during this time would be formed in a different way than I was used to. She was right. When I meet new people, I typically like to present myself as a mostly "put together" person. Instead, here I am falling apart and making new friends in the process. It is by God's grace that I have been able to meet people from Chase's school and our church who have been there to pray over me, encourage me, take Chase to school and back, and take my kids on play dates so they don't get cabin fever.
And then there is our Village Church family in SC. They have sent multiple care packages filled with books, goodies, precious handmade cards from the kiddos, music, clothing accessories to make me feel pretty, and tons of messages over social media. We were a part of Village Church for 10 years and they will always be our SC family.
The support has been overwhelming. It has been amazing to see the body of Christ come together in such beautiful ways. I will never be able to say thank you enough, but I know I will be more sensitive to the needs of others who are experiencing hard times. I know that when I see meal train requests come through that I will look at them a different. Taking a meal used to seem so insignificant, but let me tell you, it is NOT! It has taken such a huge burden off to not have plan and shop and prepare meals every day of the week.
I cannot finish up this post without talking about the power of prayer. I have often felt like my prayers are not good enough. I always feel that when people are hurting that i need to DO something rather than "just" praying. Let me tell you, praying for me means EVERYTHING. You, my dear prayer warriors, are how I am getting through this grueling process. Most of the time, I am too weak or preoccupied to pray for myself and my family. I find such comfort in knowing that i have an army of prayers warriors interceding for us everyday. Thank you for bringing us before God's heavenly throne.
Love to all,