The Pet scan is gruesome. Black dots everywhere; clearly not what we were praying for. The cancer vaccine did not work. I was too late. There are more tumors, more fractures, more pain; and yet I am here.
Peter and I held hands as we listened. His body began to shake, tears streamed down his face and I joined him. The word hospice entered the conversation; a social worker came in, the DNR forms were signed. And the wonder of Gods great plan flitted through my brain.
Looking at the dead body on the screen one can only marvel that fear does not rob me of peace, that my legs still shuffle, my heart still beats, and an unending well of love continues to overflow. Maybe the miracle is that I am still alive.
Days before the results, my body had broken out in a terrible case of shingles. The purple and black welts covered the left side of my body. To top off the action, I got pink eye, a herpes zoster on my lip and my jaw locked up. Despite the onslaught of trouble, Peter and I chose to ignore it all and relax on our raft. As I floated in the waves with my noodle praising God for the ability to float in the glorious clear lake water, my right foot hit the chain that held our raft. It was loaded with zebra muscles and I sliced it badly. When we got situated on top of the raft, it didn’t take long for the blood to soak the raft. I looked at Peter and pondered and mumbled that perhaps my jaw issue was bells palsy. He looked at me with the blood on the raft, the shingles covering my left side, the herpes lip bursting forth, the right eye gummed shut, the mouth unable to open and said “you think you have bells palsy now?” We stared at each other and were overcome with the absurdity of it all. We started laughing and could not stop. We laughed for 30 minutes. It was so healing. (Praise God I do not have Bells Palsy)
The brilliant sun hit our faces and gave us renewed hope as I hobbled out of the hospital holding Peters hand. Forget the medical reports. God knows the number of my days and He has already extended them beyond what is humanly possible. I am not done with my earthly mission and I refuse to waste energy on negative reports.
The boys needed to be told. Chase and I hugged for a long time, cherishing the fact that we have this blessed anointed time together. Stetson new right away when I failed to call immediately. I didn’t want to tell him over the phone but had no choice. As the words hit our love and tears were tangible despite the distance. We then told our immediate family and spent the day in the sun weeping, laughing, hugging and treasuring the gift of the day.
We chose to dive down to Stonehill College to tell Trent in person. It broke my heart. He’d been praying every night for a miracle. Upon hearing the news, he informed us that if God did not fully heal me that he would not believe in God or ever step foot in a church again. It gutted me and yet I know it is a 20-year-old boy expressing his anger and being “oh so normal”. I reminded him of all the miracles God had performed in our lives. How He is good and how the trials have helped each one of us grow, transform and become more of who we were created to be. I told him that I am not giving up and that I need him to continue to pray for a miracle. It was then that I saw a ray hope enter back into his glistening eyes. He nodded, squeezed my hand and told me he would continue to pray.
The next morning, Peter and I had the great privilege of cheering Trent, his partner and the whole tennis team on at the doubles invitational. God’s favor fell upon everyone. 8 hours later, Trent and Russell were crowned the champions. It was incredible. To God be the glory.
On the way home my breath came in gasps as I wept uncontrollably wondering if I would ever get to watch Trent play another tennis tournament. I closed my eyes and prayed “God heal me completely, use me in a mighty way. I will testify and give you all the glory and the world will know who you are. I will set captives free and be a conduit of your great love”
I kept my eyes closed and asked God to show me a rainbow to assure me that He had heard my prayer. I called to Peter from my make shift bed in the back of our Volkswagen and told him to be on the lookout for a rainbow because I knew God was going to send me one. I opened my eyes and looked to the right, nothing. I turned my head and looked to the left and there running across the entire sky was an enormous rainbow with each gorgeous color perfectly visible. Hope infused my spirit.
God sees each one of us and despite the often-devastating circumstances; He does have a great plan. We must trust Him and lean not on our own understanding. We must choose life. We must not let the negative reports steal the minute, the hour, the day, the week, the years we have in front of us right now.
I need your prayers. The pain continues. Still I am remarkably able to write today, I am not in the hospital and hospice is not here. Friends and family and angels are helping me thrive.
I am learning that my suffering is not being wasted. In the natural it would seem there is no purpose for suffering. However God remarkably uses our suffering for breakthrough in our own lives and those of many others. Last Sunday a wonderful young man approached me in church with tears in his eyes. He told me how watching me rise and lift my arms and praise God in spite of the tremendous pain helped renew his faith. I thought back to the many people who have inspired me in my faith walk. It has often been the people who have suffered and triumphed and praised God through it all. I realize that I have never been closer to God than in my suffering. And even now, God is using me to help others through their own trials. And He will use you too.
I have so much to do. There are books I want to finish, blogs to be brought forth, Sermons to share, and hope that needs to be showered on this earth. My journey is not yet done. And yet Chase informed me that I have already done more than I ever dreamed possible. That my short time on this earth has been rich, that my life’s work has infused hope and transformed lives. That even if God calls me home that my legacy of love will continue and maybe just maybe go further.
While I don’t understand what it all means, I praise God for this bonus round. It may look like my old body is dead but my spirit is more alive than it has ever been. I am at peace and trust God completely. If my time to come home is soon, then I praise Him for His perfect timing. After all, heaven is the ultimate prize. Jesus won the victory for us and He will be there to welcome us home. It is then that we will see the magnificent movie of our lives and marvel at God’s perfect plan.
God bless you all. Tonight is a full moon. I pray you go out and bask in the glory of it all.
Thank you all for your unending love, support, words of encouragement and prayers. We are forever grateful.
All my love into eternity, xo Karen