God has been teaching me some important things in the last few days, and I wanted to share them.
First of all, God truly fortified me before my surgery. I mean that in the literal sense of the word. I would feel fear racing toward my heart and it would bounce off before it could penetrate my peace. I had an actual shield of peace! I have felt a peace that passes understanding before, but this was the first time I've ever felt the fortress of God's love surround me like that.
Secondly, being so physically dependent on everyone around me has taught me to be spiritually dependent on my Lord. Ryan has been a huge part of this lesson. I have to rely on him for practically everything. He lifts me out of bed in the morning, he helps me out of my pajamas, he helps me sit on the stool he put in our shower and gives me a shower with the new detachable shower head he installed, he puts on my clothes, he brushes my hair and puts it in a ponytail, he opens my pill bottles and helps me get from place to place in the house, he gets my food and at the end of the night, he lays me into bed. Not only does he win the husband of the year award, but he is illustrating for me how beautiful dependence can be. Psalm 130:5 says, "I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." Just like I know without a shadow of a doubt that Ryan's hand will be there to grasp mine when I reach out, I know that God's reassurance will be there when my heart reaches out. I wait for him with my whole being, because the Bible shows that every time the Lord makes a promise, he fulfills it. God says in Hebrews 13:5, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." Even in the darkest moments of this week...and believe me there have been some truly dark ones...God has not forsaken me, and the most tangible proof is my husband who does not leave my side, my family and friends who are surrounding me and supporting me, and the hundreds of people who are praying for me every day.
Finally, I better understand Paul's instruction to "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I still wish I did not have cancer, that my mom was not in pain and that I did not have to stop teaching. I wish that they hadn't had to remove my breasts, that I could pick up my baby and give my boys real hugs, and that I could take away my husband's sadness. But I would not trade the intense closeness between Ryan and I and our understanding of God's love that has come from these ten days. I would not wish away my new dependence on God or my new appreciate for his gifts. And I would not give up how overwhelmingly loved I've felt by all of your prayers, encouragament and generousity.
Thank you for everything. Do forget to notice what a good God we serve today.