the nurse was right: The Saturday Gratitude Journal

Her name was Amanda and her daughter is studying to be an Exceptional Children’s teacher.  And my nurse, Amanda and I agreed on many of the same things–she, like me, doesn’t drink soft drinks–sweet tea is her drink of choice, especially Chick-fil-A tea, just like me.

But what we agreed on most was this, I am a blessed woman.   Yep, that’s what she said. She asked in surprise as she read my health chart, ‘No surgeries, ever?!  You are a blessed woman!’

I replied loud, ‘I know!’

And then she said, ‘You have a good doctor, a good surgeon.  He is a good Christian man, a man of faith and he will pray with you before your surgery.  And he did.  A most humble and thankful prayer.  One I will not forget.

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Photo courtesy of Jill Miller Woodie 

 

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I struggled to tell others at first.  It was difficult to even say the words, “I have cancer. Cancer.”  And on that Tuesday as my doctor explained my diagnosis and treatment plan I listened, carefully soaking in his every word so I could relay it back to my family.  My mind accepted the news.  It was my heart that took a little longer.

But as I shared the news with others in the following days I began to understand more of God’s grace and the power of prayer. And as much as it is hard, these storms, there is beauty in the suffering.  So many women and other cancer survivors have reached out to me in the last few weeks.  Many I didn’t know their story.  Until now.  Stories of individual’s battles and healing of different types of cancers–Stories only God can write.

“I am praying for you, 4 years ago I also had breast cancer, stage 1.  I can truly say I know what you are going through.  And God was with me every step of the way and I know He will be with you.  If I can be of any help in any way please let me know.  Praying.” 

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And on this Saturday afternoon I sit here and write–one day after my surgery and I am doing well, extremely well and I think of each of you who continues to lift my name in prayer.  Each of you who believes we serve an amazing God who carries us through the valleys.

My heart is overwhelmed, my heart is full.  Because of my family. Because of each of you.  Because of God’s faithfulness.  Because of His promise to never leave our side–His mercy.  His love.

This week as with any week I have much to be thankful for…..

For answered prayers,  as my daughter said, To God be the Glory! 

For nurses named Kim, Amanda, Sabrina and so many others I can’t recall their names

For Dr. Stephen Rosser, God has given you a gift and you have touched my life with your faith and tender care

For Iredell Memorial Hospital 

For friends who lovingly pray–I could feel every one of your prayers. For your messages, offerings of help–please know I love you all

For the gift of grape jelly, a cure-all for anything. Sarah–your grandmother was so right

For my church, who when one hurts, we all hurt. Blessed to be a part of the family of Hilltop Baptist Church. 

And for a young boy named Jacob Brown and his family.  For sharing your story, your fight against cancer.  Your faith and trust in God through your storm inspires and encourages so many.  Praying strong for all of you. 

Tomorrow’s my Daddy’s birthday.  He would have been 79 and tomorrow he celebrates his 5th birthday in heaven.  I can’t explain how much my heart hurts on some days–missing him.  And I know the rest of my family feels the same.  He was truly a gift because you see he wasn’t born out of my Grandmother’s womb, he grew out of her heart and I am thankful God chose him for our family.

Daddy

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  Psalm 23:1 (KJV)

 

 

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