Isn’t she beautiful? Um, yeah, not too many people can look like a fashionista in the chemo chair!
Anyway, last night I was reading her latest Caring Bridge entry and I had a flashback. Maggie has reached what I called during treatment “the middle ground.”
Middle ground to me was when the anticipation/”excitement” of starting chemo and killing cancer had worn off and the end product still seemed so far away. This occurred for me in Spring/Summer of last year. I was past chemo and radiation was just ending, but I seemed to still have SO MANY more treatments to go until October.
I think this is where I began to think, “Yeah, I got this…but MAN, this sucks!” I was tired of all the treatments, and labs, and driving, and port numbing, and side effects, and worrying. The mental and emotional toll cancer takes on us can make us feel a hundred years old – no offense to all the one-hundred year olds out there reading this blog. Mentally it is so easy to get down.
But unfortunately, Maggie has had an added concern since I last talked about her. Three weeks ago, her mom has also been diagnosed with breast cancer (Marcy’s is for the second time). Oh my word. I cannot even imagine. As if you own diagnosis isn’t enough, there is the concern for your own mother and wanting to be there for her as well. I just can’t say “Bless her heart” enough…
So as I was reading her middle ground entry last night, I was at a total loss for words. Truly only a big survivor hug (and maybe a cry) would suffice. But driving to STL at 9 o’clock at night just wasn’t feasible, so I just gave it to God. Thankfully He has BIG SHOULDERS on which we can constantly keep leaning. I was hoping that the right words would come along and I put my computer away and went to bed.
As I started my quiet time this morning at 6am, I got my prayer notebook with my Journey magazine in it, out of the drawer in my dining room. I started to sit down at the table and thought, “well, let me grab my Streams book.” I’m so glad I did.
[Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman – a beautiful devotion book. Highly recommended!]
So I went back to the drawer and got it and opened it up to December 2. And the verse for today:
“…perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10
Throughout the page, it talks the development of human character and how, by suffering, we obtain great character. Great character is not made through easy living – for what would anyone who ever had the easiest of easy lifestyles have to gain? I mean, it sounds kind of nice at first:
- No broken hearts,
- No high school drama,
- No lies,
- No illnesses,
- Never losing someone you love,
- No fear.
But I’m willing to bet that if we all stop and think back over our lives when we’ve had these things come upon us, we can say that each situation helped us to form stronger character. Each one helped us become who we are…which is exactly how God planned it. He doesn’t allow these things to happen as punishment, or for any other reason other than it is for our own molding of our character…it’s making us who we ARE. ----> PERFECT. THROUGH SUFFERING.
Can you even IMAGINE the strong character and FUTURE that God has in store for Maggie and Marcy?? They are going to come out of this trial on the other side with a GREAT REWARD and an even BRIGHTER FUTURE. Who knows the lives they will touch by people reading about their story, and talking about their strength?!
Surviving breast cancer together…mother and daughter.
Trudge on through the middle ground, sisters, keep going…God is preparing you for something AMAZING!
Thank you, Father, for guiding me to the perfect words…and for helping me through my middle ground.