Good Grief

Good Grief

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday's Coming!

Thankful for a great Holy Saturday, despite the fact that when I woke up this morning I remembered the unthinkable, unimaginable, heartbreaking task I had to do 3 years ago on this day before Easter. The one thing I hadn't prepared myself for was telling my kids that that day they wouldn't be waking up and seeing their daddy. I remember well, walking downstairs and crawling onto the blow up mattress with them hoping they wouldn't wake up just yet. I had lots of time to play out in my mind what I would say to each of them during the time I curled up with them just before daylight, while still feeling as if I were dreaming.  I still wasn't prepared. I know they woke up one by one, so I told each of them one at a time. I remember even little 3 year old Molly repeating over and over "daddy's with Jesus." Still didn't sound real as many times as she said it.  We discussed things that happened overnight, some things to intimate to share and some things I still haven't shared with my 3, but in time I will. I remember thinking before they each woke up that it would be nice if we all could just go back to sleep and either not wake up or wake up to it all being a very bad dream.  I know that children are given devastating news everyday...but these were my children. The 3 that I would do just about anything to protect their hearts from hurt. But this one thing I couldn't protect them from. I remember thinking how am I suppose to even function today, tomorrow or the next day or days after. I remember thinking how can I do this alone. I remember thinking the Easter bunny still has to come, we still have to be thankful for Jesus' resurrection-more so now. I still wanted to worship my Savior somehow. We did on a mountainside, at an Easter evening service. Sunday still came.

Fast forward to this Saturday-we've come a long way. We've made it through several Easters now, still praising God for His wonderful gift...Jesus! It's because of that gift that we have made it this for. While I hated telling my children about the death of their daddy-I love knowing that they all know how they will one day spend eternity with him and better ---with Jesus! They all know that He died for each of us so that we may live. They all know the sacrifices He made out of love for us. They love Him and have learned  through adversity, pain, suffering. Me?? I'm still learning too. Daily. Hourly. So as I rushed them to bed tonight I was thankful for the lessons hardship has brought us, thankful that I can one day explain just what the love of Jesus did for us in 3 years, 6 years, 12 years. How even as I watched them sleep, 3 years ago, with the dread of them waking up to the news I had to share-I knew Sunday was coming, Resurrection Sunday, and how much hope that Sunday brought and how much hope this Sunday still brings. Sunday's Coming-thank God Almighty!!

Happy Easter

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 23rd

Holy Week! Love love this time of year. Love the building up of all the happenings to the greatest sacrifice ever made for me. Better yet--next Sunday we celebrate our RISEN SAVIOR!!!  I've loved Christmas all of my life, but later in life, as my walk with Christ has broadened & strengthened, Easter is what it's all about to me as a Christian. It's so exciting every year to be reminded and to celebrate our Saviors sacrifice, His death and His resurrection. My kids have grown to love it as much-not the whole Easter bunny, eggs thing but we love being reminded when we do things like our resurrection garden or our resurrection bread. The garden is a visual of a tomb waiting for Jesus, and Friday as we cover the tomb, reflecting on what He did for us and Sunday the stone being rolled away-all the while seeing the 3 crosses. Rejoice!!!! We've been watching the mini-series The Bible for the past few weeks-what a great time with my 3. They are so excited that we are now watching Jesus' life, leading up to His resurrection, this week, Holy Week. The boys have been telling me what will happen next-what joy that brings this mama that her 10 & 13 year old have these stories deep in their heart. Love it when the 3 of them see the angels fighting and they all say, " bet that's what my daddy is training to do." Makes me smile. Holy Week and Easter took a new meaning 3 years ago. I was able to experience God's love like never before. I literally basked in His grace and mercy, dependent on both to get me through another day, another hour, waiting on a miracle, a healing. I continue to bask in that same grace and mercy even though things didn't turn out as I'd hoped and prayed. However, I was given the absolute certainty that God's love for me is perfect, even when circumstances don't always seem perfect. I was given answers to questions I've had since becoming a believe about suffering, death and faced a fear of losing someone I loved. I was given comfort in knowing that Shane truly loved God, truly trusted Him even though unsure of the outcome. What comfort that brought me then and now, 3 years later.
Ironically, 3 years ago today, after receiving devastating news, I was shown how Shane's trust and love for God would give him and me strength for the next few weeks...until God received his spirit on April 3.  I was looking back at some journal entries from that time.

Written Mar 23, 2010 2:38pm
Lots of things have transpired since my last post. I will spare some of the details but for most of you that don't already know here goes. Shane was admitted to the hospital last Wed for some complications that we thought were due to some pain medicine. In making sure this was the cause he had a CT scan performed on Thu morning. In the meantime we had received a text from our oncologist saying that Emory had said no to IL2, we had already felt that it would turn out that way, we or they not truly convinced that it was indeed a melanoma. So Shane was told that he could start his 2 new chemo drugs Friday or Monday, which ever one he chose. We were extremely comfortable with that. Feeling when we were on chemo that we were being proactive and getting closer to beating this cancer. We, along with most, assumed that there would be nothing really to show on the CT scan. However, as most of you have seen, that is not the way it has been since October. We had waited on the doctor to come in and he did about 4, I had walked out of the bathroom and he motioned for me to come over, patted the chair, and said lets talk. As I type this I get the same sensation all over my body as I did that day-hot, burning, sweaty sensation. I knew to my very core that things were not good. Shane and I were told that the complication that he was having in his belly was in fact the stinking cancer. In its cancerly fashion it had spread and invaded his small intestine. It was causing a blockage in his intestine. Not only that, his original tumor has continued to grow and the horrible disease has started invading the sac around his heart. This was shocking to us and I think to the doctors. None of us had any idea that this cancer was sooooo aggressive. Ironically, the doctor said he hardly ever saw a cancer metastasize to the small intestines, really the only one he ever sees do this is...melanoma. We were told that we could continue to do chemo if we wanted, but to do so would probably be just palliative care, meaning it would just be for pain management, etc. The doctor suggested focusing on quality of life now, and suggested calling hospice. As recalling that day and those words, I get physically sick all over again. Put yourself in our shoes. That is words you only hear on Lifetime movies. You don't hear these words at 38 and 40 years old with 3 kids under 10! What????? Luckily, Shane knows the doctor and it was a blessing that he was extremely compassionate. While the doctor was still there I look over at Shane, trying to hold back tears and say "I am so sorry Shane," he, in true Shane fashion said, "No, I am sorry for you, I get to go to Glory." The doctor left us with our thoughts and tears. I crawled in the bed with my husband of almost 14 years and wept like I have never wept before. God hears every moan and cry but He didn't have to listen very hard last Thu, they were audible all over the hospital I am sure. We had some time together and then Shane wanted OUT of the hospital, he wanted to be home. Then we had the daunting task of sharing this with our parents and children. Shane decided that we would focus on the quality of our time, and that does not include vomiting from chemo and running to and from doctors appointments. So right now we are focusing on keeping him pain free and comfortable. I will never know this side of heaven the "why" in all of this. I know there are so many of you that will never understand it either. At the same time, I know that my God is a bigger God than this stinking cancer and that He CAN heal Shane. If God chose to heal Shane now, there would be no question on Who or What healed him. There would be no doubt that it was His healing power, no chemo, no medicine, not anything but the healing hand of our Father. So, although the news seems bleak, I am asking you to please keep praying for that miracle. Most of you, like me, have never really witnessed a true miracle of healing. I know that they happen and would love to experience one right now. I'm not sure how God determines exactly who to heal in the flesh, but I am still praying that Shane would be one of those that He does choose to heal in the flesh. Shane has so much more he wants to do for the Kingdom but at the same time knows that whatever the outcome, God WILL receive the Glory. I feel like some of you are saying "oh, poor DeAnn, she must be in denial, still praying for that miracle." I can tell you, no, I am not in denial, I am seeing Shane's health deteriorate in front of my eyes, I don't like leaving his side, I don't like going to sleep at night, I don't want another tomorrow without him, and I can't fathom raising these 3 children without their daddy so, no, I am not living in denial, I am living in Faith. Faith that God, if He so chooses, can heal every stinking tumor in Shane's body as fast at they came into his body. I also have the faith that God's plan is sovereign, whether I like the outcome or not, God's plan is perfect for Shane, me, Jake, Sam and Molly. I was recently reminded that right now Shane and I are in our Garden of Gethsemane. We are asking God to take this cup of suffering away but at the same time we are saying "your Will not mine" but oh how hard that is for me right now. I want Shane here as my husband, my best friend, and the father of my children but also want God's will to be done, so that He will be glorified. Jesus, the very Son of God, asked God, while he was in Gethsemane, if there was any other way for Him to be glorified and I, a child of that same God,i s asking Him right now, isn't there another way for You to be glorified, any other way than this??? I am asking you to please pray those big prayers of healing, pray for that miracle we have all been waiting to witness, pray for peace to surround Shane, myself and the children and pray that God receives ALL the glory no matter what. We thank you all for all the prayers, thus far, and for your continued prayers. We feel your love, we feel your prayers so please don't stop now. So let us come BOLDLY to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16

Always nice to see where I was, where I am, and have reminders of Gods provision then and now.  When I read the words I wrote on March 23, 2010 I still get the sick feeling all over again. The difference??? I know the outcome. I know the victory! I know the beginning, the middle and the other beginning of this story-Shane's story and mine. I also know the past chapters, and know the upcoming chapters of mine and my childrens life story will continue to be blessed according to God's perfect plans for all of us.  Best part...through it all I have been able to experience so much of HIM. For that I am forever grateful, forever changed, and more in love with my Savior than I was 3 years ago. I'm also reminded that I will have that same victory as Shane---"I get to go to Glory." Can't wait.  Enjoy your Holy Week, take time to reflect on Gods love for you.

Remembering the Cross!!!