What a May!
Since 2014, May has been a wild month for our family. Halen was born and then two years later Henley was born, in the same month. Ever since, we have been on a carnival ride of celebration all month long: balloons, streamers, glitter, candles, singing, dancing, cakes and so much love.
Then 2017 changed all of that. The day after we celebrated Henley turning 1, I was hit with a stage 3 diagnosis of breast cancer.
The enemy tried to steal my joy. Our joy.
I remember knowing I was likely going to be diagnosed with breast cancer as I was finishing the touches on Henley’s 1st birthday celebration and I refused to let that darkness in. In no way was I going to allow the enemy to derail my happy mama heart for my sweet baby girl’s day.
So I held it together, I had a smile on my face, my long blonde ponytail falling down my back and all the details I love to bring to any celebration. I was on point.
Henley's 1st birthday celebration.
Then the next day happened. It was inevitable, I knew it was coming. When the words were said out loud it felt like my heart stopped. My immediate thoughts went to, “what about the girls?” The next thought was, “Get me out of here.” I wished we had a private airplane to whisk us away, my response in crisis tends to be flight and in that moment that is all I wanted to do was fly away.
Fast forward four years, our family was finally feeling like cancer was becoming an afterthought. It was May and we were knee deep in celebrating Halen’s 7th birthday and Henley’s 5th birthday. Then it happened. Again.
The devil tried to steal my joy. Our joy.
Henley was trying to ride her bike without training wheels and like what every mother should do, I wanted to run along next to her making sure she was safe. But as I tried to run, my lungs said, “nope.” And I had to stop, I gave Evan a worried look.
Now having a lung issue was absolutely disastrous in 2021. NO one believed it could be cancer related. No one. They all pushed me off to someone else scared that I would come in and infect them with COVID. I was fuming. How was this system failing me? They told me to reach out if I needed help and now no one would help me? I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt that way during that pandemic.
My lung almost completely collapsed.
Then sure enough, the reality I was praying would not surface was : more cancer.
The devil tried to sneak in, just as we were settling down and he wanted to rob us.
Now here I am 5 years after initially diagnosed from breast cancer. This was the mark we had been waiting for. At 5 years, you are supposed to be in the clear.
Now I am never "in the clear."
It is hard to believe all that has changed in our lives in the past 5 years.
So much heartache, so much pain, so much uncertainty with finances and stability.
But the one thing that remained, the one thing that actually grew was our faith. Our family and our faith. As I dig deeper in the word, it becomes more clear that God actually grows us most in suffering. Just as Christ suffered on the cross.
It can be “easy” to ignore God in times of celebration. But in times of crisis, where do you turn? God did not wish cancer upon me, but in this fallen world, devastation happens, and when it does God uses those rock bottom moments to rebuild us. Rebuild us stronger. That strength may not always be physical, because eventually our bodies will die away. That strength is in our soul, our faith…because at the end of the day that is what matters most.
Covered in scars, broken, reassembled… I feel like Jesus helped me rise from the ashes. He has taken my mess of a life and made it beautiful only because I put it in His hands. I firmly believe the only reason I am here today is because of Him.
Today, I am walking free. It is a God thing, a miracle.
He is my healer.
Friends, as you walk into your weekend, remember that with whatever you are facing...He is a way maker. He turns graves into gardens. He turns mourning into dancing. He is always working for good.
And He always loves you. He has purpose for your life.