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Monday, February 4, 2013

Life Is A Trip, Part 2

You know, we all have our own rulers we use every day. We measure everything, and everyone, including ourselves.

"Did I do well enough? How does my hair look? Do you think that she wears a smaller size than I do? Wow, she has a nice car."

Why do we do that? So few of us are truly comfortable in our own skin, with our place in life, our status at work. I really do strive and long for the peace that would come with just accepting myself.  I try to get closer every day.

Mirrors can be our enemy, but we should make them our friend

I know that my family and husband love me just the way that I am.  I don't have to earn their love.  It's unconditional, just like the love of Jesus Christ.

My Daddy was very proud of me and thought I could do anything.  He was the rock of our family.  And, he passed away this past summer. 

Let me pick up my story where I left off last time.

After my diagnosis, we worried a lot. Not knowing exactly what the future held, but I had to wait until May to see a Hepatologist (Liver Specialist). That was 5 months! So we prayed and waited.  My gastroenterologist had already started me on a maintenance regimen, so I knew that I was doing what I could for the time being. 

My husband continued to look for a job, and I did my best to support him. 

Finally, he got a job working shift work. That, my friends, was an adjustment.  He was gone so much and missed being home with the family.  However, we believed it was temporary, as he was going through the process to become a police officer. 

We had prayed for opportunities and clarity and believed that law enforcement was where he was intended to go.  He even got the job! It would still be shift work, but shorter shifts, so that would be better. 

He was to start at the Police Academy on July 9, 2012.  Things were looking up!

On July 5th, he went to a doctor's appointment with his father, because he had had some tests run and was getting the results.  It was the worst possible news.  Stage 4 lung cancer. Maybe 6 months to a year left to live. Another major blow for all of us. 

Then on the way back home, he gets a call from his new employer.  He hasn't actually started work yet, but they need him to come in and talk to them.  We had no idea what it could be.  He had passed all background checks and psychologicals with no problems, and scored exceptionally high on the interview test. 

He was really concerned.  He felt that they were going to tell him that he didn't have a job after all.  I reassured him, of course. That certainly couldn't be it. 

I was wrong. 

In one day, he learned devastating news about his father, and was, once again, unemployed. (Since he had been officially hired with the Police Department, he had left his other job in preparation to begin the Police Academy.)

We cried. I yelled.  Our pastor came over and talked us through it.  He couldn't believe it all, either.

But, God has plans that we do not understand. 

He started the job hunt again. This time I was able to help him through the days.  I am off work the entire month of July, and that was an amazing blessing. 

On July 14th, I was doing a little DIY and my sister called to tell me that Daddy had fallen.  He, too, had cancer and got a little light headed.  We didn't really think that it was anything major, but something just told me to go.  I rushed around to pack an overnight bag and get my family settled.  And, before leaving, I did one last thing.  I got our a dress to wear to a funeral. 

I don't really know why I did that.  It was just a fall.

I got to the ER in my hometown and was relieved to find that everything really did seem to be okay.  They were going to keep Daddy just for observation overnight.  When he saw me walk in the room he cried.  He was just happy to have his girls there. 

My Daddy passed away the next day, July 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM.

I was able to be with my Mom for 2 weeks before I had to go back to work. And, my husband was there for me those two weeks, as well.  If he had started the Academy that wouldn't have been possible. That was God's plan.

We made it through.  It was hard. More tears. Lots of prayers. But, we laughed too.  Which was so good.

And, that is what we try to focus on.  The laughter in the midst of the tears. 

We learn our lessons from hard times, but we can find joy in there, as well.

I can tell you that by the end of the summer my husband was working full time in a job that he enjoys and he is able to be home in the evenings and on the weekends. 

We are thriving.  And, the only way we made it was our trust that our Lord wants to prosper us and not harm us.  So here we are. Creating new lives because all this has forever changed us.  And, that is not a bad thing.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


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