Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15 (NIV)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Update #3 - My Friend Has Cancer: Mil & Dil (A Modern Day Ruth and Naomi)

Two words destined to go down in history - MIL & DIL.  We've, at times, been compared to the kooky Lucy & Ethel or silly Lavern & Shirley but my prayer is that we will always and forever be remembered as a modern day Ruth and Naomi. No doubt the two former fictional duos, as we have seen on t.v., shared experiences that leave us in tears whether in joy or sorrow. But Ruth & Naomi were so much more... They were real people, living real lives that to this day teach us of an unwavering love shared between a MIL & DIL, and more so the unconditional love of our Father in Heaven.

These two women clung to each other during good times and bad.  Naomi only wanted the best for Ruth and tried to send her back to her mother.  But Ruth would not leave Naomi's side, even unto death.  What causes this type of unyielding devotion? I have asked myself this question many times.  It is by the grace of God that two people were willing to selflessly put aside their own desires for the benefit of the other person.  The Lord teaches these two people to build each other up and help the other reach beyond what they could have ever hoped to accomplish regardless of their weaknesses.  This is the kind of love that cannot be described and it is through this particular kind of love that shines the love of Christ.

Some of us have relationships that tell a story of love similar to these two but I would like to focus on the mother-in-law (MIL) and (daughter-in-law (DIL) aspect of this story.  

I found a note that Tasha & I wrote to each other a few years ago which, in a nutshell, sums up who we are to each other. I'm cautiously letting down my guard in order for you take a peak into my heart and a very personal area of my life. 

Here's our story: 
The only words I have to describe our precious relationship  are found in the Book of Ruth. Although we have not experienced the kind of loss they did (praise The Lord) we have still gone through tough times and we held on to each other ever so tightly.  We have stayed together till all the dust cleared and now we can see the house that "LOVE" rebuilds and the beauty that still lives within us.  I thank you for never letting me feel alone and I thank The Lord for such a wonderful DIL! Next to Naomi (in the Bible) I am the most blessed MIL ever. 

Thank you MIL! I love you more than words can express! People may look at us funny, but they have no clue the depth of our relationship! We have gone through so much and every time we've come out stronger! When I prayed for my husband, I had no idea I would get a MIL like you! I have so much fun with you ALL the time! I pray that I can be half the blessing that you've been to me!  I pray our lives and relationship shine His love, mercy, and joy! Thank you MIL for never letting me down, for always guiding me in the ways of the Lord, and making me laugh till I almost pee my pants! You and Papa have never made me feel like an outsider in the family! I've always just been, thank you for that! Lots of love and smothering hugs...I know you like those!
Like every dynamic duo, we too have a theme song, "I'm with you" by Amy Grant and Nicole Nordeman.  I've included the link in case you'd like to listen to it: 

The reason I have allowed one of my "walls" to  come down is in hopes that you would understand where I'm coming from when I give you the next "Tasha Update".  Her appointment with the thyroid cancer specialist is around the corner but before she can begin the process the "financials" have to be in order. Bottom line to the "financials"...there is none.  She has been accepted into a group that greatly discounts all the expenses that comes with this type of situation and will allow payments to be made until the balance is paid in full. So for that we are thankful.  But the remaining balance is still going to be about $75,000.  

After Tasha's "financials appointment" she called to give me the news but broke down inconsolably.  I felt helpless, especially being on the phone and not even able to share a hug.  I thought to myself, this is my DIL, I must to do whatever I can to help, so I went to the Lord.  I found a website where I could start a donation page in Tasha's name called  Here is my plea... I have set up a donation account in her name at:

Every bit helps and if we put all the bits together we can knock out the chunk, in Jesus name. I'm asking from the bottom of my heart to help my DIL in this time of need.  I'm also asking that you to please pass on this request to anyone and everyone you know. I know I might be asking a lot but this is my DIL we're talking about!

Thank you for taking the time to read these updates.  It means a lot to me and especially my DIL. And thank you, in advance, for all your help! 

I'll continue to keep you posted!

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. (Ruth 1:16-18 NIV)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Update #2 - My Friend Has Cancer

Since my first post the outpouring of support for my DIL has been beyond my wildest dreams.  Everyone's kind and loving words brought such joy and encouragement to her heart. I thank you so much for sharing your love & concerns to lift my friend's countenance because  it was these very words The Lord used to cradle Tasha's heart and helped her come out of hiding.  

Only a handful of people knew about her diagnosis and most of these were family.  From my view point, and from her later admitting, she was concerned with how everyone would  react. Not a fear of pity (although she does not like to be pitied), nor a fear of overly concerned people, not even a fear of too many people knowing her business. It, in fact, was the opposite of those things, the Fear of Rejection.  Her fear was that no one would even care that she was embarking upon one of the most difficult journeys of her life.  

Each one of you, that reached out to my precious friend, played an important roll in The Lord's plan for Tasha.  With each prayer, post, text,  phone call, & FB "like" she  was able to see how loved and important she is to each of you.  This bombardment of love went on the entire day and still continues to this day.  By the end of the night she was thanking and praising The Lord for each of your prayers and holding tightly to  Matthew 18:19-20 (“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” NIV).  She was glad and relieved to know that so many people were praying, but what she was not aware of was that this was only the beginning.  The Lord had  great plans and the Holy Spirit was on the move. 

That night, a missionary from Africa decided to visit my parents Bible study. He was unaware of the things our family was going through and clueless of Tasha's existence.  He was speaking a powerful message that left no doubt in my mother's mind that the message was for Tasha.  Grandma Gloria (my mom) shared Tasha's story and the missionary began to pray one of the most beautiful and powerful prayers that my mom had ever heard. I'm sure, in the spiritual realm, there were "tongues of fire" over every praying person in that room.  With the power of The Holy Spirit still flowing through Grandma Gloria, she immediately called and prayed the most powerful prayer that Tasha has ever had prayed over her life.  My mother prayed to The Lord, rebuked the evil one, and anointed her.  She said Grandma prayed things that she had only confessed to The Lord and no one else.  Amazed by the power of that prayer, Tasha tearfully thanked Grandma and continued on to say the only words she could speak, "Wow... wow-wow-wow... WOW!" (I call it speechless) Thank You Lord For Praying Grandmas! 

These things happened in one day... The day that each of you reached out to my friend to show your love.  It was a great day... A victorious day in The Lord! 

Since then The Lord has shown himself to my DIL repeatedly.  Sometimes it's a  "straight-up-in-your-face" message and other times it's a small gentle reminder that He holds my friend in His hand. 

I thank The Lord for each of you and ask that you continue praying for Tasha. Her doctors appointment is around the corner so hopefully we'll have more info and a better understanding of what's to come.  

I'll keep you posted! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My friend has Cancer

July 29, 2013 (Monday)
Yes... It's true, just as the title says, my friend has cancer.  A couple of weeks ago my DIL (daughter-in-law) told me that she had a lump on her throat and had been concerned about it for a while. She hadn't told anyone because she didn't want to cause any unnecessary worry. When the word "lump" left her mouth and was received into my ears it caused my eyes to almost pop out of my head and my heart to race. The only words my brain could construct were, "what's the matter with you??! You need to tell your husband and make a doctor appointment A.S.A.P.!!!" She agreed and a week later she was seeing the doctor where he told her she needed a sonogram. This was really no surprise to us since we figured this would be the result of the first doctor visit. Thankfully, she was able to have the sonogram done that same day. Now, we wait. 

It seemed like the days we waited to hear the results went by slowly but she was in the middle of house shopping so it was a welcomed distraction. The phone call finally came letting her know that they would need to run another test since there was definitely a mass on her thyroid.  This particular procedure would require expressing liquid from the mass with a needle... Six times. 

Within the week we were at the facility with nerves in a bunch. When they called her name she and her husband, Johnny (and my son), stood up like brave little soldiers and marched through "that" door. You know, the door that only those whose names have been called may pass through.  The rest of us stay seated, watching our loved ones disappear behind the shutting door.  We leaned as far over as we could continuing to watch for as long as possible as they walked away.  When they emerged from behind the door she had a small bruise on her neck, where the thyroid would be, and was sore.  She went home to rest and kept a positive attitude. Now, we wait some more.  

The weekend was upon us and we knew we wouldn't hear anything till Monday but most likely Tuesday. Monday was a long day but the house hunting was still a huge distraction especially since the lease on the house they lived in would expire on Wednesday, with no promising leads. At this point, I had sorta forgotten all about "the lump" and was trying to help come up with plan B in regards to living arrangements for my children. With not much room in my own house I was trying to see how we could temporarily rearrange furniture, 4 people, 3 dogs, and 1 cat in order to fit 2 extra people and 2 medium size dogs. (Nothing like a little Tetris) 

Monday was almost over, hubby (our family always refers to him as Papa so from here on out this will be his name) & I were settling down for the evening knowing that the house hunt would continue first thing in the morning. We heard noise at the front door, it swung open, in walked Johnny & Tasha. We were very surprised and happy to see them but I notice that Johnny seemed as though he had been crying. I looked over at Tasha and her eyes seemed worn like maybe she had cried as well. I didn't want to ask about it because I figured the stress of the move (with no where to move) was getting the best of them.  Johnny & Papa did a little small talk then Tasha shot a glare in Johnny's direction. Now I knew that their visit wasn't just a casual one. Johnny started off by saying that they had some bad news but it would be followed by a bit of better news. I knew for sure it was to say that they would need to stay with us (not bad news for me... I was thinking "sleep-over!").  I was not in the least bit prepared for the next words that came from his mouth, "We got the results back from the doctor and Tasha tested positive, she has cancer." I was stunned, I had no words, I felt like I was in a dream. He proceeded to say that the the type of cancer she had was the best cancer to choose should one decide they needed  to choose.  "It's thyroid cancer and it should be as easy as removing the thyroid, which in turn removes all of the cancer." Papa & the rest of the family then prayed over Tasha. We had a few more questions but obviously no one had answers since they had just been given the news.  We hoped that the next few days would bring more answers as we waited to see which specialist and hospitals she would need to go to. All we could do for now was hug our precious daughter. They left after awhile since they still needed to break the news to her mother. We hugged some more and said our good-byes.

I decided to take a shower where I finally broke down crying. All I could think to say was, "Lord, I know you have my family in your hands and You are in control of this situation. My tears, Lord, are not because I do not trust you but just as a release of my emotions. I love you Lord and I DO trust You"!  It was that moment that The Lord spoke to my heart saying that it was okay to cry and that I could rest on His shoulder.  

Side note - I am an avid watcher of "The Amazing Race" and I have with all my heart longed to be a participant.  Wait for it... My side note will make sense in just a moment. 

He also spoke to my heart saying, "You have always wanted to play 'The Amazing Race'. You ARE in a race, the most important race you can ever run. It's MY race that you and I have been running this whole time. This is just another obstacle in "The Race" where you will need to hold on tight to Me." 

This revelation inspired this text to my friend: "We have been down rough roads before and we have survived. Even when we couldn't see, hear, or feel The Lord... He was most certainly there!! YOU, my amazing race friend, ARE a survivor and in Jesus name you shall have a testimony that will minister to millions!! I love you Friendt... Lets roll!!" 

(Friendt is not misspelled, this is how we endearingly refer to each other)

Side note to the side note - hopefully my  affinity for "The Amazing Race" now makes sense. I love how The Lord speaks to us on our level of likes and dislikes. HE is an AMAZING God! 

The news of my friends cancer may be very difficult to swallow and I totally understand. I will continue journaling in hopes of keeping you posted of the things  I learn along the way in regards to being a strong support for my DIL. But most importantly keeping you updated on Tasha's health so you may join my family in praying for her.