Take my hair. I used to complain it took too long to dry. And driving. Carpool used to be an annoyance. Or hosting holidays at my home. (It's a lot of work!) Faced with the possibility of not being able to host this year makes me very sad.
I got to go into the office tonight for a prayer meeting with my boss and his wife. They are people Tony and I would trust with every detail of our lives. Chris and Lisa are simply remarkable. Chris is more than a boss. He's a mentor and friend. When you get time with Chris, you come prepared, you go deep, and you leave infinitely better. (The same goes for Lisa!)
When I went into the office, I wore my lanyard with my access card for the first time in months. It felt strange to see it sit on my uneven chest without any hair to fall around it. I don't even look like the girl in the picture.
(Truth be told there is some hair growing under my chemo cap -- and it's all gray. In a cruel twist of fate, the gray hairs never fell out. They continue to grow with a fierceness. So I have inch-long stray grays growing on the crown of my head.) I look a little like a troll.
I miss my hair. I miss the make-up I can't wear because I don't want to lose any more eyelashes. I miss going places. But mostly I miss work. I work at my church so it's an extra special place for me. I've never seen people work harder or with more passion than my colleagues. 12Stone Church is a place where leadership development is evident on a daily basis. The staff at 12Stone has vibrant relationships with Christ. We serve the least in our community and our primary goal is to reach people far from God. We work together as a team, and when a problem strikes one of us, we pull together like a family.
So here I sit. Home again in pajamas. In terms of my battle with cancer, I'm halfway there. To where I'm not entirely sure. Treatment decisions need to be made this week, and the road ahead is unclear.
My message to you is to find what you love and treat it like the precious blessing it is. You never know when you could lose it or be forced to take a break from it. Make no mistake: whatever you are doing, you GET to do it. You don't HAVE to do it. You GET to do it -- because you are healthy, you are trusted, and you are expected to perform well. Do your best. Don't give things your half-effort. Don't complain about where you have to go and what you have to do. Someone somewhere is longing for the very thing you take for granted.
Pray for me over the next few days -- for clarity in decision-making, for God's sovereign hand, and for peace. I know that I will be healed no matter what happens with my cancer because I know where I'm going. If I'm not healed here, I'll be healed in heaven. That's a promise of God.
Do you know where you're going? Do you think the whole Jesus thing is a joke? Do you know what it takes to get to heaven? If not, please watch this recent teaching from our Pastor Kevin Myers. If nothing else, do it for me. Kevin breaks down why we all need Jesus in a way that is simple, understandable, and engaging. The video is 47 minutes. Expect a regular-guy pastor in jeans... Don't expect to be bullied or intimidated... or guilted into something. Just watch, just this once. (For what it's worth, I'm always intrigued by people who have no problem believing in the evil and darkness in our world, but fail to acknowledge the realness of goodness and light... It's there! It's Jesus!)
No one will know you watched the video or stalk you for a decision. I want to see you in heaven -- whether I get there sooner or later. Tonight, we're all one day closer to eternity. You can spend it separated from God or in heaven with a Father who loves you. I'll love you either way, but it gives purpose to my pain for others to know Jesus through my suffering.
With great love from a very sick girl,
P.S. If you like the message and want to check out others on various topics, go to http://12stone.com/watch.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 14:6
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. - Revelation 21:4