Sunday, November 15, 2015

Full Circle

I spent my last free day before surgery buying a few winter flowers and plants for my porch. It wasn't so long ago that I watched my mom and Tony plant summer flowers while I recovered from my first surgery. As I sat still tender with pain, I thought the worst was behind me. The surgery was over, and recovery (and maybe some radiation) were on the horizon.


Two bouquets I recently picked from my very own survivor tribute garden.
Pink flowers to represent breast cancer awareness. Purple ones to represent all cancers.

You know how the rest of the story goes. More cancer. Chemo. Time in the hospital. More time in the hospital. And now more surgery. It felt like a full circle moment when I walked the aisles again at the grower's outlet. But it was different this time. It wasn't warm and sunny and full of promise. It was chilly and windy and every plant was on end-of-season clearance.

It reminded me that to everything God has appointed a season. Yes, there are the Earth's seasons, but there are also God's appointed seasons for our lives: seasons of gladness, seasons of grief, seasons of hurt, and seasons of healing.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Sometimes seasons change before we're ready. The summer flowers on my porch don't look ready to be pulled up and cast aside. They're still bright, beautiful, and full of life. But one cold frost and they'll be gone... seemingly before their time. And yet it is their time. 

Life is short. Life is so fragile. Our small community lost five very young lives over the past few weeks. Our world lost hundreds to terrorism this weekend. None of it makes sense. All of it is sad. And yet God's sovereignty prevails. I take comfort in that. My soul longs for the day when all will be made right, justice will reign, and Love will endure. Take heart if you are discouraged. The Bible tells us that day is coming. I pray our hearts are ready as the hour draws near. 

In the meantime, may I ask for your prayers? Surgery is on Tuesday, and while my heart is at peace with God's plan, my mind is all sorts of scattered and scared... and just plain weary. My doctor tells me I'm a "special case." Without going into detail, they'll be taking several precautions to ensure a successful outcome for the double mastectomy and phase one (of three) reconstructive surgeries plus the removal of my port.

Here are the prayer requests:
  • A complication-free surgery and hospital experience (no blood clots, allergic reactions, etc.)
  • Unremarkable pathology reports on both breasts --- no new DCIS or invasive cancer
  • Successful placement of tissue expanders with no infection or rejection
  • Peace and grace for my kids while their lives get turned upside down yet again
  • Strength and wisdom for Tony, my caregiver extraordinaire, who has taken the week off from work to take care of me and the kids 
Thank you for your love and support. I don't know where we would be without our family and friends. Tony will update Facebook as he is able. I'm not sure when I'll be back online, but knowing me it won't take long. (Wink.) This recovery will be longer and tougher than the first one, but when it is complete, I'll be that much closer to being healthy again. 

My eyes are on Him so it is well,

Emily




"Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me..."



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