Last week, I turned 38. I was fortunate to spend the day with my family and my parents who were visiting from Georgia. On Friday, my children said their goodbyes to Gigi and JD. After I tucked them all in, I quietly descended the stairs to find my husband praying over my precious mama.
In 2015, my mama battled breast cancer. She boldly faced weeks of chemotherapy, surgery, and all that goes along with each of those. A few months into her own battle, she walked through the same nightmare with her mother. This year would have been her two-year mark, the one everyone pushes towards. Some high numbers in her bloodwork sent her on a roller coaster the next few weeks. There were some "we think it could be something"s, followed by some "it's probably nothing"s, that led to a "maybe we'll wait a test again in a few months," that ultimately led to a biopsy. The biopsy made things clear, and tomorrow, she'll begin Round 2 of a road that no one wants to travel twice.
A few months before our family moved to India, I came across this verse:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.—2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
While I can't see the future, I can see the past. And my mama has exemplified this verse. At a time when she could have wallowed in self-pity, she saw her affliction as an opportunity. A chance to pray for others who were suffering from cancer. An opportunity to speak encouragement into the lives of struggling friends. A time to make items and send to a cancer facility for those who'd come after her and could use a little sunshine in their day. I've watched her help nurse my grandmother back to health when she herself was struggling physically and emotionally. And I've seen her be transformed by a disease that could have stolen all of her joy, yet strengthened her in ways I couldn't have imagined.
Tomorrow she'll undergo surgery for breast cancer a second time. If you know me, chances are you know my wonderful mother. There aren't many people in our lives that haven't been touched by her generosity and love. Maybe she's cooked for you, sewn for you, or just helped you out at school during her many years of being a secretary. Maybe she's a neighbor to you that goes above and beyond sharing some milk and sugar. Maybe she's your fellow church member that pours into your little ones on Wednesday night or during VBS. Maybe you sit in Sunday School with her or share a pew in worship. Whatever your tie is to her, I know she's been a light to you.
My family would so covet your prayers and encouragement for her tomorrow. That she'd have a peace that comes only from the Lord. That the doctors would have steady hands and make wise decisions. That she'd walk away from this a second time, healthy and strong. But most importantly that she'd be a light for Christ along the way.
Here's to Round 2! And clinging to the promise that He's got the whole world in His hands... even my precious mama!