As I pulled over to the side of the road, I knew I needed to take the call before I lost cell on the country roads. It was my doctor calling, which was a bit concerning. I had just had some of the usual cancer screening tests, and usually the doctor does not call with results.
Something comes back “funny.”
The next clue this was not good news was when he suggested he call back after I arrived at home.
I coaxed the news out of him, and sure enough, a biopsy had come back with cancer.
In fact, dang it became my swear phrase of choice.
Extreme and edgy.
I took my moment to grieve as I headed toward home. I share this next part because I believe it’s important to allow ourselves space to process the hard things. I’m all about faith and directing our thoughts to the hope we have in Christ, AND… I’m all about acknowledging when something just really sucks.
Sorry. I know. Another extremely edgy word.
I pounded the seat next to me and screamed dang it several times. I know the potential life disruption a cancer finding can mean. I know the slippery slope of tests and treatments that can unfold.
I’m sorry, but I just have to say it one more time…
Dang it. This sucks!
After calling Eddie and a close friend, I could finally exhale, allowing myself to begin contemplating how I can go through this well.
How can I walk with Jesus, leaving the results to Him?
I have several possibly-over-simplified steps that are helping me manage my thoughts toward faith, replacing anxiety-filled thinking (and all my slightly-inappropriate language). I’ll be sharing some of these over the next few weeks, but the one I have to start with, my spiritual life-line for front-loading my faith is:
I have a section in my bullet journal where I write down all the ways I see God at work when life gets really hard. Here’s a few ways I’ve tracked Him in this cancer finding:
—My friend, Wendy, texted 3 minutes before the doctor called, asking if all the biopsies came back negative. My phone literally rang after I replied, saying I hadn’t heard anything. God had my friend praying for me, and how amazing is it that He let me know?!
—I was driving home from dropping Olivia off to some friends who asked if she could go roller-skating (pre-quarantine). She wasn’t in the car when I received the news. THAT is a blessing! Not just because I needed a space by myself to hit the seat and yell, but she needs a calm mom reassuring her that God is in control and I trust Him.
—It’s really hard to communicate with our son, Cory, while he is in Basic Training for the army. A couple days after the news, we were traveling to Georgia to see him, and able to tell him in person. His quick response was, “Mom. You’ve been through this before and you are fine. It’s going to be fine.”
Isn’t that so special? I have several more I could add, and even just now, an acquaintance friend texted saying she was praying for me.
I’ve said it before, but…
Life is hard AND God is incredible.
He’s with us through all of it.
I’ve had my moment of being upset and not liking the news, but now it’s time to move forward with trusting God.
Doing the next thing, and leaving the results up to Him.
There very well could be moments of wanting to use my edgy words, but, dang it…
I’m choosing to look for God and speak words of hope.
I’ve been praying for you Lori. Thanks for sharing your faith that encourages us.
I’m so glad you are following my blog. Thank you! And thank you for praying.😘
Thanks Lori take care and keep all of us updated. Tracy
I hope you are doing well. Much love to you.❤️
I just read your blog & once again Dale & I will be praying for you. As Cory said, you’ll be alright! God be with you & Ed & your kids through this time! We love you & will be praying! Our God is an awesome God! What would we do without him?
THAT is the question… what would we do without Him?! Much love to you guys.❤️
Precious friend, so wonderful to catch up with you. You’ve always inspired me with your incredible grace under pressure. Thank you for sharing your inner-most journey with us. Isn’t it wonderful that there is more grace coming your way? That’s my prayer for you this day: That His powerful strength and grace will over come you as you manage this dark time. You represent Him well.
What a great way to phrase it for all of us— grace under pressure. And that’s my prayer for all of us during this dark time. “That His powerful strength and grace come over us as we manage this dark time.” A beautiful prayer Carma!!
Ok, I am a joyful mess after reading this! I love it! I’m gonna start the bullet points in my journal. Its just too good to not do it! I love you, and like Cory said, “it’s gonna be fine.”
Wendy! Love it! … a joyful mess. May we all be that as we navigate the tough stuff.
God never said it would be easy. So many choose to blame God when stuff happens, but I really believe God is with us every step of the way. The good, the bad and the ugly. It still sucks though and I’m sorry the cancer is presenting again!
You are absolutely right. He never promised it would be easy, but He always promised His presence. Blessings!💕
A beautiful piece, again… we love you and are standing with you.
Thanks Cheri! And I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you! ❤️
He said He would never leave you, nor forsake you. He is holding your hand as you walk down the hospital halls and you will fear no evil. We are blessed that you have so much grace and are sharing your struggles. You are a fine example of a follower of Christ. You are in our prayers, always. And special to us. Thank you, Lori.
I’m thankful for His faithfulness. For SURE!
You are a faithful witness through the good times and the hard times Lori! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. It helps us to know how to pray…which we are doing, and will continue to do. We love you dear friend!
Much love to you, Jenise. So much to be praying for these days!💕
LORI GIRL! YOU are one amazing girl and you ALWAYS encourage me! dang it! I love that! AND, like Wendy, I think I’ll start my seeing GOD journal as well! He is SOO always there! Love you and praying for you! x0x0
I’m so glad you find encouragement from these posts!! Mission accomplished! Hah! And… I’m gonna check up on you on doing some journaling. Love you!
Oh Lori! You are so faith-filled! But I know it’s so easy to let your imaginations run away with you. Praying for your heart, mind and soul to fill the peace and presence of God!
Rhonda! I always love hearing from you. And your prayer is exactly what we all need right now— the peace and presence of God in our heart, mind, and soul. 💕
Lori, I didn’t realize this is going on with you. I’d be more than happy to talk with you if you’d like that.
Thank you for finding me on my blog. I love that! And, talking with you would be wonderful. If you’re available, let’s do it. ❤️
Oh, Lori, my heart is heavy for you. Praying for you. May our Lord heal, bless encourage and care for you!❤️
Thank you, Mary Anne, and I’m going to be praying that for all of us… healing, blessing, and encouragement.❤️
Dear Lori, once again complete transparency, encouragement & reminders of how His anchor holds fast though our ship seems to be sinking. For quite sometime I’ve woke in the night & through the day singing a very, very old hymn. “ Never Alone”. A powerful reminder of His steadfast love & care. As one verse says, “ I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, telling me still to fight on” just like Cory said, “everything is going to be alright”. With that promise I pray you feel the peace in knowing He”ll never leave you alone. May His whispers of love remind you of that continually.
And yes, dang it it’s not easy but He’s Never,Ever unaware of our concerns, unanswered questions & constant petitions for His guidance, & understanding.
Forgive me for my unattractive expression of verbiage. But He knows our name & our hearts & He is working on your behalf as well as all His children.
You are immensely loved & appreciated. Many prayers are being lifted up on your behalf as well as your own. God bless you & keep Glorifying the Name of Jesus! With love, Sandy
That is beautiful, Sandy! Much love and hugs to you. ❤️❤️
Thank you for sharing your journey of faith with us. As I read this I was filled with tears, laughter, praise, encouragement, and faith! I have been praying for you and your complete healing. Thank you also for sharing the bullet points! We all have them if we look at our situations through eyes of faith. Thank you for sharpening my vision! I love you and I trust you will be alright too!
So happy to see your comment on the blog! And I love that you felt all those emotions! Mission accomplished!😄❤️
And you are right… we all have points of seeing God if we look at our situations through eyes of faith. Beautifully said!
Much love to you!! 😘
Praying for you Lori. You are a gift from God. I pray that God continue using your life to bring hope to people. God has a plan through it all. He truly does. I am glad that you are choosing to look up to Heaven in this season. I am with you and I will be praying for you.
I have been wondering how you are doing! Thank you for your beautiful words and I pray you are seeing God in many personable ways during this time. Much love to you!😘
Lori, once again thank you for being real with us, sharing your challenges and your faith. You have encouraged me and sparked something in me. The bottom line is we can trust Jesus. He will walk with us and give us what we need when we need it. We can count on Him! I will continue to pray for you and your precious family. Much love…
You are absolutely right… The bottom line is we can trust Jesus! And, boy, do we all need Him so much right now.
Blessings my friend!
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.
Amen and Amen!! He is our hope!❤️
Full of grace and faith, and giver of inspiration and reminder to each of us that God holds us in the cup of His hand. I am grateful to have you on my life. Know that you are in my prayers along with your beautiful family. May God bless you as you proceed with strength and confidence. He is good indeed. With much love, Jilliann
Oh I love that tag…. ‘giver of inspiration’… THAT is my goal. And I am so grateful to be connected with you! 💕
Wow Lori, what a journey God has taken you through. But the wonderful thing on being in a journey where there is no map, no real destination, no explanation why we must make this journey, is knowing you’d trusted Him before, He has been the driver, the guide, the planner, and your constant companion, and He never got you lost, nor left you alone, and always held your hands through it all, listened to your fears, wiped your tears, knew when to make you smile, and encouraged you to stay on course. With him, we will never get lost, or feel alone.
I once heard you say that even if the worsted happens, because of your faith, as Esther once said, if I live, I win, if I die, I win. That stuck with me then, and it’s what gave me courage when I faced my challenge over a year ago, Transverse Myelitis.
Your faith has always encouraged me Lori. And when I faced TM, a disorder that is so rare none of my Neurologist or Doctors have ever met someone with it, everything about it is uncertain, your voice, your story of faith, is what carried me on, and still does.
I know we don’t fear death, but sometimes is the journey we must go through, the test, procedures, etc., etc., thats tough. But you have a lot of Aarons and Joshuas holding your arms up When they grow tired.
Dan and I love you and Eddie, and have prayed for Gods blessings in you life, Now once again we are joining with the many people who love you to continue holding you all up as God takes you through this new journey.
Thank you for sharing, And being real. But dang it, we all agree with you that this sucks!!!
I love your ending! That made me smile.
Yes… we have been through a lot and we know where our strength and help comes from. He is so faithful! Thank you for the reminder to pray for you. I’m sorry you are going through this! What a testimony of His goodness you have through it all. Blessings and much love to you and DanTana! Love you guys!!❤️
You always seem to write what I need to hear
I love you! (Even if I’m a bit mad at you right now.Hah!😀❤️)
Lori, I am sorry for this news. I am excited to see the new ways God speaks to you and comforts you. Your words are always a source of wisdom and I know He is using you.
Praying for HEALING in Jesus’ name!
I, too, am excited to see a new side of God through all of this. I sure enjoy seeing you and your family on instagram. What a blessing!! Much love😘😘
Lori, You always have a way of putting the unbelievable, in a believable frame. I miss connecting with you and our mutual friends in faith, but I never forget how we have prayed for each other. I am praying for you and SO many others that come to mind. Thank you for reminding me to connect others who don’r know you, but who will benefit from the strengthening stories that you post here. I love your beauty and your beautiful testimony. Most of all, I love you.
Keep on keeping, dear friend,
I love that you took the time to comment, and I love that we can be instantly connected because of our faith. Stay safe and well during this crazy time. Much love to you!!❤️
Thank you for sharing those moments that you lost out, and followed up with how to stay strong. Truth.
Thank you for the encouragement, April. 😊❤️