Well, this post is a difficult one. It’s hard enough for me to write this often where I’m the primary focus, as it makes me feel awfully self-absorbed; I’d much rather come alongside others who are hurting and share their burdens. Or go fishing. But, I guess with this little procedure tomorrow, I’ll burden you all with some prayer requests. We humbly appreciate it. And we promise to pray now and for each of you in the years to come. Many years to come.
Back home, Kim’s parents (Gaga and Gibby) are managing the household. Please pray:
- For the strength of Kim’s parents, Gibby in particular, as he is very ill himself with his own battle with the “little c” (cancer).
- For Joy, Caroline, Samantha, and Owen, that they will have peace, love each other well, and be easy for their grandparents.
For the surgery tomorrow, please pray:
- That the surgical team will have great wisdom and skill to remove all of the cancer yet optimally preserve healthy tissue.
- That if my bladder must be removed, the nerves and vessels in that area are preserved.
- That if intraoperative radiation is necessary, it kills all cancer cells without damaging the surrounding tissue.
- That the newly installed colostomy bag will be temporary.
- For peace and comfort for Kim, my mother (Nancy), my sister (Nan), and my father (Charlie) as they spend the day waiting at MD Anderson.
That should cover us! Thanks for all your love and support.
I’ll finish with this. As I was leaving the medical center Monday afternoon, it occurred to me that I feel like I live by hope much more than I live by faith. I don’t mean this in a necessarily negative way. As my brother/friend/pastor Jared Bryant said this morning, Paul in Corinthians 13:13 tells us that faith, hope, and love abide forever, but he mentioned that many people are geared towards one of these more than others. And for me, I live resolutely in the hope of eternity–that when the lights of this world go out, new ones turn on. I cast my sight on the horizon, which is wonderful when you can see it. But the enormity of difficult circumstances can rock you, your sight become limited, and even the hope of a far-off promised land provides little solace.
I picture the scene in the movie Alive when Nando and Roberto are trying to escape the Andes. After two days they reach the top of a treacherous mountain, believing the coast of Chile lay on the other side, only to see an infinity of mountains. Their hopes crushed, Nando finds some resolve from within, some strength (faith?) to persevere. And they proceed to trek an additional 12 days to rescue. Dramatized or not, the point is that a hope without faith is easily turned to doubt and uncertainty. They could have turned back. I could abandon my hope and despair. But it is only by remembering that Christ is with me always that I carry on with joy and purpose now.
I’m thankful for all my friends who have such strong faith for me to rely on. Perhaps I occasionally remind them of the sweet goal of our perseverance. And together there is the love that binds us as a body. And the “big C” (I hope you know what I mean by this one) that upholds us.
Peace, love, and humble appreciation.