Many of those days are not days of our choosing. They are days that chose us through the hand of a loving and faithful Father. Approving, understanding the significance, and knowing that the purpose holds eternal weight.
Wednesday was one of those days. As my last chemo treatment was before me, I wanted to celebrate.
Celebrate the end, bringing about a new beginning.
Celebrating the journey and all that God had taught me along the way, thus far...knowing there is more ahead, but this passageway complete.
Celebrate life and hope through Jesus Christ.
Celebrate friends and the family of God for whom God used to bring me through. Many who gave more to me than they may ever know.
A couple weeks before the calendar marked my last treatment day, I sat in the chemo lounge, receiving a treatment and watched as a lady finished her course. A bell was brought to the center of the room and this lady rang that bell signifying the end. And she bid farewell to each of us sitting in the chemo chairs announcing her road to wellness was before her. There was a smile on her face and a skip in her step. It was a joyous moment. One I will always remember.
I knew my day was approaching. After 97 days of enduring the effects of chemo....August 26th to December 1st....the passageway was narrowing and the door coming to a close on day 98, December 1st..a new beginning.
And I wanted to celebrate that victory. I didn't just survive. Through Christ, I conquered.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword.....yet in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us." Romans 8:35,37
And that is victory....sweet victory. That these trials do not separate....they draw us closer, if we'll submit and allow them to.....closer to our Jesus as our dependence is on Him and none other. In Him I am a victor.
Now mind you, I didn't know what that celebration looked like....so I deferred to my precious husband who enlisted the help of some precious other sisters in the Lord.
And once again, I witnessed the body of Christ in action. The love of Christ poured out as a drink offering.
I drank deeply and am still full today.
Once again, my thanks are not enough. They come from a place so deep in my heart and soul and yet I feel I can never adequately repay each of you for the love you have poured out on me and my family. So many of you, God has used in my life these past 8 months. From the time I found the lump in late April until today. These precious woman who surrounded me on Wednesday, have ministered to me in ways that truly bring me to tears as I write these words. From the continual phone calls just checking in on me, to the cards received by their hands in some of my weakest moments, to the prayers that they have ushered to God's throne, often over the phone with me or in person, to the life giving words of Truth from God that they have spoken into me, to the tangible help each chemo week with my children, to the hugs, the gifts received....to the selfless love that they each have offered to me with open hands. May God return to them 10 fold. May God bless them in ways that I never could. Thank you sweet friends, for holding my hand and even raising them when I was too weak. You are tokens of God's grace and love.
And there are many more around me, who were not there that day, who, too, have walked with me. Thank you.
What a beautiful ending God gave me as I crossed that threshold over the chemo doorway once and for all. May these pictures complete this part of HIS story.
|The completion bell resting upon a shelf in the chemo lounge. It was my day to ring it~|
|Ring the bell three times well, its toll will clearly say, "My treatments done! This course is run and now I'm on my way!"|
|Birdseye view of the chemo lounge. Many hours spent here. Barclay came with me to treatment this morning, but left at lunchtime (now knowing he had much up his sleeve!) and my best friend, Beth, came sitting with me to the end.|
|As this was all a surprise to me, I later learned that some of my precious friends were waiting in the lobby outside the chemo lounge for their grand entrance as my chemo was completed.|
|The moment of surprise as they came around the corner bearing balloons, gift baskets and their smiling faces. |
I was truly overwhelmed with their love and their desire to share in this special day with me.
|Laura, my nurse that day, disconnecting me from the chemo line for the last time.|
|At this point, my husband had returned with all of our children and my mother, in tow. Here is Jeddy, our 6 year old, coming right over to hug me. Later that night, He told me, "Mommy, I am so glad your chemo is done!"|
|It is finished!|
|The man of my dreams. Having walked intimately beside me. Holding me. Enduring. Drawing closer. And here embracing me once again. We celebrate together.|
|And I rang that bell!!|
|With my mom.....|
|with my sweet, endearing, precious friends and sisters in the Lord.|
|One final farewell....and around the corner, out the door I went. My friends went their way, and we piled in the car heading home....relishing in those beautiful moments and the people that God had blessed me with.|
|I am truly blessed beyond measure to know these woman.|
|We sat around the table, eating, talking and sharing. Fellowship.|