Thursday, May 2, 2013

Community in Trying Times

The past week has been incredibly hard and I don't think it's going to be getting easier any time soon. Last Thursday my grandma went back into the hospital. She was just there the week before after being short of breath and having low oxygen. Then really early Saturday morning they transferred her to the larger hospital because the small town hospital couldn't get the fluid to drain of her lungs with oral medication. Saturday she had fluid drained from around her lungs, Sunday she had a CT scan that showed masses in her abdomen, Monday she had another CT scan this time of her whole abdomen, Tuesday she had a biopsy of the masses, and Wednesday she had a tube inserted into her lung cavity to make draining fluid easier. Today she rests.

I was with them Saturday through Tuesday. It was probably the hardest days of my life so far. My grandparents provided a refuge and retreat for me all through my childhood. My best memories are on their farm: riding their garden tractors, sewing with grandma, and sweeping grandpa's wood working shop. Every summer they would take my brother and me on vacation in their motorhome for a week or so. We saw most of the US by their sides. Now, she's in the hospital and there is no other place I'd rather be than by her side. Yet, it's not easy. I'm a couple hours away from friends and community who now love, support, and care for me.

It's this community that I am so grateful. The word cancer had been thrown around several times, but Tuesday morning the words "advanced cancer" were spoken for the first time. It was too much. I had to leave the room and eventually leave the hospital. As I walked out the doors, I texted a good friend of mine and then talked on the phone. After hyperventilating crying for a bit she spoke grace and love over me. She reminded me of the gospel and the holy spirit that is giving me strength, wisdom and courage.

From that moment on I was different. I was living out of Christ's strength and not mine. There are few moments in my life where I can distinctly remember experiencing the mystery of Christ's church interceding for me. God uses His church to speak to His people. Nothing else would have satisfied or comforted me but the words of God being spoking directly into my life and circumstance by a good friend. God's words and grace are real and felt in times of trouble. He is always present and quick to lavish His Fatherly love, protection and comfort.

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