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Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 10th, 2012. The presence of God.

Saturday, March 10th, 2012. Three weeks ago today. The day God called Rebecca home. It's a day that I will never forget. I felt God's presence like never before.

The night before was like any other Friday night. I stayed up pretty late, so on top of my sleep meds, I thought I would sleep through the night. Early Saturday morning, as in 2 or 3am, I woke up and was wide awake. I had a strong feeling that I should pray for Rebecca. I couldn't get her off my mind so I layed there and prayed. The rest of the night, or early morning technically, I was very restless and didn't sleep well. God needed me praying more than I needed sleep.

When I got up for the day, around 10am, my dad told me that Rebecca was taken to the hospital around 2am (the same time I woke up and prayed) and was put in the comfort care room. I didn't really know what that meant, but I got dressed as fast as I could and drove to the hospital. I couldn't get there fast enough and probably sped all the way. I was getting more anxious to see her. On the way to the hospital, I was listening to music and one of the songs that came on was "I Will Rise". This has been Rebecca and I's favorite song for a couple years, maybe even since we were diagnosed (She was diagnosed with cancer a month after I was diagnosed with Lyme). As I listened to the words on the way to the hospital, I had no idea that God would call Becca home that same day.

"There's a peace I've come to know 
Though my heart and flesh may fail 
There's an anchor for my soul 
I can say "It is well" 

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed 
The victory is won 
He is risen from the dead 

And I will rise when He calls my name 
No more sorrow, no more pain 

I will rise on eagles' wings 
Before my God fall on my knees 
And rise 
I will rise"


"Blessings" also came on.

"We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
You love us way too much to give us lesser things


'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise



What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise



I didn't know that later that day, I would really understand what this song means. "What if Your healing comes through tears" would take on a new meaning.  


I parked and walked through the hospital as fast as I could. I prayed all the way. I prayed for her comfort and peace. When I arrived on the 10th floor, I asked the nurses where the comfort care room was. They all had a painful look on their faces as they pointed me to the room. From the outside it looked like a normal hospital room. However, it was not.

When I entered the room, I didn't even have a chance to see Rebecca before her parents came and hugged me. We all cried together. That was when I finally understood that she would be with Jesus soon. We hugged and talked about how she would be pain free and at peace in Jesus' arms very soon. She would be healed forever. She deserved it.

Her parents then gave me the opportunity to spend time alone with Rebecca, and tell her that it was okay to be with Jesus. She needed to hear it from me. I hesitated at first, but only because I was scared. I knew it would be the last time on earth that I would talk to her alone. But then God gave me the strength and peace that I needed. Her family left the room, and for the last time on this earth, it was just me and Becca.

I sat by her and rubbed her arm so that she would know that I was there. I'm sure that she could hear us, she just couldn't respond anymore. Tears fell as I told her that it was okay to go to Jesus. Those were some of the hardest words I've ever said. I truly meant those words, but letting her go was hard. I reassured her that I would miss her so much, but that I will be okay until I saw her again. She and I have talked about Heaven so much in the past 3 years, so I talked to her about Heaven. How there will be no more IVs, pain, nausea, PICC lines, ports, medicines, needles, blood tests, CT scans, surgeries, hospitals, and wheelchairs.

I told her how thankful I was that God chose us to be friends. That verse in Philippians 1:3, "I thank my God every time I remember you" has never been more true. I told her that. We'd been through everything together since we were diagnosed. We both agreed that getting sick was worth it since we became friends because of it. Our friendship was one of a kind. I reminded her of that. Most people with a chronic illness have to go through it alone. We were blessed to have each other.

As I sat by her, I kept reassuring her that it was okay to go with Jesus when He called her home. I told her that I would see her soon. God gave me the words to say to her and the strength I needed to say them. I am so very thankful for that precious time with her. I'll never forget it.

After I spent time alone with her and everyone came back in the room, we spent hours sitting by her, reassuring her that we were there and that it was okay for her to go be with Jesus. As I sat by her and rubbed her arm, I couldn't help but think what was going on in Heaven as they got ready for her arrival. They prepare for you and then welcome you. Jesus said He's preparing a place for us. Wow. "You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:11 

As the time grew nearer and nearer, I couldn't stop thinking about what was going on in Heaven as Rebecca got closer to home. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but it seemed like a peace came upon the room. Enough peace that we could tell her to go be with Jesus. Enough peace to talk about what she was fixing to experience in Heaven. Enough peace to be able to smile while talking about Heaven. Enough peace to laugh at things we love about her. 

Later that afternoon, there came a time when everyone just knew that she would be with Jesus very soon. We all gathered around her and then the nurse took the monitors off. She always hated those monitors! We held each other and her uncle led a prayer. Around this time, it started to rain outside. Becca loved the rain, and it seemed like Heaven was crying with us. Our eyes were fixed on Rebecca and God. "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon YOU.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b

What was going on in Heaven at that moment? Her parents kept reassuring her that it was okay to go be with Jesus when He called her home. They told her that she had fought so hard, and that it was time to be with Jesus.

At 5:31pm, Rebecca received eternal healing and peace in Jesus' arms. With her last breath, I felt a moment of peace. "She fought the good fight, she finished the race, she kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7


I then truly realized that with her final breath, she was with Jesus. I felt closer to God than I ever had. One minute she was with us, and the next she was literally in Jesus' arms.



I know that God was holding us all in that comfort care room. He was present. I could feel it. He was there to take Rebecca home and give us peace and comfort.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 

That peace continued, but then the sadness came. Sadness that she was not here anymore. Sadness that she wouldn't be here to go through life together as you and your friends plan. We all cried together and held each other. There became a special bond with the people in that comfort care room when Becca was called home. 


After many hugs and tears, we all left the hospital that night and started a new season of life.


I've never experienced two, such strong emotions at once. Peace and grief. How can they exist together when the grief is so strong? Only through God. Without Him, we would just be grieving. "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hopeWe believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14


The only reason we have peace in this time is because of God. There is nothing in this world that can bring peace right now. Nothing. But because of God, we have a peace that passes all understanding. Because of God, we have peace because we know we'll see her again. Because of God, we have peace because we know she is pain free and cancer free in Heaven! Because of God, we have peace because He promises to carry us through each season of life.


Being with Rebecca when God called her home was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. It's incredible that we were with her when she met Jesus face to face. I felt so close to God. Immediately I had a new perspective of Heaven. It became really real. 

I still have that feeling of awe that I can't describe about that day. She fell asleep and left this world and entered into Heaven. She saw Jesus face to face with her last breath. She received eternal healing and peace in Jesus' arms.

But we miss her so much. We are human and selfish and want her here. We'll never be the same. Our lives won't go back to normal for a long time. This season of life is not easy. But if God gave us peace and comfort through the hardest day of our lives on March 10th, 2012, He will get us through this season and every other one.


A couple songs that are perfect right now.


"Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns


"For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
'I'm with you'
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away




"With Hope" by Steven Curtis Chapman


"This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope 
There's a place where we'll see your face again

We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor 
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope
"


I'm so thankful for being able to be with Rebecca the day God called her home. I can't wait to see her again. 


"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23



"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Homesick"

This song has been on the radio for as long as I remember, but when I heard it the day after Rebecca went to be with Jesus, I finally understood it. 

"Homesick" by Mercyme

"You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
'Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have

To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place

Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now"



I am so thankful for the promise of Heaven. I am so thankful that I will see Rebecca again. I am so thankful that she is safe in the arms of Jesus. I am so thankful that Jesus conquered death and that death has NO sting anymore! I really don't know how people get through this without God. He is what gets us through another minute. He carries us and sustains us. I'm so thankful for that. But it is so hard that she isn't here. Harder than I imagined. So I am clinging to God's promises more than ever.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

"Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word" Hebrews 10:23 (Message)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vacation

This past week, my brother and dad were in Vienna, Austria visiting our missionaries there. Since I'm not able to travel that far right now, my mom and I went to Orlando, Florida! We've only had it planned for a few weeks, but weren't sure how things would work out. It was so nice to get away for a few days. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Disney World and just hung out by the pool. Here are some pictures. The hotel has savannas with animals and is an African themed hotel. It's incredible.





We went to Animal Kingdom and Epcot on Thursday. At Epcot they were having their flower festival. So beautiful! All the characters are made out of flowers.















At the Epcot fireworks. We got perfect seats because of the reserved area for wheelchairs!

When we went to Animal Kingdom, I saw these bracelets that you can get your name put on. Animal Kingdom was Rebecca's favorite park at Disney. Instead of getting my name, I put our favorite verse on it. Well, just where the verse is found. "My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26



Purple was her favorite color. The bracelets are perfect. She loved Disney so much.  I got her mom and sister one too so we have matching bracelets. 


This week it's back to real life. I've taken 2 weeks off from treatments at the clinic, but I'm starting again this week. I ask that you keep praying for Rebecca's family and me as we are in this new season of life. We miss her so much.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Memories

A few of my favorite memories with Rebecca...

  • Getting snow cones every Sunday afternoon.
  • In the winter when snow cone places weren't open, we got icees from gas stations
  • Being able to talk to each other about things that no one else understands
  • We both got handicap parking stickers. So even when we wouldn't exactly need to use them one day, we still did. And when we got out of the car, one of us would either walk really slow or walk with a limp so that it looked like we actually needed to park in handicap. 
  • Having medical contests. When we would either get an IV, shot, port accessed, or anything that bled afterwords, we would look at the piece of gauze and see if the blood was in the shape of a heart..if ours was, we would get a point. I think she won! It was close though. We would take a picture of it and send it to each other to prove it really was a heart...
  • Driving each other around when one of us couldn't drive because of medicines or sickness. 
  • Having "parties" while everyone else was in school. Our "parties" involved lots of medical things, but we had fun no matter what. 
  • Eating lots of food that our doctors didn't want us to have.
  • Texting crazy medical stories to each other
  • Becoming addicted to every tv show together. We've discussed therapy for our tv addiction.
  • Going to get the most random food at the most random time because one of us was craving it
  • Watching medical shows and diagnosing people on the show faster than the doctors 
  • Having deep talks about life and our faith
  • Sending encouraging verses or quotes to each other
  • Being "rebels" by watching tv shows that our parents probably didn't want us to watch..and no, I'm not telling which ones! We promised not to tell!
  • Not having to say anything when we were together. We just understood what each other was going through. We could go hours without having to say anything.
  • Watching tv all day long in our pajamas 
  • Telling each other stupid things that people have said to us during certain times


These are just a few memories that come to mind. There are so, so many. 

What I miss and will miss the most:
  • The understanding that we had about what each other was going through.
  • Being able to have fun and laugh no matter what. It didn't matter if it was in the hospital hooked up to IVs and monitors. We were able to find something to laugh about.
  • Talking to each other about things that you can't talk to anyone about. 
  • Not worrying about little things that most people worry about.
I am so thankful that God made us friends and I am so excited for the day when I see her again and neither one of us is sick!

This was our favorite song and verse. It gives peace and comfort for both of us.


There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
[x2]

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise



"My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Purple Roses

The three of us (best friends with Rebecca) each got a purple rose from Rebecca's bouquets today at the burial. We will cherish them forever.

Katherine, Hannah, and I




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thank you

I want to thank everyone for the encouragement and prayers the past few days and weeks. The really do make a difference.

The past few days have been really strange. It feels like I'm in a dream. They've definitely not been easy, but I'm doing okay. Since we left the hospital on Saturday night after Rebecca went to be with Jesus, I've stayed busy. I don't want to sit at home and have time to really think right now. I know that I will have to think about it, but for now I'm staying busy. I've talked with friends about Heaven and life. They've been very encouraging talks. I went to get a dress for the funeral. I got a purple necklace to wear to the funeral since purple is her favorite color. I've made up errands to do so that I'm not sitting at home. So far that plan is working. I know in a couple days things will calm down and I'll have to think about it.

The visitation was tonight and the funeral is tomorrow morning. There have been lots of tears, but also lots of laughter at memories and pictures. I know tomorrow will be the same.

Please keep praying for us and encouraging us. I can't thank you enough. God is carrying us through this.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Limo ride

Several weeks ago Rebecca and I got to ride in a limo to her radiation one day. I will always remember that.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rebecca is with Jesus

Tonight I had the privilege of being with my best friend when she passed from this life into eternal healing in Heaven. Rebecca went to be with Jesus around 5:30 tonight. We are no longer "sick buddies" as we called each other. She is forever healed.


"We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, 
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again

We wait with hope, we ache with hope, hold on with hope,
We let go with hope"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thoughts lately

I know that I haven't been posting a lot the past few weeks. It seems like the last few weeks have been a blur. What have I been doing? Treatments, praying, spending time with Rebecca, praying, a little school, praying, thanking God, resting, and praying.

I've been doing treatments. Foot baths, lymphatic massages, and IVs.

I've been praying for a miracle.

I've been sitting with Rebecca. Sitting by her, while silently praying for her, while cherishing every second.

I've been praying for peace. For a peace that passes all understanding. Peace for Rebecca and her family, and others who are suffering.

I've been going to my one class a week. I'm so thankful for being able to take a class.

I've been praying for comfort. Comfort for everyone who is going through a difficult season.

I've been thanking God. Thanking God for His promises. Promises of Heaven. Promises of eternal healing. Promises of finding rest in Him. Promises of peace and comfort on earth. Promises that there is a purpose.

I've been resting. Not enough resting, but resting when I can.

And I've been praying. Did I mention that? I wish that it didn't take hard times for us to pray more.


There's a Bible story in Daniel 3 that had come to mind lately. King Nebuchadnezzar orders everyone in the land to bow down and worship a gold statue at the sound of the music. Anyone who does not bow down, will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to bow down to the gold statue because they worship the one true God. King Nebuchadnezzar is immediately told that they won't worship the gold statue, so he summons for them. 



"Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, 'Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?'

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”' 

They had such faith in God and His plan that they were not going to bow down and worship the idol, even if God did not save them from the furnace. How incredible. 


Here is what I came up with from that story that fits today.

Our God is more than able to deliver us from cancer, Lyme disease or anything else, but even if He doesn't here on earth, we will not give in to cancer, Lyme, or any other trial or tribulation. We will still praise Him.




Monday, March 5, 2012

Medicine and Treatments

I've started on some new supplements lately. I've been on them for a few weeks I think. Here's my medicine schedule right now! Thankfully it's not that much. I might be leaving something out though.

When I wake up:

  • Burbur Detox-10 drops
  • Prilosec (anti-acid)
  • Kidney and Bladder Drainage- 10 drops
30 minutes before lunch:
  • Vitamin D- 10 drops
  • Zyto drops- 10 drops
  • Pinella (nerve and brain)- 10 drops
  • Parsley Detox- 10 drops
Around 2pm:
  • Probiotics
  • Cell Food- 10 drops (in water)
6pm:
  • Medicine for ovarian cysts and endometriosis 
30 minutes before dinner:
  • Vitamin D- 10 drops
  • Zyto drops- 10 drops
  • Burbur Detox- 10 drops
  • Kidney and Bladder Drainage- 10 drops
Bedtime:
  • Vitamin D- 10 drops
  • Pinella (nerve and brain)
  • Parsley Detox- 10 drops
  • Amitriptyline (sleep and pain medicine)
  • Tizandine (muscle relaxer) 
As needed:
  • Nausea medicine
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Pain Medicine
  • Magnesium 

I am still going to the clinic here to do the lymphatic drainage and detox foot baths. I go twice a week! Then I do IV fluids a home 2-3 times a week.