Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Faith Shaker, or Faith Maker?

Today has been a rough day for me. If it was just one of those random crummy days, I probably wouldn’t write about it on a blog, but today was different. Today I realized once again, just how fragile life is and how truly grateful I am to be alive and surrounded by those who genuinely care about me. Today I was reminded of the all-to-frequently overlooked fact that despite what many of us think, none of us call the shots down here. God is in control. He always has been and will continue to be – regardless of what our personal preferences are.

I know this all sounds a bit “off” and perhaps kinda random. Admittedly, I’m a little out of sorts. It’s just that… well…the thing is, that my sister-in-law Jolene was diagnosed with breast cancer this morning. At best she will need a mastectomy. At worst…well, I can’t even think about that right now. Many of you know how close we are and that I rarely ever refer to her as my sister “in law.” She has been my closest girlfriend for over a decade and I decided long ago that the whole “in law” thing didn’t do our relationship justice. I grew up with two older brothers, so Jolene is the closest thing I’ve ever known to having a flesh and blood sister. To hear this kind of news about HER – my girl…well, it’s a bitter pill to say the least.

I’ve known for a while now that she has been going through some testing for a lump she found in her breast, and last week when she received some preliminary abnormal results, I must admit, I feared the worst. So today, for all of us (my whole family) to have our worst fears confirmed…well, let’s just say it’s been pretty hard on us. None of us quite as much as Jolene of course, but the enormity of the situation is just starting to sink in for me personally. To tell the truth, I think I’ve been in shock most of the day. I know in my head how very serious this is and yet at the same time, I just don’t want to believe it. Why her? Why now? I mean, she’s my age for crying out loud! She’s got two little boys to take care of. She can’t be sick! She’s Jolene! She’s friggin’ indestructible! I mean, I’m a tough chick and all, but that girl puts me to shame. I’ve had some pretty dark days in my life and she has always been there with me – selflessly caring for me, crying with me, encouraging me, and bringing me through to the other side. She’s an amazing wife and mother and the depth of her character runs deeper than most people I’ve ever met. The love that she has for her children and her family is absolutely unmatched. She is self-sacrificing, kind, and generous; and yet God is still allowing this to happen to her. Why? I just can’t understand that!

I can’t pretend to know what God has in store. The bible says His ways are not our ways. I do hope and pray that He will heal her and restore her health so that she can be there for her children and her husband. And I know her well enough to know that if that means she has to sacrifice a boob or two, she won’t hesitate to do that to make sure that she’s there for them. Her faith is strong, and she knows God has a plan.

There will be much more testing in the next few weeks and she is scheduled for her mastectomy in early December. She is standing at the foot of a very BIG mountain right now, and I’m sure at times it will seem insurmountable to her. Please pray for her and her family as we all know that this will be one of the toughest (if not THE toughest) challenges she will ever have to face. But she definitely won’t have to face it alone. We’re here for you, sister! I love you! Boobs or no boobs, you'll always be my girl!

1 comment:

Jobina said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Mandy, she sounds like a wonderful person and she has a wonderful support in you! I love your "feel your boobies" button so much, Mark is going to try to help me make it into a button for my blog to bring people to this site... http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces
When you go there and click, you help provide free mammograms to women, plus they sell all that stuff with ribbons on it.