Amazing Grace

In my first post, I said that I had hit the bottom of the pit and it was time to start climbing.  Turns out that was a bit optimistic.  We had another, unrelated phone call from OHSU that has shown me that I was not at the bottom of the pit, I had only hit a ledge on the way down.  Now a strong wind seems to have come up and blown me off the ledge again… until there is a follow up call and a few more appointments, I don’t know if I am free-falling or hanging on by my fingers.  If this was Hollywood, I would be dangling by my fingers and somehow find the strength to climb up…
This is not Hollywood, this is real life.  My life.  Here is something I know about my life… no wonder where I am hanging, or falling, or recovering, or needing to pull someone else up – my Savior is there with me, just waiting for me to ask for help; waiting to give me the strength I do not have on my own.
For the past two weeks I have been teaching my youth class at church about the Lord’s Grace and Atonement.  One of my favorite illustrations that I used (of course I did not make this up), was actually a pit.  We fall into the pit, cannot climb out, and the Savior comes along and offers us a ladder.  He doesn’t stop there, He climbs into the pit so that he can help us to climb out.  Now it is our choice if we are going to accept or reject his help, but the offer is always there.  As I taught this it occurred to me, he doesn’t only say “Come Unto Me”, he offers “Come With Me”.
In John 15:1-10 Christ teaches that He is the true vine.  We are the branch and it is through Him that we receive nourishment.  I like the part in verse 2:  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Baby Jackie

I see that my daughters are the branch that bears fruit – they are being purged (or purified) through these trials so that they may bring forth even better fruit.  I know that they are strong young women and destined to be quite amazing women in the future.  You cannot become like that if you just go along with the crowd doing all of the normal things.  Cancer isn’t really a trial you can run away from, so they have to face it.   Their choice will be whether or not they accept the gift of Grace and let Christ lead them out of the pit.

As their mother I have the same choice.  I have been making this choice for many years now.  I rely daily on the empowering strength that the Savior provides.   My daughters are in a bit of a crisis and our entire family is affected.  I may be hanging on by my fingers, but I know I don’t have to worry.  I don’t have to be afraid.  I am powerless, but the Lord is all powerful.

Carefree – 13 years ago

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things.  Alma 26:12

Baby Natalie

I have been blogging about Jackie and cancer… today I am blogging about “my daughters”.  This is all because of that “strong wind” of a phone call that knocked me off my feet this weekend.  A little background… last November Natalie had a brain MRI that showed “an abnormality” and the plan was to do a follow up MRI in three months, and then again six months later.  We had our three month follow up a couple weeks ago.  Initially the oncologist said that there was no change so we would just follow up later…then he brought it up in a conference with neurosurgeons and brain tumor specialists.  They all felt that, whatever it is, it shouldn’t be there and needs to come out.  Li-Fraumeni Syndrome definitely tipped the scales on the “let’s get it out of there” opinion.  The neurosurgeon’s office has contacted us to let us know they will be calling to schedule.  I hope that they agree with us that brain surgery can probably wait until we (the family) has recovered a bit from a thoracotomy.
As to my strength I am weak!

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