Oh, my heart cries out at the subject line on this post.
Hands down, worst Labor Day ever.
You've heard me talk about my girl Caroline before. Caroline is one of the most brilliant, one of the funniest, one of the godliest women I know. She is one of my closest girlfriends, has seen me at my worst and loved me and laughed with me through it, and I can list a thousand things she's done. She memorized every moment of Ben's baptism in the hospital-- have I ever told her that the three faces I most remember from that sad baptism in my hospital room, even more than Ben's, are hers, Don's, and my father-in-law?-- because she knew that I wouldn't remember anything and she wanted to make sure someone kept a record of it. She brought me chocolate. She laughed at my horrible gallows humor (and laughed with me about it a lot in the last year and a half). She cut my hair the night before the funeral and she said beautiful things from the pulpit at that funeral, though for the life of me I don't remember... I just remember that she held my gaze. I remember that she looked me in the eye and said, with no words, "We've got this. We're going to walk through this." We have spent hours talking after school, on the phone, on her back porch, on my front porch.
And these things are just a tiny handful of only SOME of the things she has done for me. If everyone who had been touched by her life were given thirty seconds to sing her praises, we'd be sitting for a year, just listening. She is 35, but she is so much wiser than even that.
And on Saturday, they told her that she has leukemia.
Oh GOD, my heart cries-- not this precious woman! Not Caroline! To imagine the agony of chemotherapy, the hardship of the survival that will be won (it WILL be won!), the isolation and loneliness of a cancer ward where we can't bring germs that might kill her... that's one side of my heart.
But the other side of my heart sits on the edge of its seat. The other side of my heart has experienced the goodness of the Lord in the valley of death and knows that we do not have to fear evil for GOD is our comforter!!! This part of my heart, my testimony, is blown away about the testimony that the Lord is weaving for this woman who can already command a crowd with the simplest of stories. This part of me KNOWS that God is doing something eternal in that woman and I agree with the great thing He is writing.
But I rail against the thing that is coursing through her veins. I say NO to the cancer that would take her down. But I say YES to the thing the Lord wants to do through it!
Will you pray with me?
Lord, we cry out to You on behalf of Caroline! We proclaim that You knit her together in her dear mother's womb and You know exactly how many hairs are in that perfect head of hair she has. You watch her all the time and are intimately familiar with her every moment, every desire, every pain, every longing, every hope, every fear... and You alone have the power to heal her. So we ask You, Lord, to heal her. We ask You to do Your perfect work in her. And we know that You are able to do abundantly more than we could ever even ask or imagine. We trust You with her life and we plead the blood of Your son over her, as her mother and father have surely done countless times, and as she has done over the lives of so many students herself... Have mercy on her, Father, and heal her. Have mercy on us, Lord, and leave her with us for 60 more years.
We trust You!!!
Please go see Caroline's CaringBridge site-- I have it listed on my blog list to the right of this article, and I'm putting a link here, too.
Let us remember our girl tonight while we lie, unplugged and comfortable in our beds, and cry out to the Lord that He would hold her in His arms while she is plugged to machines and IVs in hers.