Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
An incredible post from Kerry.... PART ONE
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:00 AM, CST
It's been a crazy couple of weeks, again. "SNOOOOOW-OKLAHOMA where the drifts come sweeping down the plains..." Over a span of eight days we received more than twenty-five inches of snow. Not a common affair in our neck of the woods! This proceeded to give our kids nine consecutive days out of school and me the desire to buy a snow blower or a front end attachment for our pick-up so I could clear a path for the buses to make their rounds and get my cabin fever kiddos back to their precious books (and me back to my self imposed hermit/loner status)!
I would've liked to have sat down a little sooner to write again, but I am aware of my limited abilities when faced with the knowledge of possible interruptions and distractions. I don't do so well. I need certain conditions and a conducive atmosphere for my thoughts to flow freely. They are a little on the shy side when others are around...they prefer to hide and not become visible unless conditions are right. They're so finicky! The house needs to be somewhat quiet, except for my carefully selected choices of mellow music that entice my emotions to begin to stir. Half the time I find myself still wrapped in my fluffy Hello Kitty robe as apparently the presence of Hello Kitty must help me channel my brainwork a little bit better!
I did write one morning. I explained to the kids that I desperately needed to shut myself in the office so I could return a favor to someone. I was asked to write something about our daughter's cancer journey, along with others, by a lady in Florida who wants to share the impact of pediatric cancer, and its notorious lack of funding, to her church community. I say that I was returning the favor to her because this sweet soul had given me the gift of allowing my little girl into her heart, along with many other children, as she works to spread word of this devastating disease and its young innocent victims. I pray she does not mind that I am sharing what I wrote to her, but the words are ones I keep finding myself reading over and over again as I feel them impact me more and more. It's funny, but I am the one typing the letters into words on this keyboard, yet I still find myself in awe of their meaning and their lessons. That's how I know it's not me most of the time...it's God!
Anyway, here is a portion of what I wrote:
"It breaks my heart to think that anyone in this world could possibly be without an understanding that we all are here for a reason and that we all have a purpose in this life, though it may not always be obvious what that purpose may be. Some people are lucky enough to have one of those obvious and impressive purposes such as ones who work in the medical profession or those who serve their fellow mankind in a perilous way through the military or as policemen or firemen. I think those who preach and share the word of God seem to know their purpose well! I can honestly say from personal experience that before August 22, 2008, I often times questioned my own personal purpose in life. I think I was looked upon by others as someone who had it all, but in my heart, I knew I didn't. I had the most amazing husband who has always provided for his family extremely well and has been a rock of stability, love and forgiveness. We had four beautiful, healthy children...boy, girl, boy, girl. We've always had more than enough and lived, for the most part, a pretty uncomplicated and fortunate life. I walked the walk and talked the talk as far as what I thought it meant to live life as a Christian, yet, I still felt something missing but could not quite put my finger on what it was. Then August 22, 2008 became our family's own personal Pearl Harbor. We were under attack. An enemy had invaded our lives and would alter and change the life we knew...forever. Our youngest daughter, Sicily, who was barely three and a half years old at the time, was diagnosed with a pediatric cancer called Wilm's tumor. My purpose in life began to become less foggy as I tried to help manage Sicily's battle with cancer as well as attempt to keep things together on the home front for the rest of our family. We were blessed with effortless help and assistance from troops of warriors who joined our army both physically and through the power of prayer. This realization of my own life's purpose didn't happen immediately as it took awhile for the shell shock to wear off a bit and the smoke from the bomb to begin to lift, but I realized God had work for me to do. I beat myself up for many years over the fact that I did not finish college as I had set out to do like my three older sibling had very successfully done. I really battled internally with this. One day, it finally hit me...I was exactly what God planned for me to be! I am a Christian, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend. From each of these titles I have a purpose in life and a job to do and I realized that it took my daughter's cancer to make me aware of this. We all have a purpose in God's eyes. And in His eyes, each purpose He has assigned us carries great weight, yet I believe no one individuals purpose is greater than anothers. We attach the level of importance ourselves...human error.
I had an epiphany one day while sitting in my daughter's room at the Children's Hospital. I watched as a bag filled with poison dripped down and ran through a tube that found it's way into her tiny disease stricken body. A contradiction, I realized...using poison to help save her life. I always had hope...I held tight to hope that we could save her life! I began to type a CaringBridge entry. I found myself typing words I could not believe I was writing. I stopped to read and re-read them over and over again. Obviously, if I typed them, then I must really believe what I was saying. I simply wrote, "I will accept God's will...whatever it may be." That can be tough to state and affirm on a normal day, but sitting in the hospital with my daughter who was fighting a worst case scenario for her personal cancer diagnosis? I actually couldn't believe I was doing this. But I did. And I did...I accepted His will. God's will turned out to be that my daughter earn her pure white feathered angel wings and enter into His glorious kingdom three weeks shy of her fifth birthday. On March 21, 2010 I cradled her in my arms with her daddy by our side as she inhaled and exhaled her last breathes of air here on earth. We encouraged her to run to Jesus and I believe she did. I wanted to keep her with me forever, but she was not mine to keep in the first place. God promised that I will see her again. Until then, I will love Him with my entire mind, heart and soul. I realized He sent this little angel to me to save my life...and I believe it worked. She was born of my body to save my soul. If she had not have done the job He sent her here to do so well, she might still be with us. God truly works in mysterious ways, there is no doubt, but I finally get it. I understand what it means to truly be a Christian now and to let God have my life! I can only hope now that by sharing my experience through these words it can help others realize what a true relationship with God is. He loves us unconditionally, so we need to reciprocate by believing in Him and accepting His will for our lives unconditionally! Every single time we pray the prayer, "Our Father," each and every one of us recites, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done...!" Let those words not just be words of a prayer we memorized as children...but let them actually be alive in your life! I at times feel like I did pay a price, but in actuality, God did not take anything away from me...Sicily was His all along. We are all truly His. He gave me eternal life because of her. This does not mean I got a free ticket to "pass Go" and collect my two hundred dollars. I need to live the rest of my life open to what it is He still wants and needs me to do. I have to continue to accept His will, but I think it will not be as hard for me in the future! I've taken the first step and I plan to just keep on walking in His direction. I am not perfect and I see myself as probably flawed more than others...but I have God in me so I will just continue to do my best! I miss my little girl with every breath I take and I know I will for the rest of my life, but we will be reunited again one day when He allows me into His kingdom of heaven. He promised. Until then, I will continue to look for signs of God and Sicily in the snowflakes that gracefully descend in winter and the butterflies that flutter beautifully in spring...the rainbows that span the skies after a summer storm and the artists envy of colors that burst in the leaves of fall. God is here. God is everywhere!
Today, I can honestly say that I feel full...I can literally feel God living inside of me. It is sad that this feeling of consummation had to come through tragedy, but it did. The life and death of my little girl truly gave me what my life had been missing...a REAL personal relationship with God. I still find myself on many days not even able to make it to my knees as I lay crumbled up on the floor with my grief, but God pulls me back up to my feet. Day after day He dusts me off, He patches my brokenness, He polishes my tarnished spots...He repeats this every time I fall down and find myself face down on the ground. He promised He would, and He has! All I had to do was let Him."
Again, I have read these words that were meant for someone else over many times. I did have a question...one I was asking of myself. "Do I still struggle with my purpose in life?" You bet...many times over! But I've decided that if I always felt confident in the reasons for my existence and what I am supposed to be doing in this life, then I would not have the need to continue to ask God for His guidance. In hindsight, I can see and understand my purpose in a given situation. It's always easier to see and understand the paths that are behind us, but not so much the ones that lay before us. Knowing that God is guiding my every foot step and that He is with me at all times is only done through trust. I have to trust Him with my life and I try everyday. Faith, I believe, is always a work in progress. It takes patience, perseverance and sometimes, some deep digging! But in the long run, it is all worth it. By having faith, I can let go of my pesky need to always understand my purpose. Keeping faith has allowed me to feel accomplished. In the midst of some of my deepest days of this grieving process and the reality of facing life with a chunk of my heart missing, I have gone to bed many times thinking that I accomplished nothing that day. It was a total waste as I struggled with the slightest task. Then I realized that I had actually accomplished something that can be considered extremely difficult in these days and times...I kept my faith. Not only did I keep it, but many times I found ways to nurture it and encourage its growth. Funny how that can be accomplished through rivers of tears! Those days I felt had been a waste, were not a waste at all! That was a powerful realization for me! Sometimes we might shine and bask in the rays of our life purposes, while other times the weight of our life purposes might find us being dragged along behind a pick-up truck...but as long as we continue to inhale and exhale the air on God's great earth, He has a purpose for us all!
Go to part two...