I wasn't sure how to approach all that has been going on in my week. I have been constantly reminded of how important faith is and how mortal we really are.
I have been very excited about the Christmas season this year. I don't know why, but this year I feel more excited than I remember being last year. I have almost all of the gifts wrapped and placed under the tree already! I've been reading from "Why the Nativity" by David Jeremiah to the girls most nights this month as well to get their hearts in the right place for Christmas, too. As fun as the presents and time with cousins are, it pales in comparison to the ultimate gift of Jesus coming in the form of a man to live among us, to minister to us, and ultimately to die for us giving us opportunity to have everlasting life with Him. I have been feeling convicted and humbled at the same time by what the Word of God has to say about our lives here on this earth lately. Even as I look at all the wonderful gifts that we were able to buy for our family this year a part of me wonders what would happen if we didn't buy presents? What if instead we used the money towards our church, towards people in need? Would I or my family feel cheated or like we've gone crazy?! I would hope not! I would hope that it would draw more attention to Jesus and less attention to our worldly desires. I am not saying that I believe gift giving is wrong...by no means...if you could see under my tree you'd know. :) I just wonder how many have thought of going without for the sake of others.
Anyway, I am beginning to run a tangent...
I have had a rough year dealing with the cancer diagnosis my grandmother received in June. The doctors gave her 6 months and maybe a few more months with treatment. Well, needless to say we're in December and she is still going! God has been good. She does get weaker and I can hear the weariness in her voice often when I talk with her. I don't dwell long on it because the fountain behind my eyes begins to leak. She has been a blessing to me in my life. As Christmas draws nearer my heart feels heavier as my desire to be with her just "one more time" deepens. Originally we were going to spend Christmas in Georgia this year because it has been many years since our last, but with my granmother's situation we decided to go in the summer when we could have 6 weeks instead of just one with her. Even if the Lord has her days numbered such that this is her last Christmas I know I cannot sorrow because I will be reunited with her in the future when I celebrate my homecoming to Heaven.
Last week I received more bad news that my step-grandfather (my step-mom's dad) has cancer. At this point there is very little to be done. I am not especially close to him, but I do think of him as family. He and his family have always treated me like I was part of the family. He is a very kind man, humorous, witty, and a little rough around the edges. It's why he's so likable. My heart breaks again for another impending loss in the coming year. I wish I could give my brother a hug as he faces the loss of a grandfather he loves so, and my step-mom who faces losing her father.
To combine with all this I have sort of mixed feelings about the phone call I received this week from my new nurse practitioner/midwife. I switched because I have felt something isn't right with my body, and my previous doctor's office was dismissive of me and told me I was healthy. I went to the ER last month, during church, feeling numbness in my hands and like I was going to pass out. Very scary stuff! I've also had some female issues I want checked out, but my previous care provider refused help stating I am getting older, not having more children, but could be back on birth control pills to be more "normal". I'm so glad I didn't listen to that! In the last few weeks I found out I have fibroid tumors. That explains part of my problem. I will also be doing hormone testing in the coming months, too. Then came the phone call where Rose (my new care provider) was looking through my records and noticed something odd with my bloodwork. On New Year's Eve I will be going to a hematologist. She suspects I may have something called polycythemia which means I have a high platelet count making my blood thicker and slower which could lead to blood clots. (So glad I didn't take the advice to be on the pill again.) I am happy someone is finally noticing what my body is doing yet a little scared at the possibilities that lie ahead. I am praying that whatever it is I am going through will be treatable and that it will not be passed down to my children.
This is one of my longer blogs...sorry! I am so thankful for the friends that have been willing to pray for me and my family. I was hesitant to blog this simply because I don't want it to come across as a woman needing attention or sympathy. I simply ask for prayers. I know God is so good and His ways are not mine. He has placed me on this journey for a reason and through this I will glorify Him, not myself, but Him. Those close to me know I am a woman of strong faith and conviction. All the decisions of our family's life revolve around our faith, not our jobs, money, or circumstance. Those things are trivial. God is eternal!