It’s so quiet here today. After yesterday being so full of giggles and snuggles and endless snacks, today just seems unnaturally silent. Almost deafening in its stillness. No dancing. No singing as loud as we can. No chasing lizards, or watching birds. Little Ruby went home last night.
Today Mimi is home all alone.
Today may seem dull in comparison to the adventures of yesterday, but this is actually a huge day in our family.
As I sit here right now, Ruby’s daddy is being hooked up for what we pray will be his final chemo session. (For those who don’t know, our son-in-law, Tommy, was diagnosed with colon cancer in June. You can read about it here: When God just sees things different than Mama.)
As those drugs slowly begin to filter into Tommy’s bloodstream this morning … he’s fighting hard. Again. And our beautiful daughter, Hannah, is once again sitting close by. As always. Right there by his side. I can just picture her there. Watching. Waiting. Praying.
Mama’s praying for you both right now, sweetie. I hope you can feel it.
In a few weeks, after all the drugs of these next few days work their wonders on that despicable cancer, there will be more scans, more doctor appointments, and then, finally, more plans revealed.
But until then … as he has over and over again this summer, Tommy will again fight to heal his way back from the ferociousness of this treatment. And the rest of us … we will watch. We will wait. And we will pray. As we also have done all summer.
So as I sit here alone in the peacefulness of this morning, I’m thinking about all of this.
Wow. What a summer this has been. So incredibly tough for our entire family. There’s been shock (When God just goes ahead and drops that bomb.) … grief (On missing Gary.) … progress … setbacks … and truly having absolutely no idea what to do with it all (Yeah, but can you sing? Like right now??).
It’s enough to make my head spin just thinking about it.
Somehow it seems like it would just help a bit if we could just make some sense out of this. We struggle because we really have no idea exactly what God is doing with all of this. Or any of it, honestly. And we may never know.
Right now, I think we’re all just ready to push forward and leave this summer far behind.
So I got up from my desk to walk away from all of these thoughts for a minute, and I looked out in the backyard. I couldn’t help but smile.
I bought these for her recently because I’m teaching her to garden like her Mimi. Just like I did with our own kids, through these lessons, I’m hoping to pass on to her not only a love for nature and nurturing, but I’m also hoping to “cultivate gentleness” in her heart, as well.
I believe this is an important quality to teach our children. And to learn ourselves. Just be gentle. With everything. And everybody. Be gentle.
It’s great to just go crazy and let loose sometimes. Just get all hot and sweaty and tired.
But it’s also important for us all to slow down and listen. To really hear. To look. To watch. To wait.
To touch. And feel. Quietly. Gently. Carefully.
To think. And explore.
Again quietly. Gently. Carefully.
With all the insanity everywhere, I just feel that this world needs more gentleness, don’t you?
But I don’t think this happens naturally in any of us … it takes a certain intentionality. We need to cultivate gentleness in ourselves, our families, AND our society.
I believe God uses difficulties to accomplish that same work within our hearts as He allows us to experience sufferings of all sorts. He forces us to slow down and listen. To think and feel. To watch and wait. To desperately pray.
As my thoughts drift back to what Tommy is going through today, I’m thankful that soon the doctors will actually be able to visualize the changes these treatments have made to the cancer. There will finally be no more guessing. There will be accurate measurements made, and tangible proof to support future treatment plans.
On the contrary, we can’t see the changes that are happening inside every, single one of us who have been touched by Tommy’s illness. And we may never see them. But, mark my words … changes are happening.
In all of us.
Between family and friends near and far, the entire police community within hundreds of miles, hometown neighbors and all the praying churches, there are countless people who are watching and praying along with us.
Some of us may not realize it yet, but we all stand changed inside because of what God is doing.
So just like sweet, toddling Ruby Wren and her really cute shoes, this summer has been all about us being taught how to walk more steadily. Ruby’s off and running now. But we adults are still tripping our way through some of this.
But that’s what God is doing here.
He’s teaching us to go slowly.
Wait with faith.
Watch with hope.
Hear His whispers.
Look for Him.
And no matter what it is you’re facing today … trust that we’re all being held ever so tightly within the grip of our loving Daddy’s hand.
Even if we struggle against it. Or we choose to ignore it. He’s still there holding us. Tightly, but gently.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
“And what does the Lord require of you? To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)