Well, Advent is almost over. Are we ready for the coming of Christ? I’m not even ready to attack my email inbox or start writing thank you notes for the wonderful expressions of love that have found their way to me from all over the world. And there’s another dose of chemo with my name on it for Christmas Eve. But, I have an amazing life. The request for prayers has gone farther than my own personal life – which is a lot bigger than I ever thought it could be thanks to knowing Jesus Christ!
But what’s the question? Am I ready to open my heart to know and love Jesus in a new way from last year? That’s what a real merry Christmas is, right? Has it ever been a bad decision? Never! So, yes, I’m ready. It looks very different this year, but I’m ready.
I read Katie’s post (wow, what an honor to be her mom!) and I thought she might have been reading my mind. I truly had to work at saying yes to this very aggressive treatment I’m doing. I’ve always said – to many a friends’ discomfort (you know who you are) that I’m ready to go whenever the Lord wants me and I’m eager to see Jesus face to face. I thought about refusing chemo for maybe a day. Then I realized I was being given a new opportunity to respect life. Wasn’t it Pope Frances who just this fall said that respecting life was more than a fight against abortion? (Rhetorical question here. It was he.) So how can I show the Lord my gratitude for this precious gift of life I’ve been given? Well, I’ll fight for it, that’s what! I’ll accept the fact that God will bring me “home” whenever he wants, but until then, I will be grateful for each day I’m given. Of course, I want to go to the family weddings (hope you’re praying Scott and Chelsea!), grandchildren’s sacraments, graduations, and everything I can get to!
So how will I learn to know and love Jesus more this year during chemo, surgery, and radiation? Well, I’m not sure exactly. Last week in the hospital I was having some really “hard” times (that’s cancer lingo I’ve heard used for hurting like h_ _ _ in the midst of extreme exhaustion.) I’ll try not to mention that again. But in a bleak moment I remembered a sister in community, Donna, telling me how remarkable it was to her that during Christ’s passion he never once stopped focusing on others. Even from the cross, he took care of his mother by putting her in John’s care. He was on the cross! Wow. So I decided to have an outward conversation with my night nurse. Just chat to get my mind off myself. What a beautiful exchange we had as she told me her life’s story and how she wanted more but hadn’t a lot of faith. I ended up praying with this woman for more of the Holy Spirit. Now that was a lesson well learned. And if I can learn more about how Jesus suffered well, I’ll be glad for the opportunity. Because something about Jesus is: the more you know about him, the more you love him.
Merry Christmas! I offer whatever I go through this next round for my children and grandchildren (same as round #1) and for the healing of our dear friend Geriann. She taught me how to be strong way before I needed to be strong. I love you all. Thanks for everything and I’m counting on your prayers! Blessing of the weekend: I got to see the Kadeli’s from NOVA. Thank you Jesus! Congratulations to Gjon Kadeli who graduates from Purdue tomorrow. You will be missed by us!