Shouting “One Year!”

One year ago today, my journey through treatment and healing began, and tonight I lie sleepless, tossing and turning. My mind is haunted with the mixture of emotions, memories, fears, struggles, and most of all, gratefulness for how much God has provided and protected in our home. So, please forgive my random thoughts as I try to make sense of their jumbled musings…

What is your only comfort in life and in death?

That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.

(Heidelberg Catechism, Question #1)

Our friend, pastor, and shepherd, Joe, read these words to me in pre-op as I clung to Bri’s hand, the reality of what was about to happen beginning to set in. Just as I clung to the hand of my husband that morning, I have clung to those words. Yellowed and bent, with dog-eared corners, the index card with those truths sits in my Bible where I can visit them every day and remember Whose I am.

As Bri and I talked tonight, I looked up into his face, searching the lines that have appeared this past year. Sharing in my pain has not been easy for him. He has loved me so unconditionally! “I need you.” I told him, “Sometimes that’s harder to say than I love you.” Then we started talking about why we needed each other… my list was endless, it seemed. “I need you to be my strength when I am weak. I need your love to fill me. I need your laugh when I cannot find mine. I need your provision so I feel safe. I need your wisdom when I am confused. I need your leadership when I don’t know the answers (and even when I do!). I need you to walk beside me, because you are the other half of my soul. My soulmate.” And I thought what a picture of Christ that is, and I realized how I loved those lines on his face more deeply than I can express.

How is it possible that it’s been a year? A year of tunnels and flea bites. Of living hope. Of losing eyebrows and finding old friends again. Of learning to worship in ways I never knew possible. Of gratitude and growth. Most of all of love. A love that deepens for my Bri and my babies every day.

It’s been a year of reminders that I am not my own. I belong to One Who loves me infinitely more than I can imagine. I love the truth of Romans 14:8. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. That is the beauty of full assurance, of knowing I belong fully to Him, and it’s because of nothing that I have done or not done that He loves me. My debt is paid in full, satisfied by perfection in Christ.

Not a hair can fall from my head! What comfort that was to me during those first days of chemo as I ran my fingers through thick brown hair and looked down to find chunks of it covering my hands. As I bowed my head below the clippers that sent wavy locks to the floor, I bowed my will to the One Who counted each strand that fell. And I have learned to offer myself daily to Him with an open heart to the perfect plan He has for my life.

Yet as open as my heart has become, the fear still lurks. The wonder at every new pain. Is it back? Will it recur? The anxiety of needles has intensified, and already I am feeling the panic of my scheduled heart scan this Thursday. And I cling to truth. That I am redeemed from all the power the devil holds. I am redeemed from fear. I am redeemed from sin’s poison. And one day I will be fully free of the pain that clings to this body here.

One day. I don’t know when that day will be. I didn’t know if I would be here today when I entered the OR last August 27th. God has been so faithful. He holds my yesterdays, and He holds my todays. And because I know He holds tomorrow, I will live each day in freedom, each gift for each day, shouting ONE YEAR!

12 responses to “Shouting “One Year!””

  1. And so many of us are shouting with you!

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  2. 🙂 I love you and miss you. I know I always say that, but it’s truly true. I am so grateful for all the provisions of this past year! Talk to you soon friend.

    PS: Voted for your haiku too…you’re in the lead as of wed morning

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  3. “For my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory!” His glorious riches! What a promise from the King of Kings! He has been and always will be so faithful. I rejoice with you and your family this day, Angie!

    Lots of love,
    Sarah

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  4. You were my first thought this morning! I love you, dear one.

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  5. Amen! And may, by His grace, He grant you many more! Love you dearly!

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  6. Praise be to Our Father in Heaven, He is so good! Bless you friend!

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  7. What great reminders the Lord has taught you during these joys and trials of the past year…thanks so much for sharing your life with us so intimately. You have been an encouragement to me through this and I am rejoicing with you!

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  8. I am praising God and celebrating with you and your family for God’s graciousness and Love to you this past year; He will continue to be with you and strengthen you! You’re an inspirations just by the words your write!

    Love ya,
    Becky

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  9. Melissa Bruining Teeter Avatar
    Melissa Bruining Teeter

    Tears are flowing down my face!!! Love you, dear friend!!!

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  10. Angie,
    I am reading a book by John Piper called “Don’t waste your Life”. In it he talks of magnifying the Lord. (showing through your life-giving a glimpse of just how magnificent he truly is) You have done that through your suffering and sharing it with all who know you personally or read your blog. You have lived well this past year, shared well, blessed others, and loved your family. Your fears and anxieties, all of that is so normal, but you did not let them win out over your faith and trust in your Father in heaven, and the finished work of Christ. I have been challenged and encouraged as I have read your blog…Thank you and may God bless you and keep you! Love, Carol

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  11. Congratulations on making it one year. Many more to come, I hope. Trust in the Lord.

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  12. Before i read this post, i was enjoying picture after picture of your happy young family. After reading this post, and in it reading a piece of your heart, i can see and feel joy in each picture even more. God has truly blessed you and Brian, and know that Hilary and I are praying for all of you, and thinking of you often… Happy One Year of many!

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