Spring is here, and Andrew and I have never breathed the sweet, fresh air in more deeply than now. We, unfortunately, spent four straight weeks in the hospital last month, and it was 28 grueling days of staring out the window as the flowers began to bloom and the sun began to shine. My chest felt heavier just watching Andrew lay in his hospital bed day after day. Needless to say, we have taken a grand total of zero days for granted since receiving Andrew’s discharge notice. I am thrilled to be able to say we have played tennis a handful of times, ran a few laps around Zionsville Park, and taken our dog to sniff up and down nature trails. It may seem trivial to many, but these are activities that were completely out of the question two months ago. We have been blessed to see so much positive progress. It makes the tough days easier and the long hospital stays worth it. We continue to learn life lessons and are humbled daily. Humbled by the love and support from hundreds and hundreds of people. Humbled by the courage and strength from the patients we pass as we walk up and down the hallways of the oncology unit. Humbled by the continuous protection and provision of Christ. The Lord has emphatically answered our prayers; not necessarily in the ways we had imagined, but answered in the perfect ways that only the Lord can provide.
Andrew has been praying for years to gain a testimony that can speak to the hearts of many and lead those to the Lord. Did he EVER think it would come in the form of cancer? I think it’s safe to say no. And yet, the Lord has provided exactly what Andrew has spent the entirety of his blessed life praying for.
Andrew and I have been together for a little over five years, but we’re just now approaching our one-year anniversary as a married couple. We have spent hours praying over our marriage and our single greatest hope and prayer was to be used by the Lord. Those were the words we used but, in hindsight, what I think I was really asking for was to be sent to an overseas country to shine the light of the Lord while Andrew made a career out of doing what he loved. But yet again, God has provided exactly what we asked and prayed for- to be used by Him and to minister to people across the world.
It has been eight weeks since Andrew’s last chemotherapy treatment. The typical amount of time between treatments is two weeks…again, we’re on week eight. This is nothing to be alarmed about and Andrew’s body is just taking a bit longer to recover from this last intensive round of chemo than expected. We love the break, but we are ultimately adding on more time to the end of this treatment and we are more than ready to be done with daily visits to the hospital for chemo. But I think back and realized what we prayed for: a break. Four weeks straight in the hospital can make you go crazy. Luckily, we have an INCREDIBLE nursing staff who planned random dance parties and allowed therapy dogs to visit and that made our stay more than manageable, but it’s not time spent enjoying the winter melt to spring and it’s not fresh air. And Andrew desperately needed both. So, we prayed for a break. We prayed for a time to go on a date or two and feel like a normal, married couple. We prayed for time to scream and be silly at a Pacers game. We prayed for time for Andrew to not-so-subtly break the rules and invite our dog, Charlie, onto the bed after he had not seen him for a month. We are on week eight of this break we prayed for; the Lord provided exactly what we had asked.
As I reflect on our prayers and how faithfully the Lord has provided, a strong lesson has been learned. I realize that sometimes I ask for the Lord to manifest His answers to prayers in the way I feel will be the best solution to those prayers, not necessarily in the perfect way that He has plans to see our prayers to fruition. I’m so thankful to serve a God who knows far better than I and who provides for our every need, even in ways beyond imagination or expectation.
“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I would not have stumbled across my strength.” (Alex Elle)
A semi-unrelated, sappy, public profession of love:
Sunday, May 18th is our one-year anniversary. And what a crazy year it has been. We have moved across the world, put up with the madness that is professional basketball, received a cancer diagnosis, and practically had to restart our lives together. Oh, and we learned our beloved dog has epilepsy last night; that was another rough one. All in all, I think it’s safe to say it’s not what we expected. But, you know what? It’s better. We have lived and loved one another through every single line of our wedding vows. I appreciate you, I respect you, I love you, and can’t wait to continue to grow with you, Andrew! Happy One-Year Anniversary! Aren’t you happy we have a blog so that I can publicly brag on how much I love you? 😉