Sunday, July 3, 2011

from a sweet friend. camp is going incredible by the way.

this is an email i got a while back from a dear friend. she did a phenomenal job of emailing me when i was sick and responded to various blog posts she liked or thoughts she had on them. always good. it was such an encouragement to me. i received thousands of emails when i was sick and most if not all brought me to tears and impacted me in a different way. however, i am unable to put them all on the blog and secretly i do not want to put them all up because they are special and intimate. many of you shared so much with me and it was such a gift. they keep coming. not in the masses like when i had cancer, but still. every once and a while when i check libbyryderblog gmail account a little email from a reader shows up in my inbox. no joke i get so pumped that i usually wait to read it until i can sit down and really read it. not read it while watching ava, cooking dinner, and doing laundry. i did that yesterday. i got a pretty incredible email from a women i do not know. i got settled on the couch upstairs. put a movie on for ava to help her learn her colors. the dvd is so annoying but she is learning her colors. pre school prep is the name of the series. anyways, i sat down and started reading and the tears began to fall. because that is what i do. she shared a video with me at the end of her email and i wept. it was about a young woman. like me. who had breast cancer and nine years later it came back and now it is not curable but manageable. i sobbed. that is my biggest fear. that after years and years of routine visits where everything looks great...we will hear the dreaded words...your cancer is back. the woman in the video's name is dawn. her and i could be friends i think. she seems to have the same outlook i do. i will try and get in touch with her and ask if i can post the video she made. i love it. i think i want to do something like that someday too. we like videos in this house.

i appreciate the emails i receive so much. it really is an honor to get the unique chance to get a glimpse of people's hearts and lives through an email. so raw and real and honest. i love all those things. thank you for writing. my goal is to return every email i received when i was sick before feb 19 2012 arrives. the day i became cancer free. i can do it. easy. i know how busy i feel at certain points in the day that it means even more that so many people take the time to sit down and write. no vague one or two sentences. but their heart. long and honest. it will never get old. it will always be special to hear from people and hear their stories and the ways the blog has played a small role in their life. thank you to those of you that have written and will write in the future.

a letter from casey to me.

Dear Libby,
I was thinking a lot about Ava today. I thought, what if Libby got cancer so that Ava could meet Jesus. That thought never crossed my mind until today. I just kept praying for Ava and Roxie today that they would know Jesus. That they would grow up in the salvation of the Lord. That they would understand the depths of the cross and resurrection and be transformed. Then I just thought, wow, I bet Libby got cancer because her cancer will change Ava's life. (I realize that that may not be true, but what if it was?) I just had this feeling today that Ava was going to know Jesus, like know know Jesus. I can't WAIT for you to share all of this with Ava, in a way where she understands what cancer really is. I know she understands a little bit now. But I am looking forward to the day where she can understand the words that you wrote on your blog and all of the medical things that you went through. You have a daughter, she will love her hair. I can't wait for her to understand how hard it was for you to lose those long locks. One day, your cancer will hit her hard. She will read your blog and you will verbally share with her your experience and it will change her. Her mother suffered from cancer. It will change her. Her love for you will grow. Your cancer has changed other people's lives. People have met Jesus because of your vulnerable heart. Ava will see that. She will understand that one day. She will read about herself and how much she helped you through this experience. She will see that her mother is loved, loved by so many. She will see how much you love Jesus. She will read about how much you love Jesus. I pray for Ava and that your testimony will impact and change her life. You are cancer free. God is faithful. I pray that Ava recognizes that and appreciates the Lords faithfulness.

Well done Libby. Well done, good and faithful servant. Though you did not physically run the marathon this past weekend. You ran your own race. You freaking ran for 6 months. That's longer than any half marathon, marathon, or ironman. Your race was long and you ran the extra mile. I am thankful for all of the people that ran. It is such a beautiful picture of the Kingdom. I love it. I absolutely love it. Isn't it amazing Libby, amazing that you are healed. I am being hit hard with God's goodness right now. It is amazing. I mean I am having trouble expressing how beautiful Christ is right now. Your cancer has glorified him. The cancer did what it was suppose to - bring people to Him. He used you and your body as a vessel to advance your kingdom. Jesus loves you Libby Ryder. He loves Ava too. 

Do not stop blogging. Please do not. I check too many times a day for an update. I love the pictures at the marathon. I just love them. I love when you post pictures.  Thank you for blogging.  It has impacted and changed me.

I love you a whole lot. Praying for you Libby. 

I met a few girls last night who did summer staff with some of our chesapeake leaders. they happen to read the blog so we talked about that. which was so cool. but Ashley said she was hesitant to send me an email and did not to seem like a creeper. not a creeper. not at all. i get it. i get what it means to read people's blogs and feel like you know them. maybe not all of them. obviously. but we wrote so people could enter into our story and see how the Lord was moving in my cancer. i think we should always be willing to share with people when something impacts us, or means something to us, or we learned something, or were inspired. everyone wants to be encouraged. let's encourage people. i like that idea.
It was great meeting Elizabeth, Ashley (we love lexington, ky) and Carlie. you are welcome to chesapeake anytime. they were able to be a part of a special night on the river. our entire porch was filled with college students as we sang, read scripture, laughed, prayed, and talked. it's what i have always wanted our home to be. thanks for making it a reality. i loved it.


  1. "i think we should always be willing to share with people when something impacts us, or means something to us, or we learned something, or were inspired. everyone wants to be encouraged. let's encourage people. i like that idea."

    I love that. I'm sometimes hesitant to share my heart. But I love your words about how we should always be willing to share. It's so true. And I think it will bring people together when so much else tries to divide us.

  2. Is it totally pathetic that I got giddy when mentioned in THE blog.. hahaha, oh man.. so silly. But on a serious note, we LOVED that night on the river. It will be a memory I cherish for a very long time. Thank you for opening your home & your heart to us. You are one very special person Libby Ryder and I consider to a huge blessing to know you, your sweet husband & daughter, and your beautiful Chesapeake community. I blogged about our time together (, feel free to read it if you'd like. Praying for you all & your camp trip! See you soon my sweet friend :)


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