Monday, February 21, 2011

day 4.

so i have decided i am putting a lot of pressure on myself to blog everyday since justin mentioned to me writing for seven days straight post cancer to document my thoughts and emotions. i love the idea. and i know his heart in it was not for me to feel pressure. so we will see what i end up doing. maybe it will feel more natural if i ease up a little bit and just write when i want to. and right now i want to.

ava is in the bath and i am sitting on the floor and i am watching her. i promise.

today things are settling in a little more because i was alone a lot today and therefore i could really process and think. this weekend was such a blessing and we were so thankful we were able to celebrate with a thousand people who love us and have prayed us through this. so so many we do not even know personally. but thank you so much those of you that came up and introduced yourself. i love lovd that. when we went up to share a little on friday night and i said..."the cancer is gone. i am cancer free..." everyone stood up, clapped, and cheered. it was the first standing ovation of my life. it was overwhelming. i thought in those moments...that many people love us? that many people prayed for us? that many people actually care? i stood there a little awkward because its just awkward when people are cheering and you are up there on a stage. thankfully i was not alone and both justin and i were able to share our hearts that night. i walked off the stage thinking...oh, why did i not say that and oh, i wish i had not forgotten that part? its hard to sum up cancer and God in five minutes. but we both felt confident that we shared exactly what the Lord wanted us to so we will rest in that.

for two days i could not sing. we had a time of worship before the speaker on both friday and saturday night and i could not sing. not because i did not want to but because the words we were singing held an entirely new meaning and i was overcome with emotion. and i could not hold the tears back. so i would wipe them away and try to hide them. but singing about a God that heals takes on a whole new meaning when you have experienced real healing. it was a powerful time for me.

on saturday night i felt like the speaker was speaking directly to me. about before we have a testimony and before we have a story to share we are tested. and what that looks like is different for all us. but i know now that my story, our story would not be the one it is had the past seven months never happened. i do not mean that you need cancer or divorce or infidelity or death to happen before you have a story. we are all different. our struggles may look different and impact us differently but we all have one. my testimony and who God is in my life is entirely different than anything i would have imagined. but its better. i know God in a new way now and as much as i try i feel like i will never be able to explain the depths of it to anyone. but i will try. i feel like we have a story to we will keep sharing it. i guess if i could sum it up at this moment its that God loves us more than we will ever understand. i feel like God gave justin and i this incredible peace from the moment we walked out of the office when i was diagnosed. we both felt it. what a gift that was. it clearly could have looked so so different. but He kept justin and i on the same team. in the same place. we were not always the same physically or emotionally or spiritually. and our good and bad days were often at different times. but the peace we both shared was constant. how thankful we are.

a women who i respect very much told me this weekend that she has never seen anyone walk through what we walked through with such grace and trust. it was such a huge compliment. something that i will never forget. we did not mean to...we just knew that God knew what He was doing.

when i was driving to richmond on friday. i was alone. i wanted some type to be alone with my thoughts and process things a little bit. i thought about the few times i told ava that she might grow up without a mommy and that her daddy would take such good care of her. i never told justin about that. or the passing thoughts i had about death and what that would mean for him and for ava and for our family and friends. i had these thoughts but i never entertained them enough to even tell them to justin or to anyone really. it just took me to a dark bad place that i had no reason to go. and when i was driving thinking about this i began to cry because i do not have to face those thoughts anymore and it felt so freeing.

when i got to our room on friday night there were flowers, balloons, and champagne. i was blown away. my dear friend casey even gave me some sunflowers, my favorite and reeses

later on that night we hung out with a couple who is really wise. we look up to them very much and value their hearts and what they have to say. we talked until 2am and i can not possibly write about everything we talked about...but thank you for empowering us and sharing your hearts for Christ with us. although our stories are very different all four us have experienced deep pain and suffering and came out stronger and more in love with Jesus and each other.  we would never trade walking through the valley of the shadow of death... we will fear no evil for You are with me (psalm 23). done and done. that pretty much sums it up. life is hard and ugly and dark sometimes. but we are never alone. we are never alone.

great weekend. great time in richmond. and before i headed home i met three sweet women for lunch. they are a part of a book club i have mentioned before and they read the blog. one of the women, katie makes and sells jewelry on etsy and she has donated a significant amount of money to our family as half her proceeds have gone to us (so awesome. thank you). check it out HERE. it was so great. made me wish they lived here in cheasapeake so we could hang out more. it was great to talk about life, work, husbands, books, and share a little bit more about our story with them. hope to be at one of your book clubs soon.

 this great weekend was supposed to end with me meeting justin after he picked up ava at the mall to shop a little grab dinner...but instead i ran into a curb and busted two tires. it was a serious bummer. i hate spending money on cars. i would far rather re-decorate the guest room and ava's room. so now we might wait a bit.

thank you for those of you who thought about us and prayed for us. we literally felt carried by all of you in these past months. a new season is waiting to begin...


  1. Oh my. Busted tires are nothing to joke about. Please be very careful while operating a motor vehicle. Too many times, young folks are distracted by cellular phones. I'm glad you're ok.

  2. as i was reading this post, these lyrics were coming through my speakers: "all of my life, in every season, you are still God, i have a reason to sing, i have a reason to worship." thank you for reminding me of the big, BIG love that he has for each of us. thank you for sharing your perfectly God-authored story. i will forever praise our Lord for the joy and love that you experienced this weekend. praying for even more in the days to come.

  3. You have been on our prayer list from Church~ I'm sooo glad you got some good news! The lord will never forsake you or leave you! congrats!
    here's to a new start!

  4. you always knew the lord was with you , gave you a gift and you took it with such grace and it shows. ava is very lucky her momma is a super hero.

  5. Our church hoopped and hollered Amens when I gave them the good news. You have become part of our little church family through prayer. It's so exciting to see God work.

  6. Libby-- Our church announced this Sunday you were cancer free. I didn't know anything about you but was happy for you. My fiance and I are just now reading your blog and I cannot express how elated we are for your news, your faith, and strength through the Lord. Thank you for inspiring everyone with your story and reminding us what is really important in this life. God bless!


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