Sunday, April 3, 2011

a beautiful weekend.

this weekend was very special. weekends like this do not happen all the time so when they do you hold tight to what is good and real in your life. my sweet friend katie emailed me a while back and said she wanted to plan a weekend to celebrate no more cancer. so we did. and it happened this weekend on the river. i know all these girls through young life in some way or another. but what i love the best is that for many of them our friendships began when i became their young life leader while they were high school...but now more importantly we are friends. walking through life together. even though we maybe in different stages of life we are doing life together. these relationships are special. not something everyone gets to experience. but as young life leader i am given the honor to walk through life with these women. the joys and the sorrows. when things are good and when nothing in life seems right. i love it and i love them. although i did not spend a lot of time when these girls when i was sick...i knew they were in this with us. through phone calls, package, letters, babysitting, cleaning, bringing meals, and praying. oh, man do these precious girls know how to pray. in many ways these girls are young...18, 19, 20...okay they are young. but the desire they have to know the Lord and follow His will is something inspiring to watch. i lead young life because of my own leader erinn. the way she loved me and walked through life with me and continues to do so is why this matters to me. this being these girls lives and that they know one thing or maybe two things. that they are loved and that nothing else matters in comparison to knowing Christ in a real and intimate way.

we started the weekend with dinner at plaza azteca because people in chesapeake love this place. saturday morning we ate dunkin donuts and shared our hearts. i cried the whole time. because i can not seem to keep myself composed when reading scripture anymore. and i was given the chance to get a glimpse of these girls hearts. how cancer changed them. what is different now. how they will never be the same. not because of me and who we were in cancer but the ways God allowed us to be apart of His story. its awesome to know that you are a part of something bigger. not only did cancer change us but it impacted these girls and that makes me so thankful i am not sure what to do with it. God is big and He is good. even when nothing seems to look or feel good. saturday morning was special. so special that you are sitting there thinking as its happening...this is big. and it was big. i know what its like to plan something and so desperately hope it turns out as good as you imagined. so when its better than you imagined and its only saturday morning you know you are in for something good. thank you girls for loving me. loving ava. wow you guys love her so well and that makes me love you all more and more. just to see you care for her the way you all do. its rare. and the fact that ava is able to experience this much love at only 15 months of life...i get emotional thinking about her little life and how you all are making imprints in it. thank you.

on saturday night we watched our wedding video. it was the first time since i was sick that i have watched it. and it was hard. but in a good way. listening to our vows. where we talk about healing. we know health and healing a deeper way then we ever imagined that day in may. and one other part. when our dear friend chris kessick, who was marrying us, said i want you to remember one (it was slow and drawn out so i added some periods in between the words). and what is incredible about those three words. these seemingly simple words. they are the three words we constantly share with people when we talk about cancer and what we learned. through it all. from day one. God loves us.

gotta love the fake laughing shots.

the weekend was full of a lot of relaxing, talking, and snacking. a few of my favorite things. it was nice to be at the river house and just be. no plans. no agenda. just celebrating life and how thankful we all are that that cancer is gone. i felt alive and i felt free. and we danced. its good to dance. thanks for creating an environment that felt easy and simple. although our lives may not all be easy and simple we were able to stop and just be together in the midst of it all. and that is important. many of you shared some really special things with me this weekend...i cherish your willingness to really go there with and be real. i love it. keep doing it.

thank you ally, allison (wants to be called ally but i keep forgetting), alex, shannon, alex queen, ariel, becca, sarah, katie, leslie, jes, kb, katie. for driving home. for sharing your hearts. for praying. for loving me through cancer. who would have thought that cancer would be in our story when we are all so young. but i hope and pray that it taught you about Christ and what is real and who He is. its enough. He is enough. trust me. my life is more full because you are in it. thank you for my sweet box full of letters from you all that will soon to be stuffed full with the hundreds of letters we received when i was sick. i love the gift. another thing became real clear to me this weekend...we have moved past that i am just your young life leader. but we are friends and i hope to always be in your lives and you in mine.

this weekend was documented. video to come. and thank you to our friend matt benson for the mini photo shoot.

cancer is done and done. my favorite phrase that justin hates.


  1. Ah Libby... I love the pictures! I think it's a great to see the joy that you write about. I love seeing Ava too (even when she has a runny nose)! I'm glad you had such a nice, relaxing, well deserved weekend - so good to hear. I wish I was closer to you and not out in Seattle so I could come visit/meet you. I would love to talk with you in person and meet you! Have a good week!

  2. I have such beautiful and special friends... how sweet even a night together was for me and how life changing the weekend sounds for all. Thank you girls for loving me into your sweet, sweet family... there is not another place I would rather be in the entire world. DONE!!! LETS CELEBRATE FOREVER LIBBY!

  3. This was such a beautiful weekend and such rich time with friends and Jesus. It was so good for my soul to be with people who love the Lord and love each other so deeply. Thanks for letting me be a part of this weekend Lib, and more importantly for letting me be a part of your life. It meant so much. I love you Libby, and your sweet family! (Even if Ava does pull my nose ring and send random text messages to people!) I know that you WILL always be a part of my life, and for that I am so thankful. I will cherish this weekend always!

  4. this is the first time im commenting on the blog. so 1. im sorry about that..not sure why i haven't before, i think i was intimidated. and 2. I dont have a 2 about commenting..
    anyways, this weekend was so special. i am so thankful to have been apart of it. Thank you for all you have done for us through the years, for teaching us about Jesus by the way you lived your life, and for showing us how to love and trust jesus more through cancer. I will never forget this weekend. And I will never forget what I have learned from you and from cancer about Jesus.
    I love you Lib, thank you for doing life with me.
    p.s...realized I forgot to leave your letter..itll be in the mail tomorrow. dont think less of me for it..

  5. i am crying as i read. you are such a real friend. you listen to my heart and i listen to yours and that is rare. it is rare that the 13 of us were able to get together and share. really share and really dance and really have joy. alex and queeny sang that song "there's no place i'd rather be than here in your love" when we were worshiping. we were in that love this whole weekend. i miss it, truly. because it was unique. but i will never forget it. thank you for being my best friend even if you forget that i want to be called ally. allison is just fine.

  6. Oh my goodness, and how could I forget...PRAISE JESUS THAT YOU ARE CANCER FREE...and we will celebrate not only his weekend but everyday for that! DONE! The Lord is so good!

  7. im extremely blessed by you all. thank you loving us all libby and for pouring truth into us. DONE! dance for the lord :)
    god is so good
    god loves me
    he is enough
    i am his beloved
    i pray this is always on my heart and on my mind
    this weekend was so special and i want to dance for jesus and never stop worshipping because god is so good even when things suck he is good, he is strong, he is listening, he cares, he LOVES me who deserves nothing
    love you all

  8. Man, Queeny you got me crying now (not a big deal after how much I cried this weekend haha)

    This weekend was a celebration, it was a remarkable declaration of who the Lord has made each of us to be...His Beloveds. We are FREE, we can dance, we can sing, we can laugh, we can be silent, we can CRY, we can LIVE! Thank you Libby for sharing your life and your beautiful struggle with us. Thank you for teaching us how to suffer well. What a life-changing blessing to be in fellowship with Christ in suffering and to know the power of His resurrection (Phil 3:10)

    This weekend is just the beginning. We have eternity with each other and with our Healer and Creator and Lover. Shoooot, let's live in it! You don't have cancer anymore! IT IS FINISHED!

    I love each of you so much, especially you, Lib <3

  9. Libby! I love this. Your own little Net. What a special weekend, and Girl. You are ROCKIN' that pixie cut. I love it. Spunky and vivacious...the new Libby. xoxo

  10. man i love this. this was so encouraging. And cool, b/c your life impacted these girls long before cancer. God is using you!

  11. Libby & girls- Thank you so much for this weekend. For once in my life over the past year, I feel like I have friends. Real friends who listen care and lvoe Jesus passionatly. We are not always perfect, but the Lord is and he has our heart and our plans. Cancer was a plan for you Libby and so was the rejoicing this weekend. Thank you for living out your cancer with passion for Christ and showing me how to love Jesus, your husband, and your friends in the midst of a storm. It means so much that I was a part of this specail weekend and a part of you girls lives.
    I have learned that its okay that Jesus has to carry us sometimes- and that even if so, he is still dancing with us. I love that picture and it has stuck with me and I pray it always will. We'll dance to firework in heaven together for sure.

    Love you all- Lib, thanks for teaching us and loving us and getting pillow pets.

  12. Libby -
    I do not know you but I have been following this blog since day one. Your new cut is absolutely beautiful. So happy that you had a nice weekend with your friends. Ava's bow is cute too! :) Thanks for teaching us and continuing to blog!... I check this every single day for new updates.

  13. moving. i love what you write...

  14. coming into this weekend, i wasn't sure what it was going to look like for me. i was in the middle of a very hard very serious situation. i came into this weekend so broken and so hurt and searching for God in a dark dark place. libs, i cannot tell you what it meant to me to see you this weekend. im not sure there are words. what i love about our relationship is that we may not talk every day or anything but i know no matter what i can come to you and you will give me true, godly advice. seeing you overcome cancer has made me believe we can overcome anything with Christ. it meant so much to be with you girls this weekend. to cry together and dance together and feel full of Christ together. you girls really helped me feel healing and Christ and i am going to stop because i am in class and dont want to cry here but know that you mean the world to me and i am praying so hard for you all.
    "we will dance to firework together in heaven for sure" love this. love you girls. love Jesus for bringing us together and healing libby.
    ps-libs your hair def looks better... ;)

  15. ive never commented on here before. i guess i just like texting you better. thank you for going through cancer with such grace and beauty and honesty. thank you for loving jesus the way you do. thank you for loving ava and justin the way you do. thank you for having the marriage you do-for setting the standard for all of us. thank you for sharing life with me over the years. for dealing with our bs for always making time for us for dropping everything for us. thank you for opening your home your life and your heart the way you have.

    i am in. we will dance for life.

  16. ITS DONE. God is so good. So good because he put beautiful women of Christ in my life like you guys. i feel so close to each of you, i know i can be vulnerable with you girls and share my heart. Thats so new to me and the one thing we all have in common is our love for the Lord. That is such a beautiful picture to me and so much what Jesus wants fellowship to look like. i love that. Thankyou Libby for loving me in a way I had not experienced before I met you, you loved me when I was broken and undeserving like Christ loves us. I hope that I can love highschool girls like that, thats why Im doing it. I love that you were real through cancer, I love that we all learned something different from it and you shared your experience with us. Loved this weekend. Love you girls. Cant wait to dance with you all for eternity.

  17. DONE!! You're done Libby. Cancer-free, in remission :) Praise the Lord! And praise the Lord for this past weekend. I seriously can not explain to you or anyone how special and rich and amazing this weekend was. To be surrounded by my sisters and best friends for more than almost 48 hours was truly incredible. I love you Libby, so so much! I am so proud of you and I'm so grateful to have you in my life. And my sweet, sweet friends....thank you all! You showed me the love of Christ this weekend. From dancing, to worshipping, to reading scripture, and just hanging around. I am so grateful for you all as well and can not wait to spend eternity in Heaven with you all. :)

  18. I've been following your blog for a long time now. Love it! So real, so easy to relate to... I was diagnosed with the Hodge November 2010... just about to start radiation now. Chemo done!! You're such an inspiration. Love the pixie cut!! Such a beautiful family :)

  19. I am so happy for you!

    Now we wait for the days that I can drive my hubby crazy with "Cancer done and done!"

  20. Libby,
    I found your blog via my college roommate. We went to Calvin, and she said you did too.

    Ironically, I live in Virginia Beach - not far from where you have gone through your journey with cancer. :) My husband was also a youth pastor for 4.5 years in the area, so I can relate to you all very much.

    I passed along your blog to a dear friend of mine, also 27 and lives in VB, who was just diagnosed with stage 3 negative breast cancer. Her dad passed away from cancer the day before she got married. She also has a daughter about Ava's age. She is a strong, strong woman and believer like you and I know she can beat this.

    My friend is currently going through chemo and we have both found your blogs to be not only inspiring and uplifting, but also real, raw and full of life. I'm still catching up on all your blog posts, but I can tell you right now that your journey will be a huge support to my friend and many others who have to endure cancer or love someone who is going through cancer.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'll be praying that you stay cancer free - you have a beautiful family to enjoy!

    All my best,


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