What we learned over the past 8 months while fighting “our battle” were two certainties:
First, there is peace and comfort when you HUMBLE YOURSELF, place it all at His feet and put your faith in the Lord.
Second, there is a tangible power that comes from support from friends, family and loved ones. I want to focus on the latter with this post – and share our experiences as recipients of that power and our goal to expand our “network of power” in our new journey!
Learn from my past mistakes….
Take time out of your “busy routine” to put a smile on the faces of those you love. (Put smiles on the faces of strangers for that matter. The world needs more people who can make others smile.) Instead of rushing off to work or worrying about your meetings/goals for the week ahead, take time to spend time with your spouse or your kids, and don’t just be “in their presence” be with them. Psssssssss…..put down the smartphone and wrestle, tickle, play, laugh.
Thank God for the privilege of having a family and friends that care for you. Say “I’m sorry” more often and quicker. Make up with your family and/or friends if you’ve had an argument or falling out…..life is too short to waste or wait. Life is also beautiful. Take action today to make the most of it. “No man on his deathbed ever wished he had spent more time at the office.” – Stephen Covey
Remember the POWER OF SUPPORT and relationships.
Let me start by saying, there are literally too many people who came to our side when Tara started her battle with cancer to even begin to list, let alone thank.
THANK YOU ALL for the dinners, cards, flowers, help with our moves, hospital visits, help at my work, fun outings (distractions) for our kids, homes to stay, but Tara’s favorite of all were the prayers!
So many came to pray over us in our home, in small groups, at Tara’s side during those long chemo treatments, in front of churches and mostly from a distance. We’ve learned about huge groups of strangers praying for her healing and it’s amazing to see the love spread so quickly and endlessly through social media today.
My hope is, many of YOU get the chance to read this blog and see the answers to your prayers lived out!
We’ve had the chance this first week of travel to hug and break bread with many of those loved ones already.
Our “new life” began with a trip to Arkansas to float the Buffalo River and stay at a cabin with my family. I have 3 younger brothers who are pretty much my 3 best friends, so there are 4 of us boys and we are separated by 5 years in age. My parents, Tom and Debi are two of the coolest and most loving parents you could find.
They’ve all been personally impacted by Tara (the healthy one) and her surprise and terrifying cancer diagnosis. Although, none of them are surprised by her tenacity and positivity while battling and defeating it! (Sidenote: Tara continues to pray that the peace she experienced through Christ and the family prayers throughout will have a “ripple effect” on all of their future.) It was deeply therapeutic to all get together and smile in God’s natural beauty to enjoy and celebrate our health and happiness.
Next, our journey took us from Rogersville, MO (aka: HQ) to Kansas City, KS to see one of Tara’s lifelong friends, Ashley Hamrick and her family.
We spent time at a farmstead, a swimming pool and also got to see my Grandpa for dinner.
We then stopped at Indianola, Iowa where our minds were blown and eyes opened about the power of God’s Plan. Tara decided to just blindly Google search for a ministry we could offer service to since we had a free day in Iowa, and she found Jesus’ Right Hand Ministry in New Virginia, IA. There we were greeted by a loving group of new friends who told us they had literally just been praying for strangers to come offer help because they needed some man-power to start their move as their ministry is growing and expanding to a new building. Wow! Wouldn’t you know, we’ve got the “moving thing” down by now!
Even Ellie and Logan were able to offer some help, but more importantly be with us in prayer and service with our new brothers and sisters in Christ.
We spent the weekend with Mark and Jodi Young who are technically friends, but we call them “family”! Tara’s parents flew up to enjoy more smiles together after so much stress and strain this past year. We all enjoyed a slice of “Americana” at a Fish Fry where we also enjoyed some homemade ice-cream, catching fireflies and a sparkler show by the kids!
We were also blessed to add another group of former strangers, who had been praying for Tara’s healing the whole time, to our new group of friends! We had the hands of Mark and Jodi’s prayer group placed on us as they all prayed for God’s continued healing in Tara’s body and to bless our journey this year.
On Sunday Tara was invited to speak in front of the congregation at First Assembly of God Church in Indianola. She got to publicly share her testimony in front of an audience for the first time (but I doubt it will be the last.)
We saw a college baseball World Series game in Omaha, Nebraska and are now sitting in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. As we visit sites on this “vacation leg” of our journey, I’m reminded that no matter how beautiful the setting or activity, it’s only truly perfect if you have loved ones to share them with.
Enjoy the beauty and power of a supporting relationship and know that we appreciate your continued love and support in our comments here as we update our journey…