When I was a little girl, I had a vivid imagination and big personality. Becoming a warrior, or Wonder Woman wasn’t ever a part of my dream. But God had bigger plans for us.
I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since my last dose of the beloved Red Devil. If you aren’t familiar with that it’s what the nurses coined the Doxorubicin chemotherapy drug. I have to say, I agree.
I had my treatment in the beautiful Scottsdale AZ area. Driving into the Mayo campus and greeted with a sunrise just like this. With a view of the Sonoran Mountains every Monday for 20 treatments.
It’s even harder to believe that I planned to share this journey with you but haven’t posted since November 7, 2017
This girl, who lived by the mantra on that shirt below… didn’t even know she had cancer.
I was a worshiper not a warrior. Or at least I thought.
I have heard many times the cancer doesn’t make you sick the chemo does. I was, what I thought, at the healthiest and peak of my physical health.
I have walked through plenty of trials and lots of struggles that I have shared with you. I am grateful for the loyal and continued encouragement along the way. I couldn’t have ever known how chemo would effect “me” and my use of all things “words.” The brain simply couldn’t find them and couldn’t find the focus to sit here and pour my heart out.
I had to go into warrior mode and draw my strength from all that quiet time and scripture memorizing. It was what would take and carry me through a battle literally for my life.
I have truly seen how close to death you need to come to truly know the heart of the One who made you.
I have walked out the very meaning James must have had in his own heart to pen the verse “…consider it an opportunity for great joy.” The verse doesn’t start with IF troubles come your way- BUT “When”.
Somewhere along the way as Christians, we have portrayed this image that you accept Christ and you are sheltered from bad things happening.
I know that image doesn’t exist here with me. I don’t mind telling you that it is the very last image you will get from my story.
Losing my hair was harder than I thought. I didn’t expect to cry or feel such a loss… but there it was staring back at me this is Cancer. This is really happening.
But I also want you to know that there is absolute GREAT JOY
that comes inside the storm when you have a Hope, a Peace, and Strength that comes from knowing that God is Only Good. When we stop pouting and whimpering Why me and start saying Thank You Jesus- yes even for the cancer!!!
There are multiple gifts I found inside that journey that I wouldn’t have gone looking for… that wouldn’t have found me without bringing me to a place of absolute surrender.
The greatest gift inside of that battle, showing up every day for a life that I didn’t want and knowing that the woman God said I was- and the God that I claimed to trust… both were real, both were true and it didn’t depend on the outcome of the fight!!
That my friends is real love and real peace!!
So when I stumbled across a friend who had shared this Barbie Wonder Woman Queen Hippolyta Doll. I had to buy it. She truly is the closest version of a female outfitted in the Full Armor of God!! And a Mom!!
Every Day- tell yourself, no matter what you face… That Today is the Day You will Believe that God made you to be His Mighty Warrior. Designed for His purpose that predestined before you were even a thought. He knitted within you the gifts and talents that are uniquely yours Lori.
Because when you try to compare yourself to another woman, you are robbing yourself from the blessing and fullness of all that God has for YOU.
Because friend, YOU are the only one that can truly be YOU.
Ephesians 6:18 tells us “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion…” Friend, Sister in Christ, Prayer is your First, middle, and last piece of your armor and your strongest piece in my opinion. “in all times and on every occasion” indicates that it is a lifestyle. It is continually deciding that you are going to believe His character and His truth is for you. That He is all you need and He is enough when you are absolutely not. That when you feel alone in this terribly complicated and hard world, He has not forsaken you not even once. You are not alone is this battle of life. It is growing you and building a steadfast character and endurance. It is equipping you for where the devil cannot keep you from going!! We either give him no credit for our trials or too much. But these next verses tell us to be mindful and prepared!!
“So Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:10-17
My fight was for my health but also for my soul.
I had to walk away from my personal Facebook during my cancer journey. I couldn’t protect my heart and fight my battle with all the good intention-ed “I am so sorry Lori for this battle you are facing again.” or the “Why you have to go through this after all you have been through.” Because the truth was, I wasn’t questioning God in any of it. I was looking for the glitter of His goodness. Hearing the words out of my dads mouth, “I may not have been a praying man, but I am praying every day for you.” Our family has walked through a lot of tragedy in the past few years. It is enough for anyone not truly rooted in their faith and walk with God to question if He really exists. I get it. Trust me, I do sooo sooo get it. But if it takes loss after loss and battle after battle for someone I love to see God’s power and strength is REAL in me- so be it.
I am made strong enough to warrior on. I am fully aware that I am not fighting it alone and I am even more aware of the reputation that God has to uphold in the process of this battle.
I never once took it for granted. And I don’t today. His victory through my fight isn’t about me. I became His warrior so that I can help you, inspire you, encourage you in your fight and your journey.
It’s YOU!! It’s not my story but His through me as a vessel.
You know, we all face struggles. And maybe you are thinking that yours isn’t that big compared to my cancer. STOP. There is no bigger thief that comparison. And you must not let the enemy whisper that lie to your heart. Whatever you may be going through, it’s yours and it is important. Big or small. As I reflect, I can distinctly remember early in my faith journey when I had strong women who mentored me and encouraged me. I couldn’t have grown or walked through life without them. I certainly couldn’t have walked through Mia’s adoption. But then, there were times when I had to walk alone. I remember the first time I walked through major suffering alone. I was a bit bitter. I was angry. I wasn’t responding at all like the women I was suppose to be. I could easily tell you and had others tell me- but you had an excuse it was unfair. Sister in Christ, life is not promised to be fair.
I am at a place in my life at 46, I can tell you- if you don’t learn to respond in the manner that Christ calls you to- He will bring you through it time and time again until you do.
So yea, I am a slow learner or stubborn… either way, I have experience!! I believe it’s in those alone times with God, He was making me into a warrior. For my good and His name!!
At the end of the day,
I trust and stand as a warrior on the truth that He is the Great Physician and I want to be found and faithful… So this picture is what I see everyday when I go to sit down before my quiet time, before I do anything!!
I am reminded that the Holy Spirit has breathed life into me!! He is alive in me.
And I want you to know that same truth as me!! So I am in sharing in the progress of it all… there is no perfection here and I can’t wait until my everything is all together to start blogging or sharing with you again!! Toes back in the water….
But I want to tell you it’s not about me. It’s about you. That’s why I am here today. I am here because you may have stumbled across this blog looking for Disney furniture, or maybe wanted an aqua colored dresser, or maybe you needed help with painting white furniture or even a cute Spring birdcage you could craft… Whatever it was, I hear it all the time. And I want you to know, I am still here and so glad that you found me!! So follow along. Visit me and like my page on Facebook, or Instagram. I am so excited to be back sharing life again. Sharing it from home after 15 years!! A new house to decorate and trust me it was in need of lots of love!! So much to share!!
Until next time, be loved!!
Lori, thank you for sharing your difficult journey. A new friend is just beginning this journey and I’d like to ask you…. what can I do for her ? She is, at least on the outside, being very strong, even cheerful. It has to be difficult though. I tell them to call me if I can do anything….but really, do people in need ever ask ? So far she’s just been a little nauseous from what she has told me. But I fear the worst is yet to come. I thought about putting together a care basket, but what would be the perfect items to add? I appreciate anything you can recommend.
Patty, I have had friends who felt very comfortable in asking. My husband was very comfortable. I know for me if I am honest with you and everyone else- my level of closeness with the person predicated whether I was okay with it. And that’s not okay, it was prideful likely on my side but also honest. I didn’t know what I needed. I didn’t know how they could help. We had only been in Phoenix 2 months when I started chemo. I knew no one. My neighbor had a little girl in Mia’s class and she found out. She brought groceries and meals and it broke down that pride. She has 8 kids and helped our family. It meant the world. My Texas friends sent cards and a care box- it was so heartfelt and overwhelmed my heart with so much love.
Nausea is awful. A nurse friend told me about pineapple and that didn’t help… but I LOVED Chick fil A for their lemonade- it neutralized everything and I don’t drink lemonade. My family made sure it was in the gallon and never ran out!! Also Hobby Lobby sells- likely other places too but little white bags of “old fashioned” candies… The lemon head type- they were the only ones that worked!! I can tell you that those 2 things will help her some days more than the pharmacy beside her bed!! I may do a post on all the little things I learned that were helpful. Because honestly, I couldn’t find much of that when I was looking!!
Love to you and your friend!! So many prayers for her. If she needs anything she can message me and I am happy to listen and help in anyway!! I know complete strangers who went through it or were going through it became a lifeline for me. Just someone who totally gets it….
Oh my goodness, I am so happy I just found your blog today. And I will add you to my prayer list! I am just 1 year out for being done with chemo for Stage 2A Breast Cancer…and I totally know all about the Red Devil! My hair is back and I am so happy to have that again…I agree that was a very difficult day for me and I had no idea I would be so emotional about it!
I found you from a pin that I was looking at about gel staining over chalk paint…I am working on a buffet for a shop where I sell furniture and am doing this right now!
You have got this girl! Sending you hugs and prayers!
And just an update, now that I had time to read this whole post!!!! I am glad you are a year out…we were on this BC journey at the same time. I started chemo on 10/2/17 and finished on 2/14/18. On 3/15/19 it will be 1 year since my final surgery and next Tuesday I have my check up…praying that I get that clean bill of health.
And I agree with so much you wrote about…it is not about me, but now helping others carry their cross and lead them along the way.
[…] It seemed like such a long and very wet spring. All the rain and all the storms. I just kept dreaming about the year before and Victory over Cancer. […]