It was a Saturday morning in December. I had just finished doing what I do best on Saturday mornings...sleeping in. I came down the stairs, still attempting to wake up, and as soon as I reached the bottom step a little hand with a piece of paper was waving in front of my face. It was a Christmas card Kendall had been working on all morning while I was milking every possible minute I could to stay in bed. Kendall had a very strong determination to show me what she had done and to give me specific instructions on what to do with it. It was a Christmas card she made, clearly on the computer paper I have told her endless times that was not to be used for coloring. Yet, I did not have it in me to remind her that computer paper was too expensive to use for drawing as I soon read the front of the card. It said "Gloria", the theme of the Christmas concert we had attended at church the night before. Underneath it was a carefully drawn star. Inside the card included a Bible verse that Kendall received in Sunday School. It was one of the first Bible verses she had ever memorized and coincidentally it was a verse that was near and dear to my heart throughout my battle with cancer. The card read....
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
After reading the card and basking in the moment that my daughter had memorized a verse that I cherished, Kendall said the card was created specially for our Pastor and insisted that I send the card to him immediately. He has become near and dear to our family as he has supported us over the past couple of years. I set the card on the counter, and walked away not realizing the importance of the card. Kendall once again insisted that I mail the card to our Pastor. My strong willed daughter was not going to give up, so I got out an envelope, addressed it, and put the envelope in the mail on the following Monday. Little did I know what God was doing in the heart of my little girl and about to do for the person on the receiving end of the card.
Within a few days, I got a call from our Pastor. He was so touched by the card. He wanted Kendall to know that not only was it his favorite Christmas card he had received, but it meant more to him that she would ever know. For it could not have been better timing for him to receive the message of hope that the card and the Bible verse in it gave to him. I could tell it in his voice and in my heart that it was something he needed to hear. God had clearly used my little girl to show encouragement to someone that needed it at that time.
I have the card with the Bible verse Kendall received in Sunday School taped to our refrigerator. It is next to our family calendar that helps to keep our family somewhat organized. Since I look at this calendar at least 2-3 times a day to make sure I get everyone where they need to be, including myself, I read the verse every day.
This verse will once again be giving me much needed hope and peace in the upcoming weeks. The long awaited, much planned, and much anticipated surgery to fix my face has finally been scheduled. After waiting almost one year and spending countless hours meeting with surgeons reviewing the risks, potential complications and plan of action to fix my face, the surgery has been scheduled for March 27. It is going to be a difficult surgery that will involve three different surgeons. It will most likely be as involved and as intense as my maxillectomy requiring bone, skin and tissue to be transplanted from my shoulder. Should everything go as planned, the surgery will fix the contour of my face, the droop of my eye lid, provide better support for my eye, and replace missing bone and teeth.
On Monday, we got back from our annual trip to Florida. We sailed away on another Disney cruise and spent some time in the Disney area. It was a wonderful time spent with Jason and the girls as well as Jason's parents. It was much needed time to spend together before we embark on this next journey. I am anticipating this year to be another long year filled with surgeries and recovery. For it may take several surgeries to get the end result that my surgeons and I are looking for.
Surprisingly, I have felt very at peace about the surgery. It may be because I am still feeling the high of the happiest place on earth that Disney gives. But knowing myself all to well, I am sure my anxiety level will increase as the date approaches. Memories of the pain and discomfort I felt after my last surgery are starting to loom in the back of my mind. I am beginning to prepare the girls for what is to come as well as map out how to make everyone's life easier while I am in the hospital and recovering. Despite the risks, I am so excited to have a new face....to hold my head up high again...to be comfortable in my own skin again.
I am thankful for the help that many of you have already offered and for the assistance that our parents will be giving. Please keep me and my family in your prayers over the next few weeks. I will continue to keep you updated through this blog.