Monday, December 20, 2010

Holding Loosely

Last night, Brian and I loaded up in our new ride and headed to my precious grandparents' house, which is about an hour away. I always look forward to going to their house. There is a special feel of family in the air, that is different from other houses. I think it's just them. They are just special people. Always have been. Always will be.

I'm doing my best to post the pictures from each event as we go to them. Otherwise, I'm going to be on post/picture overload after the holidays. And, who wants that, right? So, hopefully you'll enjoy seeing the happenings around here.


My husband the Entertainer. Always a character. That's why I love him. Well, one reason.
Ashley, Hensley, and Clarice the Reindeer. Pretty ladies.
Sisters, sisters.
Hensley is diggin' in her wallet. It's never too early to start looking for cash! :)
Clarice and Rudolph. Are they not the cutest things you've ever seen?
Hensley, Ashley, me, and Mom. Too bad Hensley won't cooperate with photo-ops.

My mom is the most precious mother in all of the land. I told her that I'd just bring my own dinner. She insisted on making a special meal for me, and it was delicioso! Thank you, Mom!
Maddox the Monkey Man!
Brian and Hensley. Obviously, they weren't focused on the same thing!
Papa and Maddox and 2 shiny reindeer
Toys and such
Pots and Pans, a girl's best friend. (Until they are real!)
A teeny tiny chef
The best big brother around. Always at the ready to help.
A Dora chair AND pots and pans! What more could a girl need?
Hensley and her daddy
Papaw and Hensley. This is a special picture because Hensley rarely lets men hold her. What a treat!
Remote control cars, need I say more?
A wonderful time was had by all!

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This is going to be a 2-part post, because I also have to tell you about something that God is doing in my heart. I can't wait until tomorrow. I have to get it off of my chest NOW!

Okay.

Yesterday, as we were getting ready to go to my grandparents' house, I noticed that my head was quite tender as I brushed my hair. Very tender. Like, it hurt when I touched it. As I pulled my brush through my locks, I noticed that quite a lot came out. And, then I flat-ironed it, and even more seemed to be thinning.

I'm going to admit that I panicked. I didn't think it was going to come out. I've prayed against it. You've prayed against it. And, I just wasn't having it!

I called Brian to the bathroom and said, "My hair is thinning!" Fear and worry began creeping into my mind in a large and in charge way. Brian said, "It's okay, Lindsey. We are prepared for it. It's just not that big of a deal." He worked hard to console me, but my mind reeled all the way to my grandparents' house.

I thought about it a lot. A whole, whole lot. I was frustrated that God was allowing this to happen to me. I mean, I've already done hair loss once.

So, when we got home, I just went to bed, still thinking about it too much.

This morning, I got up and my head was still tender. I remember the feeling all too well from my first go 'round with chemo back in 2008. And, the fear started coming back again.

Suddenly, God's merciful grace must've just washed over me. Because I looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself, "Seriously, you're gonna hold on to this one thing? You're gonna give up your house, your car, your independence, your fertility, your body parts, your income and hold tightly onto something as ridiculous as your hair?"

You can imagine how convicted I felt in that moment. See, I am NOT positive all the time. I am NOT gracious and joyful all the time. It's a constant, moment-by-moment surrender of myself. And, sometimes I'm just a big 'ole failure.

So, after that little internal struggle of the flesh, I said, "Okay, Lord. It's yours. It's all yours. Take it. Leave it. I just want you to receive the utmost glory. Whatever that is, I'll rejoice."

To say the least, I've turned a corner today with my faith. It's not that I believe that God isn't big enough to save every strand of my hair. He MOST definitely is!

It's simply that my ways are NOT His ways. My thoughts are NOT his thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 tells us that, "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." [NLT]

If He calls me to surrender my hair, again. That's okay. I can do that. I can honestly say that I'm happy to do that. This thing called life is a constant process of refinement. Very slowly, I'm learning that.

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I lied. It's going to be a 3-part post. Here's the best news of the day -

I FINISHED RADIATION!!!



This is my radiation mask. Isn't it lovely? They gave it to me as a parting gift. And, yes, that is a permanent lipstick mark on the front. You know, if you've gotta do whole brain radiation, you might as well have your lipstick on!

I can't tell you what joy and relief flooded my soul as I walked out of that place today. The people there are precious. They've blessed me abundantly day after day, but I will NOT miss the treatment. Thank you, Jesus, for one more time of blessing me indeed!

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Some prayer requests (sorry for the LONG post!)~

1. Continue to pray for Brian. The man is a rock, a strong tower, a force to be reckoned with. I can't even begin to tell you of his magnificence in the past month or so. He is weary, though. Pray for his stress, endurance, strength, and rest. It's coming, but he has 3 more work days until he can rest and relax. Please lift him up to our Father.

2. Radiation effects - Like I mentioned, I've totally released my hair to the Lord, asking Him to receive big time glory. But, I am beginning to feel a little run-down from the treatments. Not terrible, just not great. I KNOW that He can and will sustain me.

3. Continue to praise God for healing me. I can't explain this one, but He is keeping us in perfect peace as we relinquish control of this whole thing to Him. It's crazy how unworried I am. What a blessing! Thank you, Jesus, for keeping us in perfect peace and upholding us with your righteous right hand! It's all you, Lord!

Thank you, wonderful ones! You are to be commended for your constant care and intercession! May God richly bless you and keep you. Thank you for staying tuned...

12 comments:

mckenziegordon said...

It's crazy how much those two kids look like their Daddy! Man, little carbon copies!
Thank you for sharing your ups and down with such transparency. You're in our prayers!

one of nettie's girls said...

Never apologize for a lengthy post. I love them. I am enjoying your Christmas festivity posts very much. We don't get together with a lot of family for this holiday (Thanksgiving is our big whoop-te-doo) so I love to see how everyone else does it. Beauty certainly runs in your family...all the way down to gorgeous Hensley.

God is getting so much glory from your testimony. It is always difficult to release something we have believed on Him for even when we realize that there is a greater glory to gain. You inspire me.

Yea for no more radiation!!!! The lipstick stain cracked me up!

I am praying for you daily and will add these requests to your page in my prayer journal. What a mighty God we serve!

Paula said...

Lindsey & Brian,
You guys always have such a good time wherever you go and I love how you capture it for all of us to see.
As for your hair, I have to admit, I cried. As I cried, I was singing "I Surrender All". That is what you guys have done. You have surrendered all. I was also reminded of Selah singing All is Well. "whatever my lot thou has asked me to say it is well, it is well with my soul." Thank, as always for your transparency. We are praying without ceasing and lifting up your precious husband.
Storming His Throne on your behalf.
The Chaffin's

Anonymous said...

Surrender is not giving in, nor giving up. Surrender is an act of power. I had to surrender to God's Will every day, sometimes 100 times a day, sometimes 1,000 times a day. My mantra became "I will to will Thy will" and when I would feel myself contracting (I'd feel it in my belly, my breathing would become shallow) I'd remind myself to breath (soft belly, I'd tell myself, and breathe deep, rhythmic breaths until it became so).

Surrender. Ah. You have, to His will, His Glory. There is no power greater than that.

Praying for you and your darling husband, as always.

Thank you again for sharing!

Barbara

Erin said...

Your family pics are so sweet. Merry Christmas to you guys! Thank you for sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly (that mask--yikes!!) with us. I appreciate the honesty, and it seems that God likes to work through you to confirm a few convictions I've felt stirring in my heart lately, too. Love to you, friend.

Elizabeth said...

yay that your radiation treatments are over! praying for yall.

Julie-CA said...

Oh Lindsey. You know, after I left my prayer on the blog I actually could not stop envisioning the Lord wanting to do a mighty work in your in this area and that the work would require your "letting go." I felt like maybe I was being cynical and doubting the power of my prayer but I could not stop feeling this way. My eyes welled up with tears as I read your words proclaiming the work He has already instantly done in your spirit. Remember what I said in my email... the lower you've been, the higher you can lift others." Now who am I to say you will indefinately continue to loose your hair or keep it. Only the Lord knows this. What I do know though is that had you not gone through that moment of sweet surrender before the Lord, You would be one victory shy to witness to others. Oh Lindsey, He loves you so so much. You are so precious to Him. Your hearts condition is His main priority and He longs to prove to you time and time again His faithfulness in your life. He's comforting you with His perfect peace and in circumstances where it is impossible for the glory to be given to any other source but Him. Do you realize the amount of joy you bring to His heart Lindsey every time you release these things to Him? If every one of your hairs falls out, you could not stand more beautiful than you do right now.

Alabamamom said...

Praising the Lord for your time with family, no more radiation, and His faithfulness to teach us through the peaks and valleys of life.

Jennifer :) said...

I so wish I could just give you a huge hug! Maybe one day we'll cross paths! :) *hugs* Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

The Shabby Princess said...

I love that your radiation mask has a lipstick stain on it. I totally agree--if you're going to have brain radiation, you gotta at least have lipstick on, right?

Thank you for sharing so much of your struggle and your successes with us. God is doing great work through you.

You're in our prayers.

Merry Christmas!

Tabitha said...

Lindsey -
I just found your blog and I'm so happy I did. I spent an hour the other night reading through your posts and the strength that radiates from each word you say is amazing. I lost my father just weeks ago and I know he was taken care of through his sickness by our Lord and I KNOW he is in a better place with Him but it's hard not to be angry. While you do not know me - your words of faith has helped me through this time.

You and your family are in my prayers - I wish you the best on your journey.

Nicole said...

I am reading this post after googling "living loosely" and it was exactly what I needed to read. I just went through the same thing this evening and received the thought "nothing lasts." I, too, am giving it up to God and I hope you are having a wondrous Christmas season this year, as it looks as though you did last year. God bless you and your family :)