In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

peace and surrender

I haven't been journaling as much.  I haven't been struggling as much.  I haven't felt myself "wrestling with God" as much.  Which, I think, is a good thing.   I needed a rest.  Expecting to be disappointed has been difficult. I have decided to give hope a chance.

One of my friends on facebook recently put this as her status: "(--------- is thinking alot about surrender these days. Not the kind of surrender with a white flag that comes in defeat, but the kind of surrender that comes when I open my clenched fists so that my hands can be open to receive new things."  I like that.  

It is easier said than done, but I have been trying.  I have been trying to unclench my fists.  I have been trying to relax my shoulders.  I have been trying to give God a chance to love me, without expecting inevitable disappointment.  I don't know what that love will look like, but I feel ready to risk, to be open to receive it. Trying to control the uncontrollable is only frustrating and disappointing. 

I think this blogging process has been helpful. Writing "it" down for the world helps me see myself more objectively; it helps me express myself; it helps me work through these complicated emotions.  Getting others' feedback helps keep me centered and a bit more rational.  I think the process overall is helping me find some peace...

In addition, it is interesting to hear the feedback.  Some have worried about my mental health, and thought perhaps I needed counseling.  Some have worried about my relationship with God, and keep reminding me that God is not "out to get me."  Some have pointed out that my posts reflect the Kubler-Ross grief cycle. Some have reminded me that God does not play favorites.  Some have reminded me that God loves us, and give us his grace even if we don't build homes in Guatemala :). Some have commented on how much they appreciate getting a glimpse into my world.  I'm not complaining, just reporting. :) I appreciate the care and concern.

The other day a friend I hadn't seen in a while said to me, "Wow. How do you do it? You seem so at peace. You get up every morning and take care of yourself and your family. You don't look haggard, or worn down. How do you do it? You amaze me." It kind of shocked me, actually. I don't see myself on the outside. It was interesting to hear his perception.  But once he said it, I could feel it. Somehow, a peace has slowly been invading this anxious body.

It is also interesting for me to reflect and realize that I am completely comfortable sharing myself this way. 

For those who have been concerned :), much of what I write is pure emotion.  The cognitive part of my brain which knows and believes that God does not play favorites, and is not "out to get me" is not the part that of me that is in pain.  If I could stay cognitive, then maybe I would feel better.  But then I would be suppressing the overwhelming emotion that I feel.  It has to come out somewhere.  So I write it down. 

And it often feels like God looked down and said,"Whoa.  Lookie there.  A happy human.  A happy family. Must ruin.  Must make dependent on me.  Must make them realize how much they need me.  I know just the way to do it."  I write it down, and everyone gasps. (Well, some gasp.)

But I hope/think, I am at a point in the process where I am ready to trust that God loves Andrew, and cares about what happens to our family.  I don't know what the end result will be, but I am trying to relax in that cognitive belief.  At least for today.

Take my life, Jesus.  Help me through this. Help me handle what comes. I open my heart and give you a chance to love me.  Here I am, slowly, gradually, unclenching my fists. Use me as you choose. 

I surrender.


  1. This made me smile. Just a happy little one that says I'm glad you are finding your peace. I'm glad you write the way you do and I'm glad that it helps you through the tough times.

    (Hey,look... no exclamation points! Except that one.)


  2. I'm not gasping :)
    I struggle with surrendering as well. It's not easy. My heart wants to, but my head... my head keeps holding me back.
    So glad you use this space the way you need to.

  3. What a beautiful post! May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and give you the peace that only He can give as you go on this difficult journey. Abundant blessings to you!

  4. I guess not everyone understands. I'm just glad that you're finding some peace. Surrender is never easy. At least, not for me. (((hugs)))

  5. online journals are the best. but sometimes the benefits are also the downfall – other people's opinions.

    it's been hard to hear your pain and hard to know how to respond, which is maybe what a lot of people who comment struggle with the most. but i think we're all just here to "listen" and support you and your family.

    glad you're finding comfort and that you're surrendering.

  6. Julie,

    I am so happy that you are opening your heart and letting go of the pain. I know it's not easy. It isn't for anyone, including me. But you will find that when you do, you free yourself to really be present in every precious moment that comes your way. You will also find that it will get easier to deal, cope and manage. With all my heart, I pray that you will continue to find your way, through this very painful and stressful situation, with comfort and peace. I love reading your posts. They are always honest, gripping, thought-provoking and most of all, inspirational.


  7. P.S. I am not gasping either. xoxo

  8. Julie,
    More than any other post, this one brought tears to my eyes. You so eloquently put into words what I felt as we rode the cancer roller coaster with our daughter. You are a gifted writer, and the raw emotion is what makes it all so real. It took a long time for me to reach acceptance/surrender, but once I did, there was a peace to my days. I look at Andrew's blue eyes, and continue to pray that his outcome follows the successful path that we were lucky enough to have followed with our daughter. You are amazing.

  9. I am not gasping either. I am there with you... angry, mad at everyone and everything, no longer come from a place of "it won't happen to us" so I worry about every darn thing and that alone makes me crazy. I think I need to do a little surrendering myself. Let the hope creep back in and stop giving it all up for this monster. XXOO

  10. I wouldn't have thought of "surrender" that way... but I like that a lot. I'm not someone who "gives up" easily - i'm more likely to continue to fightfightfight. It would be good for me to "surrender" in that way sometimes.

  11. This is beautiful... I love that you are feeling more peaceful and are surrendering. Agreeing with you in prayer...

  12. and, I love you.
    You are real. You are not putting up cardboard masks.

  13. I'm so glad you have found even a smidgen of peace in your surrender. The lyrics to a song from the 80's come to mind where God is beckoning us to lean on Him, "Lean on me...for when you come to the place that I'm all you have, then you'll find I'm all you need." Blessings to you and yours. Happy belated birthday to Andrew, too. My birthday was 9/23.

  14. Ditto to everyone who said "I'm not gasping." Thanks for sharing all your feelings. I like the surrender statement :-)


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