Robin Townsend is my Facebook friend and this blog is a post she wrote today in memory of her husband, Tony. She lost him to cancer in December of 2009. I have followed Robin’s journey since they learned of Tony’s diagnosis. I asked Robin to allow me to share her post in my blog because I believe that God intends for us to share our journeys with others. Perhaps by doing so, we can make the journey for someone else a little easier.
Thank you Robin for sharing this.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different….”
Three years ago today, our lives dramatically changed.
On December 30, 2009, Tony was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon and Liver cancer. I vividly remember sitting there listening to the doctor. I felt like I needed to pinch myself, for surely I was dreaming and this wasn’t happening to us. The room started spinning and the tears started flowing and I felt my heart shift as he explained our odds — our future. I tried to be strong, but I was in complete despair and even though I loved my Savior more than anything I questioned my faith at that moment. It was an honest feeling during a heart wrenching moment. He was our provider, and we didn’t know if He could fix this. I could barely go through all the motions without tears. They had to call my best friend to be with me because I was so taken aback. She was my strength at a time when I felt that I had nothing else. I couldn’t hold back my emotions and I cried on her shoulder like a baby. My heart was breaking for my husband, who I loved overwhelmingly. My tears were real and they were honest. They didn’t make me weak. They proved my strength — they show that my God truly cares about the pains of our heart.
Later as I sat there and listened to the nurse explain the process of what was to come, I will never forget the prayer that came to me at that time, I prayed quietly for a miracle. It is forever etched in my mind.
“I will sustain you, I will rescue you”
The big “C” word had rocked our lives not once but twice now but this time it was different. Tony wouldn’t be able to have surgery to remove the cancer like I did. When I finally got to see him in recovery, I tried to hold back the tears but I couldn’t. I remember him taking my hand and telling me, “we are going to beat this” God brought us to it, He will bring us through it. Have faith Robin, that God is doing His will in our lives. We’re not going to tell God how big this storm is, we’re going to show this storm how BIG our God is.” That was the beginning of a journey that we had no idea would end just a short ten weeks later.
As I look back on the short time we had together, I find myself thinking there are many things I wish we had done different. Quality of life would have been much better than trying to add “days” to his life. The chemo and radiation weakened his already distressed body. Oh, for the time we could have spent enjoying those days and accepting God’s plan for Tony’s life had we known.
We were meant to travel the journey we went on and while it was rough and even harder to say goodbye, the whole journey was a blessing. Tony showed enduring strength and perseverance through our storm. It seemed every ray of hope brought a cloud of despair but he NEVER stopped fighting. He never lost his faith and no matter how much pain he was in, he always had a huge smile on his face. When friends and family came to visit to cheer him up, they walked away with the bigger blessing.
The past 3 years have been hard. Today is painful. It’s not been just “one day at a time”; it’s been “one breath at a time”, and trust me I feel the pain every time I inhale. Even though Tony is in a much better place than we are, we still miss him and while it’s selfish of us, we wish he were still with us.
He was my hero.
I am ever so thankful for the 28 years I had with Tony. The trials and tribulations were easier to bear not only because we serve an AWESOME God but because I had an amazing husband who in spite of his trial had an attitude of gratitude and a big heart and who taught me those last few moments of his life to never give up no matter how hard it might get.
Have you ever heard the analogy of a string of pearls? If you look back on the circumstances of your life and string them all up like a string of pearls — when you go through a new trial, you can go back and touch every pearl and say “This trial was preparing me for now.”
“All that befalls us on our road to heaven is meant to fit us for the journey’s end”
I love that quote by Charles Spurgeon. It speaks volumes to the Christian life, and how we as believers don’t have to worry about our circumstances. That doesn’t mean that we won’t, it just means that we don’t HAVE to. All we have to do is trust.
Trust that He is doing what He promised he would do. Trust that He is working everything out for our ETERNAL good. Trust Him Unconditionally… Undeniably… Unknowingly.
Trust, so that when the big things happen in our lives, (sure there will be fear and anxiety) we will not have to question who we can run to. We will not have to question who holds our future and our hearts. We can run straight into the arms of our Savior.
It’s all in how you look at your circumstances. I choose to look at them with awe and admiration of how my God is truly sovereign. He is truly working everything out for my good. And no matter what happens to me in this life, this truly ends well for me — truly. Our life is truly the plan of our Master.
The Plan of the Master Weaver
Our lives are but fine weavings
That God and we prepare,
Each life becomes a fabric planned
And fashioned in His care.
We may not always see just how
The weavings intertwine
But we must trust the Master’s hand
And follow His design.
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side,
While we must look from underneath
And trust in Him to guide…
Sometimes a strand of sorrow
Is added to His plan
And though it’s difficult for us
We still must understand
That it’s He who fills the shuttle,
It’s He who knows what’s best
So we must weave in patience
And leave to Him the rest…
Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why –
The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
I’m blessed that my Weaver poured His grace out on us, for now we take these dark threads and we patiently wait for His skillful hand to lay out the pattern He has planned for us. We glorify Him for everything in our lives for He knows what’s best. He’s already given us the most precious Guardian Angel we could ever have asked for.
Life is not a race — but indeed a journey.
Be honest. Work hard. Be choosy.
Say “thank you”, “I love you”, and “great job” to someone each day.
Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.
Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper.
Love your life and what you’ve been given, it is not accidental — search for your purpose and do it as best you can.
Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be.
Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them. Some of the best things really are free.
Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming.
Forgive; it frees the soul.
Take time for yourself – plan for longevity.
Recognize the special people you’ve been blessed to know.
Live for today, enjoy the moment.
I challenge you today to reach out to the ones you love, tell them how you feel, hug them and LIVE every day as if it were your last. Live a life of no regrets or “what if’s”, but “oh well’s”…. take the time to enjoy the little things in life and be thankful for everything you have…every single day. We are not promised tomorrow, so live each day as if it were your last. If you don’t wake up tomorrow and it turns out that today is your last day on earth; Would you be proud of what you’ve done in this life?
Think about it.
Always remember to LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE!