Dear ones, I would like to share with you the goodness of the Lord in the midst of very difficult times for our family.
Mom called me from Minnesota two weeks ago to tell me her cancer had aggressively returned. (Grace Peleaux, who some of you know, is Marie's mom and has been a huge MFW support. She actually printed and sent out First Grade Pilot Version while we were still in Russia. She is a faithful prayer warrior and encourager. She had breast cancer 3 years ago but has been cancer free until just now.) So I planned a trip to MN to visit her and enjoy some time with her at her summer cabin.
When I arrived I found her near death, lying on her couch alone in her cabin. (She hadn't realized how sick she was becoming.) She was severely dehydrated, could barely move, and barely speak. I rushed her to the ER. By God's grace, I arrived "just in the nick of time," to quote the ER doctor. One day later might have been too late. God provided dear friends to drive us 40 minutes to the ER so I didn't have to be alone...we were there until 4:00 A.M.! (They volunteered, I didn't even have to ask--thank you, God!)
God's provision was very evident in the ER. They had only a few patients all night so Mom was seen immediately and received nearly constant care from a very loving staff as Mom was tested, received IV fluids and medicines, etc. The doctor was so kind and spent much time with Mom. The cancer has spread to her liver (heavily involved already), spine, and sternum. This is a very aggressive cancer and her situation is extremely serious.
I spoke to the doctor privately and he said we had to get Mom back home to Missouri to be with us NOW while she could still travel (even though with great difficulty). We couldn't wait -- every day was crucial.
We had only 24 hours to pack up her cabin where she lives half of the year, sort through and gather all her most important belongings and paperwork (whatever would fit in luggage for the plane), and begin the trip back to Missouri. You can imagine how tough that was, with her so sick. Right after a particularly tearful stretch, when we were both emotionally beyond exhaustion, God sent a dear sister in the Lord to the cabin. She came to pray with and encourage Mom. This dear sister was sent home from Mayo Clinic with "incurable cancer" a few years ago. God completely healed her! As she spoke, I could see Mom's smile return and the peace that passes all understanding filled her spirit. God's timing is perfect--His care for His children in even the little details is awesome to see!
We drove to Minneapolis to then fly to MO. The same friends that had driven us to the ER drove us 5 hours to Mpls. so I wouldn't have to be alone. As we left, we stopped to pray with Mom's friends...a special time of hugs, prayers, and blessings. They prayed: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)
What a special prayer. Afterwards, Mom was sad that she didn't have a photo of the group. Another Miracle -- that evening Mom received a gift from her daughter, a special plaque with the very same blessing prayer written on it. The plaque was her "photo" from God and will always remind her of her friends and the blessing they prayed for her! I am just awed by the tiny details God uses to let us know we are important to Him!!!
A flurry of constant phone calls, and we are now home in Missouri, where we were able to see a cancer specialist right away (also a miracle) and begin aggressively treating the cancer.
Mom is firmly planted in the Lord. She loves Him and is at peace. She wants to live -- we don't know the Lord's plans, but we see His guidance in the details, we trust Him, and know He is all powerful and able to work out His plan for her life. Even now, when she is so sick, she is still touching lives for Him everywhere she goes...