Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dear Friends,

I need your prayers this week.  

Without even planning it or thinking it through, I somehow ended up with a somewhat routine cancer screening test and the divorce mediation proceedings all in the same week.  

Once you have cancer, the "routine" screenings never feel routine.  They often bring back a roller coaster of emotions, and it is hard to go through without a spouse.  Dave was always by my side for these scary appointments, and now of course, he is not.  My appointment is Monday at 5:30 p.m., so please pray for a calm spirit for me.

Then our mediation is Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.  Please, if you can, set an alarm on your phone for that time, so that I can be covered in prayer.  This is not going to be a smooth or easy process as Dave is not being very cooperative regarding his perception of our financial obligations to each other and the kids.

That being said, I do not regret marrying Dave.  Looking back with perspective, though, I realize it was an uphill battle I was never going to win.  There were a lot of warning signs from the beginning, but we did have some happy years together.  I gained some wonderful brothers-in-law and their families...we are still very close and even continue to celebrate holidays and family events together  I also have three great kids to show for it all.

The even better news is now that I am through the worst of the shock of Dave's affairs, I am so much more emotionally healthy.  For example, this time last year I was so depressed that I could hardly get my wits together to drive Heather to the downtown library to get a book for her science project.  It took all the mental energy I had just to remember how to get there…that’s how sick I was.

Today, I am helping manage a multi-million dollar budget at work, learning and understanding the manufacturing process that I purchase items for, working with and developing over 30+ suppliers, working with our quality engineers to write a supplier quality manual, evaluating and bringing in new suppliers, assisting with expense-reducing efforts and helping my work place through some very difficult financial times. 

My journalism degree, which this time last year I thought was good-for-nothing in a post-9/11 media world, has served me again and again and again in the workplace.  I have even begun a photography business on the side to help pay the bills.  All the while I have been continuing to take care of all of my crazy health needs, continuing to navigate and ever-increasingly un-patient centered medical system, applying for financial assistance whenever I can and paying the bills.

What I thought was all for nothing in my skills and education, God re-defined and re-purposed.

It makes me think of a quote I saw on a greeting card recently, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”

I really did feel that way last July right before I got my job.  I was applying for rent assistance through our township trustees, utility assistance through a local social service agency, food stamps and Indiana government-provided health-care.  I was truly at the end of my rope...but as God always does, He rescued me just in time.

Please pray this week that I can rely on God with confidence.  After all, look what He has done so far.  I think I will print out this blog and re-read it throughout the week to simply remind myself of God's incredible provision for me thus far.  He has brought me this far, and I am sure, even though I feel faint at heart, that He will continue to carry me through.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I just received a letter from St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis, and the hospital wrote off my ENTIRE $3772.81 bill!

The gifts keep coming and coming and coming.  A sweet family from church just recently gave me $50 to help with the bills.  And as usual, it came at just the right time!

In spite of all the other medical bills, I will NOT stop tithing!

"Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My beautiful girl, Amy, will be 17 years old tomorrow! I had cancer when she was just 9 months old, and I truly wondered if I would live to see this day. Praise God that I am here to celebrate her wonderful life!

She has become an incredible young woman, and I have been so blessed to be her mother.  

I am so happy to share that she is healing emotionally and is doing very well on her anti-depressants.  I am grateful for a wonderful family doctor and her counselor for their help in this journey to restore her health.

Her winter color guard team just placed third at the state competition!  She was the proud recipient of a bronze medal, and I was blessed to be a chaperon for the group at competitions, helping with hair and makeup.  

I know that there are a lot of parents out there who say they can't be involved in their kids' activities because of work, other obligations, etc.  My feeling is that the housecleaning can wait and grocery shopping can be squeezed in at creative hours.  

This is a fleeting moment in time in my children's lives.  I refuse to miss out on the weekend competitions and contests.  I can sit home on Saturdays the rest of my life when they are grown and gone.  Now is the time to spend with my children!

“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born of one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:4-5a

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Blessings Keep Continuing

Thought you would all like to know that I received the results of my genetics test today.

I tested NEGATIVE for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation, which is AWESOME news!

It means my daughters have only 20% chance of developing breast cancer, which is similar to the general public.  Had I tested positive, their risk would have gone up 80%...scary to think about.

Lutheran Hospital has also reviewed my bill from my hospital stay and surgery in September and has reduced my bill by $438....which means I pay Tower Bank $69 a month for 3 years and 3 months vs. 3 years and 10 months...every little bit helps I guess!

Now I have to trust God to provide those funds along with over $2500 in legal fees and a $3700 bill from the hospital from my stay this past spring.  I am applying for patient fee assistance from St. Vincent's Hospital, and I am praying I qualify.  There is no way I can pay that bill I am filling out all the forms, providing info on my prescription costs, my income, etc.  

Pray for patience, trust, wisdom and guidance. I must confess, that even after all the blessings that God has given me the past several months, I still get a bit worried at times about all of the bills.