10 more days till surgery.
The moment the calendar flipped to April 1, it became real.
We’ve been on this grand honeymoon of sorts — just living life normally, with a heavy-duty doctor’s appointment or test here and there.
I know what it is to have faith. We’ve been here before. I know that deep in this Jesus girl is a reservoir of strength because the Holy Spirit lives inside of me.
But that doesn’t keep me from thinking about the real stuff. Like a five-hour surgery. Like hospitalization. Like bringing home my strong guy to take care of him while he heals.
Sometimes we have to walk through places we’d rather detour.
Years ago I listened to a speaker and the title of her message was, “Grow where you are planted.”
At the time I was pretty young. Grow where you are planted seemed like nonsense because my philosophy was, “Get out of that stupid garden and grow where you want to grow.”
My response revealed a serious need of a dose of spiritual maturity. Later, walking through the harder places gave me exactly that.
What does it mean to grow where you are planted?
It means that we experience real emotions, but that our first step is to look for Jesus in the midst of that hard place.
Because He’s there.
He’s always there.
Instead of bracing myself for what is to come, I’m looking for Jesus in my relationship with Richard.
We’re laughing a lot. We are taking long walks in the evening. We are praying together.
I’m looking for Jesus in my thought life.
Instead of giving worry more than its fair share, I’m praising Him for what we have, for being with us in the past, for being an anchor in the present.
I’m also honest about those times that it feels overwhelming and I ask Him to carry that burden with me.
Because I’m not big enough.
Seriously, I’m not.big.enough.
I’m looking for Jesus in the myriad of details that come with the word “cancer” like insurance, and bills, and doctor’s visits and preparing for recovery.
When I look for Jesus I find Him and that gives me the roots to push down deep in unforgiving soil.
Last week Richard and were walking through an old cemetery. It was fascinating! Many of the markers and tombstones date back to the mid-1800’s.
It’s spring here in Arkansas and tiny purple Grape Hyacinths were strewn across our path. In the midst of a cemetery, these perfectly formed splashes of God’s creation grew where they were planted.
I don’t think it’s nonsense anymore.
In fact, I am so grateful that it’s exactly what our faith offers in the more challenging (and unasked for) places.
We can grow where are planted because there’s peace to be found.
My tender heart, wrapped around my love for my guy, is guarded by God Himself.
Are you in a hard place that you don’t want to be?
Please let me pray for you.
Together, as we walk through our hard places, we’ll find support where we need. We’ll ask God to lead the way. We’ll be honest about our needs — with God and with people.
We’ll admit it’s not where we want to be and it’s certainly not where we plan to be forever.
But for now, we’ll grow where we are planted. We’ll look for the beauty in those hard places and we’ll watch as God shows up in the unexpected.
I will look harder for my Jesus in this season. We are not in a comfortable, happy, or healthy place. But my Saviour knows so much better than I how to remedy that. I will be thankful for the small victories, and always give Him the glory in them, knowing that someday soon this painful season will be over. I pray that I will have learned the lessons well that were placed before me.
My husband, my son and myself are all going through personal trials at this time. It can be so overwhelming getting through each day, but I know where my hope lies- in my Lord! We must train ourselves to first seek Jesus. Not only in rough times, but in all times. He promises never to abandon us and we must cling to that promise with all our might. There is peace in knowing that we always have someone who loves us, hears our cries, welcomes our highs, lows and in-betweens. For this I am very grateful.
Thank you, Suzzie. In the wake of some difficult life circumstances and loss, I am grateful for these words. Love you!
Thank you for this post–it came at such a great time for me. I am struggling with a food addiction–I binge eat to deal with my emotions. This is something I have done probably since childhood. It is not something that I want to continue doing, but I struggle with breaking this cycle. I am in counseling, have supportive friends, and have done Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave study more than once.
As I read your post, it gave me a renewed hope. When you spoke of looking for Jesus in the struggle, it reminded me that He is and always has been with me and that He won’t leave me here. I know that one day I will have victory over this–as I prepared for work today I said that to God and told Him that I knew this because I was His.
Thank you for offering to pray for us. I have you and your husband in my prayer journal and have been praying for your family. I will continue to do so. Be blessed!!
We are living in a season of change and often I’m not sure of the next steps. I know He is faithful to lead and He promises to give us a hope and a future.
I lost the chance to buy the farm I grew up on. It literally has torn me apart. I asked God for a miracle but it was sold. I again asked for a sign from him as if this is his answer. He is silent. Please pray for me to have peace and for God to somehow answer me.
suzie…thank you…im trying! i just moved back to OH, to be closer to my dad. he is a wondrous man that i never got to spend much time with for varying reasons. i was so ecstatic to finally be with the man i always looked up to…my daddy. that was last june and little did i know, there’s no way i could have and it wouldn’t have made much difference anyways, that just several months later he would have major problems with his heart. first a heart cath and stent placement, then another heart cath and stent…then another heart cath revealing stent #2 failed…putting him directly into open heart surgery! and he has congestive heart failure as well causing his heart to continuously weaken. i wish that was the worst and hardest for me, but it isn’t. since coming home i had noticed that dad’s memory was slipping here and there, no big deal…at first. there have been subtle and no-so-subtle changes to his moods and behaviors. i do have a slight medical background so i recognized the symptoms of alzheimers. that right there is killing me more than anything. because of my work as a cna i know the devastating effects of this very cruel and unkind, unmerciful disease. if im not crying because of my father yelling at me, im crying because i just got my dad and i feel like i am loosing him already. its NOT fair!!! im having a real hard time accepting this. i love my daddy so very much. he doesn’t see the effect of the disease, nor does he want to talk about it, so i just love him, take care of him, and do my very best. i have just recently connected with the alz foundation for support thru this trying time. i am so very grateful for the first 4-6 months God gave me to be with my daddy. and i am ever so grateful that i am the one to take care of him! i just wish i had more healthy time with him, but God knew…and thats why he brought me home!!! PG!!! i am 46 yrs old and this is the first time i have been able to truly be with my dad, a Blessing! i don’t want to have to deal with all this, i wasn’t prepared for all this coming home, wish i could avoid it. ask why my dad, but ultimately Thankful that God me the time he did. God knew…my dad would need help, love and care…that i needed to be with my dad…and that dad didn’t have much healthy time left. i’m glad God gave me the opportunity to finally come home, because i couldn’t imagine my father going thru all this alone. it is a lot for me! i just keep telling myself…God doesn’t give us more than we can bear!!! and i am finding myself reaching out to God for more strength, guidance, knowledge, power, mercy…and most of all…His Loving Grace!
thanks for listening…and Praying with me,
Thank you for these encouraging word that God gave you to share with all of us. I continue to pray for your husband and all of you.
I’m truly growing where I am planted right now.
I am an “old” RN and for many years I worked in ICU. I always prayed for every patient I was assigned to care for asking God to guide my hands and my mind so that I could provide the best and safest care possible. I protected every recovering patient like a mother cares for her babies. Today, my primary care physician prays for me every visit-asking for healing. My prayer for Richard is that God will put him in the care of Christian physicians and nurses and surround Richard with His protection, love and care. My prayer for you Suzie is that God will strengthen you and uphold you with His righteous right hand. My prayer for both you and Richard is that God will calm your minds and hearts and fears and surround you with His love and power. Prayers for you and Richard going up.
Thank you for the encouragement this girl needs everyday.
I am praying for your family and know that the outcome will be whatever God wants it to be. We have to be faithful and trust him.
I am learning to trust him in his decisions in my life and my families. I know I do not have any control -he has it all. Love you friend!
Prayers & thanks, Suzie.
Oh Suzie! What a powerful word here. Praying as you walk through the coming days. My road is not the same as yours, but I have had those seasons of life that seemed like I should be hopping over to another garden. Bloom where you are planted does seem like nonsense until you see fruit grow from dry brittle limbs. I’m so thankful to read this today. Thank you, sincerely, thank you.
Suzie, I can’t tell you how much I needed this today. I am praying for you and your husband. You teach me that vulnerability and strength can coexist, and in fact, you cannot have one without the other. I have heard that phrase before too and I’ll admit lately I have been more the “that’s rubbish” mentality-ready to leave, ready to bloom somewhere else, but you have challenged me to look for Jesus right here where I am. To look for Him in the hard places. Thank you.
Suzie, I continue to lift you and your family up in prayer. I am thankful for the love you show your community of us ladies each week. I have been blessed by your words of encouragement each week and I am thankful for your friendship. Continued prayers going up for each of you as you face this trying time. God Bless
Beautiful, my friend. I love your openness. Joy comes when we look for it, but often it’s the choice to look that comes hardest. Praying for you and your husband!
Suzie, you inspire me so with your strength as you face these upcoming days! I appreciate you encouraging us to #livefree when “where we are is not where we want to be and it’s certainly not where we plan to be forever.” Love you!
Suzie, I know what it is like to walk in some hard places with one you love and are committed to. I love your attitude and honesty. I can assure you God IS there with you. He is already there in the tomorrows that will come. He is with you in this moment and always. I love your writing. I am praying for you and your family. Right now I ask God to give you courage, Joshua 1:9, to give you peace, Philippians 4, and to help you know that you can do all things through CHRIST, who is there for you. You are blessed to have a good Christian husband and relationship where you can pray together and share all the good the bad and the ugly and trust God in it all. Blessings dear sister in Christ Jesus! Keep us posted. We are your prayer warriors…
Beautifully said, my sweet friend. You are not alone in this season. I pray for you and Richard–for his healing and health, and for your love and support of him as you walk this out. I cling to sweet conversations Tom and I had, and smile, knowing y’all are experiencing those precious, nothing-held-back talks. God is so present, and we are especially sensitive to Him and His leading. This mending heart loves you both!
“It means that we experience real emotions, but that our first step is to look for Jesus in the midst of that hard place.” (Sigh) I was in a hard place Friday with our sweet teen. She was the innocent target for the darts of another. “Remain in me and I’ll remain in you” came twice. It was hard, the “walking her through” process, but we advanced to a place that only Jesus could have brought us to. Praise his holy name. Suzie, I think of you and Richard often….and I wonder how you handle all that life is throwing at you right now. You are a walking testimony in the midst of this in so many ways. His aroma is rich in how you spend time with Richard, talk so sweetly about him, are very authentic in your posts, and continue to carry on. Truly, it’s a testimony. I’m cheerleading the two of you through prayer, setting your names before the One that placed those beautiful grape hyacinths. None other will do.