Choosing Joy

Today is 3 years from Joel’s brain surgery.  I remember thinking,  all we have to do is make it through this surgery and everything will be fine.  11 hours later the surgery was over, but when I walked into the ICU to see Joel I was hit that everything was not going to be just fine.  I had not thought passed the surgery, when I saw Joel it was evident that this was going to be a very long road.

Last night I had a message from my sister-in-law saying, “I wanted to wish you guys a happy tumour free day tomorrow. It’s 3 years tomorrow that Joel was freed from the thing that was trying to steal his life. Praise the Lord Joel is still cancer free and we are believing and praying it will stay that way.

I have thought about the words she chose and have mulled them over in my mind today.  I live the day-to-day with Joel.  I work on the small stuff and the big with him.  It is easy to get caught up in that stuff.  I look at where he was and rejoice with how far he has come, yet, I also see how far we have to go.  The reality however is 3 years ago an amazing team of doctors and nurses spent 11 hours, to ever so carefully, remove that monster from his brain.  When he woke up he could not sit up or stand, his head flopped to the side, he had facial paralysis, he had lost motor control of the right side of his body, his eyes turned in, and he ended up going mute.  We could choose to look at that day, as the day all his struggles began  (further complicated with chemos and radiation), or we could choose to look at that day as his, ‘tumour free day’, the day that started the healing, the day that began the path to victory.

We all have struggles, we all have difficult things to deal with, but, if we look we can see the positive.  I am not saying that cancer, divorce, the loss of  loved ones, are positive things, perhaps if we look carefully we can find joy in the journey.

James 1:2-4 says; “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

It is more than a glass is half full outlook.  It is about having genuine joy in the face of sorrow.  Not perm-a-grin life is just fine.  It is the peace in the midst of the storm.  Often times people would say to me at the hospital you are always smiling.  Actually, I am not always smiling, I have cried, I have gotten frustrated too, but for the most part I choose joy.

I was so thankful for my sister-in-law and the words she chose as she further encouraged me not to get stuck looking at the hard parts but to look at the joy.  That day was a scary day, the surgeon had told Dave and I without the surgery Joel would die.  With it he could still die, be paralysed, etc.  Yet Dave and I while overwhelmingly aware of the seriousness of that day, had peace too.  I could choose to remember that day as only the scariest day of my life or, I could remember it as the day God provided the right surgeon at the right time to remove Joel’s tumour.  The day that God gave Dave and I a peace that passes all understanding.  The tumour free day!

Thank you for your gift of the tumour free day Lotti love you!

Shared at Encouraging One Another Link Up

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