Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My chemo brain lifted yesterday morning so I could go to the polls and make some judicious decisions in voting. If it hadn't, I would not have trusted myself to fill in the right circles!! I am still battling side effects in my gut. Upset stomach, bordering on nausea, and a churning feeling....almost like a couple of snakes circling around inside me. Very strange, and not pleasant. I am hoping this goes away so that I might have a good week before the next round. I would hate to add treatment #3 to my body feeling like this. I haven't been sleeping more than 3-4 hours per night. Don't know why. The steroids should be worn off by now. I've read a 500+ page book in 2 nights.

Sam is coming home on Saturday evening for his birthday dinner. He now considers sleeping in his own bed a real luxury after dorm bunks! I feel so blessed that he is close enough to do these occasional overnights. Sam being at Dordt is such a God-thing, such a testimony to God providing for His children and orchestrating circumstances when we are all clueless about the larger picture that only He sees.

Sam never even wanted to visit Dordt. I kept saying, "Let's just use it as a baseline to measure your first and second and third choices against. It is close, and we can use it as sort of a control group." Even on the drive over that September day of his junior year, he said, "Mom, I really don't know why we are going here. I do not want to go to college in IOWA. Not in a small town in the cornfields of Iowa. Not gonna happen."

We went, we did the tour. On the drive home, Sam said, "Well, I like the work-study options with the sports director, and I like the cafeteria, it's a Christian college, and I like that the campus is not spread out. It's not all bad. We can keep it on the list for now. We'll see." 

A month later, we toured his first and second choices in colleges. Both 5 hours away in Minneapolis. His first choice has a great program in his career field, is on a wooded peninsula surrounded by a beautiful lake, and he knew 4 friends who would be going there. We thought it was a slam dunk and he'd be headed to the Cities. But on the drive home, he said, "You know, I think I like Dordt better." WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY?

Fast forward a year. He has no desire to visit any other colleges or universities, anywhere. Sam solidified his choice as Dordt, even as we played devil's advocate to learn exactly why he was drawn to "the Iowa cornfield." He would always come back to the work-study options (even though there was no guarantee there) and the small campus, but it was always somewhat vague. He "just knew" (read: Holy Spirit working). He applied, got an academic scholarship, and was accepted.

Fast forward 11 months. I am handed a cancer diagnosis and facing my only child leaving home all in the same week. Where was God? He had been wooing Sam to Dordt for 2 years! From the moment we set out to visit the college that fall day 2 years ago, God was orchestrating Sam's mind and soul to be bent toward this place. God knew before time began that I would have cancer. He knew that I would need Sam and that he would need me. God knew that he wanted a Christian college. He knew that Sam would need a campus where freshman could have cars (both Minneapolis schools prohibit cars for freshman and we would not have seen him til Thanksgiving or Christmas). God knew that a big tug on Sam's heartstrings would be the opportunity to work in Sports Information and be able to broadcast games on webcasts. God set that before him at Dordt. Providence is amazing, isn't it?

He is loving his college, getting a challenging, first-class, Christian-world-view education, with a large bevy of great new friends, a work-study job where he is being paid to do the thing he loves most to do, and has a little used Toyota Camry to bring him home to a mom who needs her fixes of his hugs now and again.

The entire story still gives me goosebumps. For two years, God has been putting in place the pieces of this cancer journey for me. He has been sovereign over every second. He has been working for two years gently pulling my only child to a college only an hour and a half from our front door (a college he never had ANY intention of liking), knowing that Sam needed to be close to home for such a time as this. 

That the creator of the universe cares enough about this lowly sinner that He would make a way 2 years ago for her precious son to be able to bee-bop home for his birthday dinner.......well, that kind of care and provision simply humbles me to tears.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9


Pipsylou said...

i SOOOOOOO needed this tonight, aunt, you've not idea how much!


Anonymous said...

And it makes me weep, too. Blessings, my wonderful friend.....loved our time together today with Mary Ruth and Jesus! Ju

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Anonymous said...

My prayers continue to be with you. Hope my little Halloween inet site gave you a chuckle. Laughter is God's healing medicine.May you visualize the golden light of being in God's healing arms. Hugs, Pat D.