Proof that You are NOT Alone

A true friend comes alongsideYou are NOT alone (even if most days it feels like it).

One of the most incredible circumstances in my caregiver recovery happened one summer when I received an email from the professor of a writing workshop class I wanted to take at Walla Walla University. She informed me that even though I had applied late, someone had cancelled and I would be able to attend the class.

When I walked into the workshop the first day, I sat down next to Carol, the only person I knew—a high-school classmate of my husband’s that I had a nodding acquaintance with from attending Pedro’s class reunions over the years.

Several days later, the workshop leaders gave us a writing prompt, and at the end of the free-write, we had to exchange papers with a neighbor. I felt a little embarrassed about what I’d written because it seemed a little personal and maybe just a bit whiny. I shrugged and handed it to Carol, and she handed me her paper.

It didn’t take long for tears to pop out of my eyes, and then her quiet sniffle caught my attention. Here we were, two grown women, mostly strangers, instantly bonding with the other’s words because we saw ourselves reflected in someone else’s story.

If you’ve ever gone through a wilderness experience, you’ll know the importance of the manna God sends you—the daily bread that keeps you going as you cling to the One true thing that will sustain you through your wandering.

And although we know that God is there, ready to sustain us and keep us through our trials, meeting someone else who has traveled a similar journey feels like a miracle and a pair of comfy, broken in jeans all at the same time.

Carol is my manna and my pair of comfy jeans—in addition to being the other half of Blessed (but Stressed). We live thousands of miles apart, but manage to keep up with each other through instant messaging, emails, and class reunions. Ever since our class together (she, too was on the waiting list and got accepted at the last minute), we’ve been sharing our stories with each other. It feels so good to know that I am not alone (nor crazy).

I’m excited to introduce to you another voice from the caregiver trenches. Jenni DeWitt who blogs at Genuflected, recently published her inspirational story Forty Days: A Memoir of Our Time in the Desert of Childhood Cancer. As I read her book, I felt like I had sat down next to a nodding acquaintance and by the time I finished I had found another friend who understands the caregiver journey.

If you’ve been on a wilderness journey (through cancer, mental illness, or long-term illness of a parent), you’ll come away from reading the book with a shared sense of “Whew! I’m not alone!”

You are NOT alone, my friend. Find other #caregivers and share your stories. Click To Tweet

You’ll also enjoy this book If you love reading inspirational stories about how God has guided other women through their greatest fears, or if you’ve felt like you’ve been wandering around in the desert of isolation.

A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to fund cancer research, but Jenni is doing even more—she’s participating in a fundraising walk to raise money and awareness for childhood cancers. If you’d like to support the cause, you can help her by making a donation.

Forty Days Giveaway

Enter to win your own copy of Jenni’s book, and make sure you drop by her website Genuflected.com to find out how her son Cooper is doing.

Jenni’s story inspired me this week–what has inspired YOU? You’ll find more good books to read over at Mary’s place where she hosts a link up for book reviews :).

Inspire Me Monday Instructions   Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community: 1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please). 2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment. 3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it! Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :). I found inspiration for my Monday at #inspirememonday. Join us! (tweet this) So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us. Take a moment to visit the other hostesses, too: Angie, Cindy, and Denise.


 

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Oh how I needed this post this morning after losing a very close friend, my biggest cheerleader, most fervent prayer warrior, and spiritual mother this weekend. The enemy would like me to believe I am alone and have been orphaned again, but God’s truth says He is a father to the orphan and He never leaves me nor forsakes me! Blessings Anita!
    Dr. Michelle Bengtson recently posted…Dear Mom… (Part 2)My Profile

    • I am so sorry for your loss. Praying right now for peace, comfort, and a strong sense of the presence of the Lord.
      Melissa recently posted…Meeting New People (Five Minute Friday)My Profile

    • Oh, Michelle, I’m so sorry for your loss. May the Holy Spirit draw close to you today and fill your mind with gentle whispers of his love.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Proof that You are NOT AloneMy Profile

    • sad to hear of your loss michelle. it is no small thing to lose a mentor like that! i’m sure today’s story was especially encouraging in that regard:)
      martha brady recently posted…CALMER OF MY TROUBLED HEART…My Profile

    • I guess finding useful, reliable inoiomatrfn on the internet isn’t hopeless after all.

  • So grateful for Jenni & others like her who share their hard stories with us. It is amazing the comfort & encouragement & strength we glean as we sit & read their words. We truly are reminded that we are not alone ever. Our God is always with us in all we go through. Grateful for this site & link up. Blessings!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Grace in ActionMy Profile

  • Your message is the reason I write my posts. When my daughter’s husband walked out on her and their new baby a few years back, everything looked hopeless. She wasn’t settled in a church yet in their new town. She face every day alone with Jesus, but longed for someone who understood her pain. Christian writers were the balm in those days. My daughter, being a writer and private person, drew from their strength as they shared their stories and prayed for her. I will always be thankful for that.

    Thank you for your awesome ministry to those in need. May God bless you ladies who host this website.
    Bless you,
    Mary
    Saleslady371 recently posted…Meet Me in the VillageMy Profile

    • I’m so glad that your daughter was able to reach out in the way that felt comfortable to her and thus receive a blessing (and give a blessing as well). Thank you for your kind words, Mary, and welcome!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Proof that You are NOT AloneMy Profile

  • Beautiful story of how God brings us to the right people at the right time!

  • Sharing with my friends who are knee deep in this right now. Blessings.
    Wendy recently posted…Do you think of prayer as a sort of magic trick?My Profile

    • Thank you for passing the information on, Wendy :).

      • Going to put this arcilte to good use now.

  • Those “for such a time as this” moments always amaze me and build my faith! xo
    Susan Shipe recently posted…honoring all womenMy Profile

    • Amen! I love hearing stories about how God led them to meet just the person they needed!

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  • Such a powerful post! I just had the honor of meeting Jenni at Jumping Tandem a couple of weekends ago! So thankful that we are not alone… ever! Especially when it may feel like it!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…#SmallWonders… How They Add Up Fast! (A Mini Recap of How We Got Here!)My Profile

    • How cool is that?! You should tell me more about Jumping Tandem…it’s one of those conferences that happen at a time of year that I might actually be able to attend!

  • Tara

    So cool to hear the story of how you and Carol met. God does provide that daily manna for us and for that I am so thankful. There is something so holy about hearing “me too.”

  • Oh yes, Anita, there is this bond that springs forth, sometimes pretty quickly, as we share our tentative words with each other. And to connect soul-to-soul is just plain awesome.

    Thank you … and I love your new look!

    ;-}
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…In Which This Is All So Very BittersweetMy Profile

    • Thank you :). It’s good to ‘see’ you again!

  • I love this story. it shows how GOD is preparing human comforters for us all along the way in quiet ways and places we don’t expect to find them. what a sweet story of His special touch for both of you:) and it is only one of the stories that make up your life isn’t it?
    martha brady recently posted…CALMER OF MY TROUBLED HEART…My Profile

    • Isn’t that the truth?! He knows the future and he knows how to prepare ahead for every eventuality.

  • A much needed reminder. Sometimes in the desert of grief and waiting and hardship it is easy to isolate ourselves… but we need each other! And chances are… somebody needs me, too… a good prompt to step out and connect with someone. Thank you!
    Lauren recently posted…A Thank You to Those Younger Than MeMy Profile

  • Anita, this is such an encouraging post for we each need the manna that He gives us in each moment. Why am I often fearful of even picking it up or recognizing it or wanting more. He is enough. The friend to share the moments is so special. I am thousands of miles away from any that I call special friends, yet I need to trust Him that He has given me some of these women and they are there. I need to make the efforts to pick up the manna.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Caring for the Caregiver – Part 1 @ SDGMy Profile

  • I’ve never heard the exact story of how you both met. This is a lovely post and story–you can see God’s hand in bringing both of you together.
    Laura recently posted…Five Tips On Getting Things DoneMy Profile

  • Thanks for your support today. This feels like such a heart-wrenching story. We are not alone. Each of us has a battle that God has seen us through. Our battle scars and memories bring tear, but we can be a balm of love to one another. Thanks for sharing.
    Mary Hill recently posted…Literacy Musing Mondays, Week 16My Profile

  • Hi Anita

    I am so glad that I stopped by today!

    I didn’t even know that you had a Monday link up!

    Great post and reminder that we aren’t alone! And I love Jenni at Genuflected! What an inspiration she is!

    As a pastoral counselor I am more of a spiritual and emotional caregiver … it is a ministry that doesn’t have set hours and doesn’t follow a time limit… Jesus is always more than enough {for me and those I am caring for}

    Your posts are always encouraging and uplifting – Thank you!! and Blessings to you!

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