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Peace.  God offers you peace for your #caregiver journey. http://wp.me/p2UZoK-x6 via @blestbutstrest

About three years after Pedro’s stem cell transplant I finally had the courage to search online and for the survival rates for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with central nervous system (CNS) involvement. What I found shocked me.

The average survival rate in 2006? A mere 18 months. The statistics left me with more questions than answers. They still do. Why? Why had God miraculously healed Pedro? Why had we suffered financial setbacks and why had Pedro suffered such difficulties reentering the workforce?

This I do know. Without a doubt, God has guided each step of our journey—Pedro’s journey as a cancer survivor and now thriver; my journey as a stressed-out caregiver; our daughters’ journeys as children traumatized by a catastrophic illness in the family.

Despite my imperfect faith and my moments of doubt and self-involvement and inability to see that other people in my family suffered, too—I know God never left me. When I acted childish, he carried me close to his heart. When I needed help parenting, he gently led me. When I grew weary, he gave me courage to overcome and soar like an eagle. (Isaiah 40)

Our journeys haven’t ended, and we have no time frame or assurance that they will end in any certain way. But I know that through the good and bad, God stands close beside us—offering us peace, strength, hope, mercy and love.

He stands close to you, too. No matter where you travel or what disaster or accomplishment shoots you out into a path you never expected, know that God desires above all else for you to turn your journey over to him.

He can take your anger at unexpected circumstances or loss. He can handle your questions, your regrets and your sins. In exchange, He offers to never leave you or forsake you. (tweet this)

And that my fellow caregiver, is the greatest comfort of all. He promises to leave us with his peace. It’s not a peace that the world can understand. It’s a peace that passes all understanding. May you find Him and rest in His promise.

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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  • That is what I am looking for now that my journey is over. I need to find that peace. I know it is there….I just need to find it again. Thank you so much for your 31 days. I am glad that God directed me right to your blog.
    paula recently posted…LEAVEMy Profile

    • finding peace may be what my simple first-time FMF comes down to as well…LEAVE – can mean so much; and I love the verse you started your with!
      Barbara London recently posted…FMF – LEAVEMy Profile

      • I’m glad you’re joining the FMF crowd! There’s always room for more :).

    • May God be with you as your journey towards His peace, my friend.

  • Well, this must be serendipity, my following your link at FMF.

    There’s a catastrophic illness in our house. Mine. Docs aren’t saying I’m going to die; they say I should already be dead.

    But I think I may be too mean, and too ruthless to die. Mainly to myself; I won’t allow pain to control me more than absolutley necessary (which usually means that shock, either from pain or hypovolemia, knocks me out).

    I’m also terribl;e at accepting help or sympathy, and that makes life awfully hard for my wife. She wants to be a caregiver; she wants to care, but I’m not good at allowing her avenues to exercise that desire, and her ability.

    I can hack it. If you see me lying on the floor bleeding and unresponsive, then, yeah, you can help. Otherwise – I got this.

    I have something to learn, I guess. Because this isn’t just about me.

    • I’m glad the doctors were wrong, Andrew! Those are wise words you wrote–it’s not just about you–but it’s awfully hard to see that when a person is struggling to maintain their independence and not be the focus of everyone’s care and attention! May God be with you on your journey.

  • I went through so many emotions reading your post tonight. I landed face-first in His truth…peace. Beautifully written friend! I’ll be catching-up on your series!
    Bethany Boring recently posted…Leave – 5 Minute FridayMy Profile

    • Thank you for stopping by, Bethany! You are one strong woman–made stronger by God’s love and grace!

  • He will never leave us…..there is so much promise, so much truth, so much encouragement in those few words. I used that Scripture, too, on my #FMFparty post. Seems it is one that many of us need to be reminded of. Blessings to you, Anita. Such a lovely post!
    Leah Adams recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ LeaveMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by, Leah. It’s one of my favorite promises–and one I cling to in times of stress. Breathe in peace, breathe out stress.

  • “He can take your anger at unexpected circumstances or loss. He can handle your questions, your regrets and your sins. In exchange, He offers to never leave you or forsake you. ”

    I used to think that if I was angry at God He wouldn’t love me….but I have discovered how much He does love me through those time. Times that I question and fight His will, times that I am mad and hurting because the world we live in is difficult…but He is there and I am so grateful that I don’t have to be strong enough to handle it all! Great post!
    Kristin Smith recently posted…31 Days of Finding God – LEAVEMy Profile

    • Amen! He can handle it all and he loves us in spite of it :). Thanks for stopping by!

  • Anita, I have so loved your series this month! So happy to have found you, and I just want to thank you for sharing your heart. I’m just so in love with our God who stays by us even when the days are dark. Thank you for the reminder!
    Kristin recently posted…Day 31: Five Minute Friday: LeaveMy Profile

    • I’m looking forward to a slower November so I can catch up on reading all of the wonderful posts I’ve missed :). I’m glad to have ‘met’ you, too, and I’m sure I’ll ‘see you around’ at the FMF twitter parties ;).

  • Anita, this is a really lovely, honest, and heartfelt post. Trust and faith jumps off the page from your words, and peace flows with it. Thank you.
    Jennifer Kostick recently posted…And This is What Makes You Beautiful! 31 Days of Living Brave (Day 31: The Conclusion)My Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words :). Congratulations on making it through all 31 days!

  • “He will never leave us, or forsake us.”

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring and encouraging post.
    Romi recently posted…Day 31: Tsuwabuki (Leopard Plants)My Profile

  • You have quite an incredible story. Filled with ups and downs. Thanks for sharing. I love the scripture. I just read it this morning. So encouraging and uplifting!
    Somer recently posted…Five Minute Fridays : LeaveMy Profile

    • Isn’t it odd how when God thinks we need to hear a message, we keep hearing it and seeing all over the place?! Thank you for stopping by :).

  • Beautifully written! Some precious truths in there.
    Jodi recently posted…Day 31: I did it! (and plans for the future)My Profile

  • So wonderful to hear the way that God has been close to you in what I am sure has been such a challenging journey!

    • He’s been with us the entire time, that’s for sure! Thanks for stopping by :).

  • This is beautiful, Anita! I love how you shared the things you know about God, not only in this post, but in the others I’ve read. I hope to go back and read more in the days to come! So thankful for God’s mighty touch on Pedro’s life! What a testimony! Thank you for sharing it. And for leaving us with such truth that God will never leave us nor forsake us! God bless you, dear friend! Great job on finishing #write31days! Whoo hoo!

    • Micah 6:5 tells us to “Remember our journey” that we (and everyone else) might know the mighty acts of the Lord. Thank you for stopping by so often and for all of your encouraging words :).

  • Beautiful encouragement about God’s peace in the midst of difficulty. I love this, “I know God never left me. When I acted childish, he carried me close to his heart. When I needed help parenting, he gently led me. When I grew weary, he gave me courage to overcome and soar like an eagle.” I am in the throes of parenting teenagers … this gives me great hope! Visiting from Missional Women. Glad I found you!

    • May God stay close to you during those teenage years! They are tough years and I’m forever grateful to my Shepherd for carrying me through and leading me!

  • Oh Anita I have loved you whole series but this may be my favorite post. Learning that I can ask God questions, I can be angry with Him and He will still love me and e there with me.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…Leave {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

    • Aw, thanks, Amy! Thank you for being a sweet encourager along the way!

  • Oh how I always love it when you share your testimony with Pedro and how God was with you through it all! Beautiful post, my friend!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…DAY THIRTY ONE – LEAVE (A Five Minute Friday post)My Profile

    • Thank you, Karrilee! Congratulations for finishing and a job well done–now it’s time for some of that stuff you wrote about for 31 days–rest (once I finish responding to all of these comments;) ).

  • Don

    It has only been in the last ten years or so that I have
    Discovered that God really does still love me… Even when I yell at Him in anger and frustration, and tell Him I hate Him, even as you did to me as a child. The big difference being, I didn’t know how to handle it, where my heavenly does know how.

    I am so grateful for your willingness to “bare it all. I would love to see all your experience in one place in book form.
    D
    Love, Dad

    • What! I told you that I hated you?! I do apologize. I don’t hate you at all. Do you forgive me? I love you!

      • Don

        Oh yes, I know you have. It was about the era of 2-3 yrs old when we were trying break you of telling people “Oh, shut up,” when they even looked at you wrong.

        • Donne

          I remember that. She was a bit of a pill, but we love her anyway. 🙂

  • Thank you Anita for sharing your journey with us. It is an amazing truth that God will never leave us. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    • Thank you, Jolene! I’m looking forward to 24 hours of no technology ;).

  • Anita, as a caregiver for fifteen years, and with Mama gone to her Lord, I find the quiet and the peace and the love now that I glanced at and felt from time to time during those years. I knew He was always with me, yet I would forget in the midst of certain moments. BUT…He ALWAYS would remind me by His whisper, bu His touch, by His missionary sent to pray for and with me at that very moment.
    I hold you and your husband in my prayers. So grateful that I spotted your smiling face on Essential Fridays.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…31 Days of God-Woven Moments – October 31My Profile

    • Wow, Linda, what a journey and story. Pedro and I are happy to have come through the fire and have grown closer to each other and to our Savior. We can certainly testify to the fact that He will never leave us or forsake us :).

  • Thank you for this beautiful reminder. We so often feel as though we’re going through the storms alone, when we never have to do that.
    Melissa recently posted…Leaving – Five Minute Friday – 31 DaysMy Profile

    • Amen! We have God, and the beautiful people he sends to us to help us :).

  • Looking forward to going back & reading ALL of your posts 🙂 Thanks for the encouraging tone which I see throughout your writings. You are a blessing to many who are walking this type of a journey!!

    Many blessings!

    PS Nice connecting with you via Facebook pages too!!
    stuckinindiana recently posted…The Best Way OutMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words :). I’m looking forward to going back and reading everyone’s stories that I couldn’t keep up on during October! I really need to figure out why you’re ‘stuck in Indiana’ ;).

  • Is this the last of your wonderful 31 day series? It’s beautiful and so full of wisdom! I love you and I’ve looked forward to each of these posts, so I’m a little sad October is over!
    Laura Melchor recently posted…Why I Don’t Like Stuck in LoveMy Profile

    • Yep, it’s the last! I had fun writing them, but I’ll be glad for a little break :). I love you,too!

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