Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ours Is Not An Endless Hope - Our Hope is Endless

"Now may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" - Romans 15:13

I get teased alot about my screen name "Endlssdrmr." I have always lived with a hope that impossible dreams can come true. I have always believed in hope. I have clung to it fiercely through many valleys in life. It truely is all about believing that which you cannot see. My bible study teacher Shirley once shared this quote with the class and I wrote it inside my bible...."Faith is the assurance (the knowing) and the conviction of the reality of the unseen promises of God."

It is that hope which I cling to today, as Johnny's still continues to struggle to recover from the side effects of his last chemotherapy. This round has been alot tougher on him then the last. He hardly ate anything over the weekend. Now he is trying to get small amounts of food in. His nausea waves come and go. He is very weak. Today he did not lose another pound. He gained half a pound. We'll take every half pound we can get.

Last night we watched a true story on 20/20 which recounted the harrowing 19 hours a couple spent lost at sea off the coast of Thailand when they drifted away from their scuba diving group's boat. They shared their fear and courage and how they endured the ordeal with hope. One statement touched my soul that the man said. "We didn't know for sure if we would be rescued but we had to BELIEVE it to survive." Johnny and I stand fast and hold on to this same belief.

Another strategy they used was over and over and over they kept telling each other "I love you. I will not let you go." The woman shared that those words kept her going because it mattered that someone cared whether she lived or died. I have told Johnny often that I will not let him go without a kicking and screaming fight to do everything I know to be true in my power to save him. I am standing in the gap for him.

The man was smart enough to free them from their heavy equipment and tie the two of them together so the mighty crashing waves would not separate them. He told the woman "You must be stronger than you have ever been in your life." That part made me cry. Because it is what I am trying to do for Johnny right now. Be strong enough for both of us. It is an exhausting task which I am not complaining about. But like the woman in the story shared, I determine to just be strong enough for today - for the moment. Someone once told me that you can endure ANYTHING for a short period of time.

I find myself sitting in the my recliner at night sighing with relief that we made it through another day and thinking "we're still here!" I look over at Johnny where he sits in his recliner just a few feet away and freeze frame the picture of him in my mind. Often during the evening one of us will say "touch!" And that is our cue to reach across the space between us and connect by touching fingers. It reminds me of the couple at sea who were connected by the several feet of rope. Every now and then they would pull the rope in and wrap theirselves around each other and just cling together for warmth or strength.

The worst part of their ordeal was when the sun set and darkness set in. It frightened both of them. They kept telling themselves the dawn was coming. But it was the longest night of their lives. All they could do was wait and wait and wait for the light. And by the grace of God the light finally came. Many hours later they WERE rescued. But interestingly enough, as the helicopter made its way to them a deadly sea snake also discovered the pair and was making its way towards the woman.

She was helpless to do anything but glare back at the snake as it reared up its head at her and looked her right in the eye...yes! Face to face! Then it slithered away as if to tip its head in deference to the courage of the woman he could not defeat....until another time to try again. Isn't that so like the devil?

I really took that story to heart and it encouraged me to never give up. Just when it seems like you are beaten the gates of heaven open up and send the troops! I encourage each of you, in whatever journey you are on, with whatever cross it is that you bear....DO NOT GIVE UP! Abound in hope and let God fill you with joy and peace and refresh your soul. The battle is worth it, whether to save yourself or someone you love. I still believe that anything is possible with God.

Beautiful Blessings!



Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing and for creating such a wonderful daughter who has given so much to my life.

This entry brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing story and analogy to what you and Johnny endure each and every day. I think of you often and keep you in my prayers every day.


Elizabeth Bowdren Photography said...

Aunt Rene I am so glad that you share the progress and details on this blog. It means so much to be able to "plug in" and get the latest to how he and you are doing throughout this journey.

I, too, have endless hope in the Lord for delivering him. I believe in what I cannot see and I believe that Uncle Johnny, his story, your stories will strengthen an untold amount of people who tap into this blog and the beautiful messages of love and grace you provide!!

I'm with you both in spirit and prayers everyday! And Elijah says him too!

Scarlett Lillian said...

Gosh, Mom, you keep making me cry with each new entry. What a powerful story of the scuba divers!! I don't think we ever really realize our strength until we are forced to be strong. Just proves that we all the power inside of us, it's just a matter of tapping into it. And of course the ultimate power and strength being God.

Rachel- You are too sweet! You have given so much to my life too! I am so thankful for your dear friendship.

Becky- Love ya! Thanks for believing with us!

Jeremy Maurer said...

I pray that God wraps his loving arms around you and continues to embrace you through this difficult storm. We know that His plan is the perfect plan, and I pray for your comfort.

robin said...

I saw that beautiful story of faith, hope and love also, it so remined me of your strong faith and determination. this journey WILL be successful and johnny's helicopter is you and Jesus! kepp on keepin' on!!

I Love you!!
Soul Sister, robin

David N. Beasley Jr. said...

God answers prayer and I am praying with the family and everyone who Scarlett has made aware of this story. This Blog that you have started is increasing the prayer circle for your husband and your family and blessing others in the process.

I pray God's healing power on your husbands' cancer and that your faith is increased and strengthened in the process. Your family will continue to be in my prayers.

Rene Williams said...

Thank you to everyone who keep me encouraged to continue writing. New blog entry coming soon!

Also, we are forever grateful for the prayers which are blessings from heaven to us.

Shannon Williams said...

Your entries are beautiful and so uplifting! I found Scarlett's website while looking for "trash the dress" information. I am absolutely in love with her work,admire her honest heart, personality and stories on her blog. I often log onto her page to get a pick me up. Your family's courage, strength and love is an inspiration. I feel so blessed to have come across Scarlett's site and now to read yours. I wish the very best for Johnny and your family. I know how difficult it is to be a caretaker. I have been taking care of my 88 year old Grandmother for several months now. She has been living with my Mother for the past year and a half, we had to put her in hospice this past week. God bless her. She has esophageal cancer and has not been able to eat or drink much. I go everyday to see her. I am not sure if she knows I am there, I think somewhere deep down she does. My emotions have been okay up to this point, today was hard. Reading your past couple of entries lifted my heart. Thank you so much! I think of ya'll often and will continue to send my love and prayers.

With God's Love,

Scarlett Lillian said...

Shannon- Thank you sooooo much for taking the time to leave my mom and dad a comment. We'll lift your grandma up in prayer!!