When we received the call that in an instant rocked our world, one of my first thoughts was, how do I do this? How do I tell my parents? My sisters? My kids? How are we going to get through as a family? How do I feel about this?
We attend church in North Little Rock at First Assembly of God. Our pastor, Rod Loy, is one of my favorite people ever. In addition to listening to him every Sunday morning, I also have the habit of listening to his podcasts; I have listened to many sermons multiple times. God has used him, his family, and our church in a big way to teach and guide us in raising our family and growing closer to God and each other. We are so blessed to be part of a healthy church.
I wanted to meet with Pastor Rod before we told anyone and I’m so glad we were able to connect with him that day. God used that time to bring peace and clarity to our hurting hearts. My mind was so numb I couldn’t process a rational thought. It was difficult to string words together to form a sentence, much less assess how I felt about all of this and articulate it to others. However, when we left his office, I knew exactly how I was going to get through this and what I wanted it to accomplish in my life and the lives of my family.
Earlier that day I read something in Lysa Terkeurst’s new book, The Best Yes, that really resonated with me. I shared the quote with Pastor Rod and told him that I felt it was very applicable in my current situation. Lysa said, “Let this unexpected happening point to your strength, not your weakness. Maybe you’ve been entrusted with this. Not cursed with it.”
Pastor Rod reminded me what my strengths were and told me how instrumental those qualities would be in getting through the very difficult months ahead. I love to have fun, I love to laugh, and I love to celebrate. He admonished Patrick and me to capitalize on that and celebrate each piece of good news and every milestone of recovery, laugh as much as we could, and be quick to recognize God’s hand at work in each detail of this journey.
I left that meeting with a clarity that could only come from God, and from that moment on, I knew that I would not only get through this, but that I wanted to do it in a way that would help as many people as I could as I traveled through this difficult place in my life.
Patrick created this blog for me to share about my experiences, and I would love for you to follow me as I move forward on this unexpected path. I don’t want to waste this. My prayer is that you, or someone you know, will be encouraged by what God does in our lives as we fully trust in his faithfulness.
When one of my dear church friends, Pam Harrell, heard the news of my diagnosis she called and told me that she was on “Team Tina”. I loved that so much and it instantly became what we call my supportive family members, encouraging friends, and church full of faithful-to-pray for me warriors.
So Team Tina, get ready. I’m going to need lots of prayers, but I am going to come out on the other side healed and healthy!