Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Christina's Last Blog Post--2 Years Ago

It is hard to believe that it has been two years since Christina wrote her last post on her blog.  I mark the time passed by watching Isaiah.  He is 2 1/2 years old.  That means Christina has been away from us for almost two years.  As I read her words, her personality, her faith, her confidence, her joy washed over me in a fresh way.  The daughter I love to talk about--talked about herself and it renewed my heart.  I really am not making this story up:)
I thought today that it would be fun to just share her words. I am stunned by the clarity of her thoughts amidst multiple brain tumors and pain medication and steroids.  These words that flowed out of her are truly a gift to our hearts.

She wrote this on April 23, 2013

Ah, what a beautiful Tuesday. What an amazing day to be alive! I’ve been wanting to share some thoughts for a while, but you know how things get:) Writing things down is a bit slower and harder these days, so I’m thinking that posting smaller snippets as I am able, might be the way to go. We shall see:
Let me start with this. Being put under hospice care is the last place I would have ever expected to feel so peaceful, and thankful, and joyful towards my the Lord. Please know that this is not a “make people feel good” answer. This is as honest as it gets. Has it been the hardest, scariest, and most emotional thing I’ve ever faced? Yes. Have I ever felt God’s presence more powerfully and craved it more hungrily? Never.
So why am I peaceful, thankful and joyful? Most simply put I’d say, it’s a miracle to my heart, and God’s character of grace on full display.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”
He promises us peace. When we trust his purposes above our own, keep our eyes and thoughts fixed on Him, no matter what the circumstances, (even death) He promises peace. Not without struggle, not without tears, or grieving, but a deep settled peace, CHOOSING to believe that God’s “good” is much more powerful and complete than my own “good”. Even if my emotions have trouble catching up sometimes.
Who gets this kind of time?! Oftentimes, people in my situation (even those dealing with cancer for a while), will face an abrupt end to their fully functioning state. Grand mal seizure leading to a coma can be a common one in brain cancer. This doesn’t mean this will be my route or anyone else’s for that matter. God can do whatever He chooses. But, look, here I am! 2 big seizures into this, tumors suddenly spread all over my brain, and I’m feeling better than I have in months!  I have way less pain, more energy and definitely much clearer thoughts. Yay:) All on hospice, who would have thought?! The first seizure, and the following MRI was God’s perfect provision allowing us all to be aware of my new health status. I am so thankful for the beautiful time I/we have all gotten to experience because of this. Friends and family have been able to fly in and I’ve loved the relaxation of my home, only made possible by so many people contributing to help–the Isaiah care, the food, the cleaning, the super fun yard work parties, errands run for us, the worship nights, Doug’s awesome work allowing him to take so much time off. We’ve had overnight baby care (thanks Mom!) for quiet restful nights and sleep-in mornings with lattes waiting for us when we get up. Oh yes. The list goes on and on and on. We are SO thankful.
I’m joyful, I just am. Really I think it comes down to 2 things.
1) Remaining thankful. Taking every moment to remind myself of all that God is doing, what He has done, and what He might continue to do through this. I have SO much to be thankful for, and things could always be much worse.
2) Hope. The truth is I am grieving. Mostly grieving the pain of those who will be affected by my death. Especially my husband, my sweet Isaiah, my parents, and beyond. This is the hardest part for me. It can feel crushing at times. Surrendering my own life is one thing, but surrendering two more precious lives, is entirely different.
BUT I am not without hope. My hope is in Jesus and the eternity we are promised when we accept Him. I KNOW I will see these lives again. I KNOW I will meet my Maker face to face! I KNOW life on the earth is just a breath in light of eternity, and death has no power over this soul!
I have fought this disease, this, pain, this potential hopelessness, every second of the way, but not without His grace. It has been through many ups and downs, tears, laughter, adventures, heartbreaks, but even overflowing happiness. He has not given me a spirit of defeat. I will be thankful and soaking up every day He chooses to give me, and I will also look forward to that beautiful day I get to walk into my Savior’s arms and be finally swallowed up by LIFE. The life we are designed for! 2 Cor. 5:4-7
So there it is. I am unafraid of death (although easy to squirm with all the unknowns of what that might look like), I but I know that He comforts in those moments, for myself, as well as everyone else. I am also unafraid of leaving my boys (although not without tears) because I don’t get to control their pain (whether I’m alive or not!) I have to fully surrender their journeys to the Lord, as I have had to do for my life over and over again for the past 6 years. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and am still doing on a minute by minute basis. 
But He is helping me. It is NOT by my own strength. It’s purely Jesus and the deep Truths He promises in His Word.
I hope this doesn’t sound trite. But I had to share. I’ve experienced the despair and hopelessness, but I have been freed from them.  A miracle. Totally His miracle. So if all I can do is share that reason and that hope with others, I will:) Always. A hundred times. It’s what makes this journey worth it.
Love to you all,

(All of Christina's blog is at christinaahmann.com)