Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
~ Psalm 103:2-4
Let me state the obvious…it’s Thanksgiving week. I have been following a lot of friends on facebook who are posting each day this month something they’re especially grateful for. I thought about joining them, but knew I probably wouldn’t follow through. So I decided to just enjoy everyone else’s posts and save myself the guilt of not accomplishing yet another task on my to-do list.
But today I want to share something from my heart that I’m especially grateful for.
A little over a year ago, on October 25th, 2011, my dad had surgery for lung cancer. We didn’t know what the outcome would be and were very concerned because he’d smoked for 50 years prior to his quitting 12 years ago. (Yes, that means he was eight when he started smoking!) He also has leukemia. Thank goodness it’s the best kind you can have, according to his doctor. But it was still another factor to consider when looking at his treatment.
As my whole family and many friends sat in the waiting room and prayed for my dad during the surgery, I was overwhelmed by the love shown to us. There were many phone calls checking on dad’s progress and assuring us of their continued prayers, lots of visitors giving hugs, and even an especially thoughtful gift given by the ladies from my church of a goodie bag filled with fruit, candy, bottled water and a Chick-fil-a giftcard. They didn’t want us to have to worry about finding change for the vending machines. That right there is a ministry in itself for those sitting hours in a hospital waiting room. It comforted me and my family to know others cared enough to take time out of their day to minister to us.
After a very long surgery we were relieved when the doctor came out with good news. He felt they had gotten all the cancer and it was confined to one lung. They took out a large portion of that lung and said it would take him a full year to regain most of his strength.
Several weeks later it was confirmed that he was completely cancer free and wouldn’t need any chemo or radiation .We were amazed by God’s grace and mercy.
It was hard during the last year to watch Daddy go from being a strong and healthy man to one who was weak and struggled to walk any amount of distance without getting winded. But now he is strong again, back to doing all of the yard work and carpentry he has always loved.
The past year has been a difficult one for our family, especially my mom. Other than dealing with my dad’s cancer, last March her only brother died unexpectedly and less than two months after that her mother passed away. So I’m sure this upcoming holiday season will be difficult.
But we are grateful for those who are still with us, especially my dad. I know it could have gone the other way, and I praise God that He’s not finished with Daddy yet.
So this Thanksgiving I want to say how grateful I am to God for my dad’s recovery and also for all of the loving friends and family who have supported us over this last year. You are definitely a special blessing to our family. May God bless all of you with a bountiful Thanksgiving, full of His love and grace.