About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finding Blessings

This past Sunday’s message was about understanding God’s blessings in our lives. Jim and I have been through many trials and heartaches through the years. It took a while, but something happened to me one day that changed my life and made me realize an attitude of gratitude is the essence of finding peace for the storms that life brings.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer December 22, 1995, had a mastectomy, and started aggressive chemotherapy a couple weeks later. Finally in August of 1996, my oncologist gave the approval for me to begin the first step of breast reconstruction. I was super excited, knowing this was the beginning of getting back to “normal” for me and the final stage of reconstruction would be done before my one year anniversary!

I went in for phrase one of reconstruction and a couple of days later, I began to experience pain in the calf of my left leg. The pain got worse and several times I had Jim massage the area, thinking it would help. By the time I went for my one week follow-up visit, the pain was so bad I could barely walk. The surgeon sent me to a vascular surgeon and he immediately sent me to the hospital. Long story short... I had a blood clot in the calf of my leg. If it broke loose, it could cause a pulmonary embolism which more often than not, is fatal! The surgeon, nurses and everyone involved in my care were shocked when they learned we had been massaging the area where the clot was, greatly increasing the changes of it breaking loose and going straight to my lung.

The next day the surgeon came in and explained my course of treatment, a week in the hospital with lots of needle sticks (something I absolutely hate), six months of taking the blood thinner, Coumadin, and of course, no elective surgery. Bottom line, final phrase of my reconstruction was on hold. My plans to have all this completed within a year from diagnosis just went out the door. In other words, MY PLANS were just not going according to MY Plan!

To add insult to injury, I was missing Brandon and Chance’s first day of school. It might seem trivial to some, but to me it was a huge deal not being there to walk them to the bust stop, or be home when they came in from school, something I had looked forward to with all four of my kids.

So what do you do when you’re been through so much, thought you were at the end of a trying time, and things just took a downhill turn? I threw myself a big pity party and the more I thought about it the madder I got. I had been through enough and now this??? I stewed in my anger and cried and cried some more. And then, for lack of a better term, I felt like God slapped me in the face, as I heard a still small voice say, “Molly, you’ve yet to thank me that you’re alive!” And then it hit me. My focus was on everything I didn’t like about the situation, not giving the first thought as to how blessed I was! Not only had I beaten breast cancer, but I had just survived a life threatening situation, one that could easily have taken my life. And, because I had survived, Brandon and Chance knew they had a mom that would be back home soon. I started thanking God for every blessing that I could think of, and as I did my heart felt like a huge boulder had been lifted off. The more I thanked Him, the more aware I became of how blessed I was, and my problems became smaller and smaller in size.

That day in the hospital was a turning point for me. I started looking back and finding blessings in situations that I once saw as hopeless. It prepared me as the future brought more heartaches and trials into my life. Some deep wounds took me places I never thought I could go as I learned forgiveness, unconditional love, and tolerance. Even Jim’s battle with cancer brought me a renewed and deeper love for him than ever before! Though it all, I’ve come to realize that there has been a blessing from everything that I have gone through. More often than not, it’s been after the storm that I have found them and it’s with amazement as I see how God worked it all for my good. One of my favorite things Pastor Aaron said on Sunday is that God’s blessings on our lives are in perfect timing for our life. Looking back, I couldn’t agree more!