I've mentioned before that Steven's cancer diagnosis on top of my sister, Alisa's, cancer recurrence has been hands down the hardest thing I've ever experienced. Watching people I love suffer? Hard. And wondering about the future? Well, I can't really go there in my mind too often, but when I do, it's a scary place.
The other night I was reading the Book of Mormon in Mosiah chapter 24. The story is of Alma whose people were enslaved and really suffering. They "pour out their hearts to [God] and he did know the thoughts of their hearts." God promises he will deliver them out of bondage and and "ease [their] burdens." The stuck out to me was later in verse 15: "And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."
This scripture struck a chord with me because I see that in my life. (Okay, I admit I'm still working on the cheerful and patient part.) The cancer is here--we have to go through treatments and surgery and all that it entails. But God has eased this burden for me and my family. He has strengthened us. Our trials are the same but somehow we are handling them.
I know a huge part of this is thanks to the faith, love, prayers and actions of people all around us. I am amazed at all of the thoughtful, generous, supportive things that people have said and done for us. I have shared very little of that side of the story here on the blog, but it has been a huge thing. Some things are big and some are small, all of it helps.
Many of you have commented on the beautiful quilt that a mom from Steven's school class made him. It is one of many kind gestures we see almost daily here. I wanted to share the words of encouragement that came with the quilt:
"All of us wish we could be with you all the time cheering you on and helping with the fight. We know we can't do that so we offer you our hands to hold you up and help lift your burden. Take this quilt with you to your treatments, read the memory block and remember the good times. We care and wish you well as you battle! On to VICTORY!"
That is how I feel about all the kindnesses that each of you has offered--you are lifting us up and making our burden lighter. You are cheering us on to victory. I think you would be hard pressed to find a more supportive family, group of friends, school, employer, and church congregation than we have.
So thank you. Every one of you. Even checking this blog helps. Steven can never believe it when he sees counter at the bottom of the blog. I tell him--people have thought of you that many times! And way more.
So thank you everyone. I have a whole new understanding of 'support'.