Tomorrow will be two weeks since we first received the news. Two weeks of ups and downs, of highs and lows, of thinking good things and bad things.
My prairie woman remains strong and hopeful, buoyed by her faith and family, her inner strength giving others strength, her outer calm relaying a message to those that love her that all will be well.
We've both been uplifted by small things. A reassuring hug and confident prayer given by our priest last week. A snail mail note sent by someone at the church who beat this same diagnosis some years ago. Quick words of encouragement from family and friends at opportune times.
We've also been carried by much bigger things. Being told repeatedly by members of the RCIA leadership team that they're praying for us. Scheduling to meet our priest on Tuesday for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Meeting Christ in Holy Communion and asking Him for healing as His cells meet our own in the mystery that is the Eucharist.
It's all so interesting and personally awe-inspiring given that less than two years ago, we were in essence homeless spiritually. No church to draw strength from, no church to call home, no body of believers from which to be comforted or consoled.
Yet today, facing what is undoubtedly the biggest challenge of our lives, we belong to a body that acts as if we've been there all along.
I write this post for a variety of reasons.
One, to give folks a bit of an update. Two, to let people know we continue to covet your prayers (and to express here and now how much we appreciate them). But really, in the end, I write this to encourage those of you who aren't connected to a local body of believers to get connected.
Some of you may be feeling like you don't belong. Some of you might be facing challenges and trials that are scary, even paralyzing. Not belonging while facing frightening stuff is just something I can't fathom dealing with.
Find a body. Christ is there. My preference is a Catholic church where literally Christ's presence is real and tangible but I'm a little biased.
Bottom line is don't face these things alone.
Belong... and know hope.