Sunday, December 4, 2011


Looming on my calendar: Dec. 11 and the words "First MRI day."

Dec. 11, 2007, was the day that Steve and I stood next to a radiologist in a dark room at Baylor Frisco and stared at an image showing a lesion in Steve's brain stem.

Since that day I have had a handful of breakdowns -- moments in which I was unable to function. These breakdowns lasted at most 20 minutes.

The first was just after Steve's biopsy, when the neurosurgeon explained to me and Steve's parents and brother that preliminary results indicated a grade IV glioblastoma, a diagnosis that offered very, very little hope. My sobs in the middle of an M.D. Anderson waiting room were uncontrollable.

The last (so far) was in the moments after Steve died. And a few hours later, when I woke from an involuntary nap and realized all over again that Steve had died.

I've made countless mistakes in the past four years. I've cried more days than I haven't. I've complained to the folks who I know don't mind listening to my complaints.

Still, I marvel at the strength that has propelled me through the past four years, more than half of it now without my person, my Steve, by my side.

It's strength that I know, without question, comes from God.

This morning I led my junior high Sunday school class through a lesson on prayer. We talked about the power of prayer, not in terms of what it moves God to do but what it moves us to do.

We talked about a two-way conversation with God, in which we pray and then listen for God's response.

Of my many prayers this week, one is thanksgiving for a never-ceasing supply of strength. Another is thanksgiving for God's steadfastness and consistency and endurance while we struggle with turmoil and tragedy and uncertainty.

I hope to do a better-than-usual job of waiting for God's reply.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
(Philippians 4:13)

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