Friday, March 22, 2013

Ever Been to Schlitterbahn?

Have you ever been to Schlitterbahn? It is an awesome water park with slides and rivers full of twists and turns. The first time we took our twin boys, they were about eight years old. As a mom, I was hyper-vigilant about where they were at all times. I knew that once we got onto some of the water rides there would be places where we would be at the mercy of the water. If we got separated, getting back together would be a challenge. I also knew that there were places where the rides would fork and one direction would send you to the river, while the other kept you in the park. As we would climb to the top of the rides, we would have a decision to make about what slide to take, but once we committed to that slide, the rest was beyond our control.

I have been thinking a lot about that experience today. It is a pretty good illustration of how I feel today as we head back home from MD Anderson. When we climbed to the top of this ride back in January, we had to choose what "slide" to take. We decided that we would go with the one doctors advised. And "itza doozie". We grabbed our floatation devices and got on. Now, three months later, we are on a ride full of dips and turns that we do not control. We underwent major surgery to remove tumors from my chest, we took a steep drop as we discovered in surgery there are many more that could not be reached. We quickly whirled around a curve to begin six rounds of Power Aid (chemo to those who are confused). Our heart rates elevated when we heard the news that we will only have to endure four rounds right now because we are seeing a good response. Then whoosh, today we learned that because of that great response we will  face another swift drop in six weeks to surgically remove anything we can that remains. Following that twisting turn, we will enter a tunnel, that for now,  is too dim to see. Ups, downs, twists, turns, holding our breath, squeezing our eyes shut, sometimes wanting to scream --there is no getting off, no speeding it up, only finishing the ride.

Back to Shlitterbahn. As my little boys would climb to the tops of the watersides sometimes their courage would waiver. They would want to climb back down. Their chins would quiver when they realized there was no turning back now. I would remind them how we had been on other water slides and it had all turned out great. I would recall with them about the experiences where we'd splashed through to the end. I'd take their hand and we'd climb into the inner-tubes together and then we would scream and laugh our way to the bottom. It reminds me of the verse in Psalm 105:5 that says, "Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgements He has pronounced. " When we recalled the wonders we had seen, the future did not seem so scary. As I stand ready for the next twists and turns of this ride,  I remember what God had done so far. He has delivered me through physical trials. He has healed my wounds. He has allowed me to see His love in ways I could not have imagined. He has let me to know the love and comfort of family, friends, and even strangers, in ways that most people never have the privilege of seeing. I will not fear my future. I have such a wealth of evidence from my past that I will be okay. I am grabbing my inner-tube and screaming and laughing my way through this ride! I will remember the wonders He has done and watch for the next miracle that lies around the corner! Viva La Schlitterbahn!!!

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