Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, February 11, 2022

7 Year Miracle

Psalm 145:5-7 "I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness." 

It is hard to believe that we have reached the seven year anniversary of Wayne's grand Mal seizure, which revealed a lemon size cancerous tumor in his head. The picture below shows the missing piece of his brain they had to remove because of the tumor.

This day is always filled with so many emotions. Our children's lives were forever changed that day. We were talking about some big feelings with our youngest two kids and we realized that their entire childhood, that they can remember, has been with the reality of Wayne's cancer. But even with all the hard that we have gone through, the thing that blesses our hearts the most is to see that this trial has not driven our children away from the Lord, but closer to the Lord. It's very true that in the hardest storms, you learn to trust your true anchor, Jesus. He is the only one that has sustained us through the good, the bad, and everything in between. 

I am not the same person I was seven years ago...but that is a good thing. You can see on this blog post how we reflected on God's goodness. I have learned to trust our big God with the hard and difficult things of life. I know that God is the one who holds our timeline in His hands. If it is my time to go, then I'll die. If it isn't my time to go, then God will keep me going. We see that clearly in Wayne's life. God isn't done with Him and He has a plan that is bigger then the doctor's life expectancy chart. He's so far out now that he is an outlier on the bell curve!  

I've also discovered that stepping out in obedience to whatever God is calling you to do is such a blessing. It can be scary to take the first step off the cliff, but the amazing journey you get to take with God when you radically obey Him is unlike anything else. The key is trusting God with everything. Believe me, I have not arrived at that at all, but I am so much better at trusting now then I was seven years ago. Each trial gives me the opportunity to put my faith and trust into action. 

I think the biggest struggle on this anniversary is trying to understand why Wayne and not others? We have lost so many godly men and women to this awful cancer and it just breaks our hearts. It's in these moments that we have to step back and just trust God's plan. We may not understand it this side of heaven, but God knows what He is doing. 

As we celebrate this seven year anniversary, we are super excited that during the first week of March, our family is going to be blessed by Inheritance of Hope with a retreat in Florida. We were supposed to go March of 2020, but COVID came along and disrupted everyone's lives. I first heard about Inheritance of Hope (IOH) from my friend Amy, who lost her husband to brain cancer. Their family attended a retreat with IOH and she said it was the most amazing thing. In March of 2020, we attended the first virtual retreat that IOH has ever hosted, since our in-person retreat was canceled. Everything IOH does has such purpose and meaning! We were blessed by the family activities they had us do that helped us work through some of the emotions of having a parent with a terminal illness. 

Not only did they help the kids start to process some big feelings, but they taught us to make the most of every day with our family....to make memories. That is a gift that every family should learn, regardless of your health. 

The friendships and relationships that have been developed through IOH are unbelievable. The kids are part of teen groups that meet together for game nights. I attend, when I remember, a support group for people with GBM and their spouses. It is comforting to be able to talk with others who totally get the fears, worries, and all the hard that comes with this diagnosis. 

We cannot wait to meet the IOH team in person and give them huge hugs! Abigail was so blessed by IOH that she has now served on three IOH e-retreats. She called me the other day very excited because she was selected to serve at an upcoming in person retreat later this year. She is using her hard trial with her dad to bless other families experiencing the same kind of trial. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."

In the next few days, Lord willing, I will post again with updates. I have not been very good at blogging. These kids keep us super busy. Thank you for all the years that so many of you have been praying for us. You do not know how deeply we appreciate each and every one of you and your prayers. Keep them coming!     

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