Harder Family

Harder Family

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Update 6/4/23: Struggling

 Job 13:15a (ESV) "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him."

The past few days have been extra hard, especially the last 24 hours. I have cried more in the past few days then in a long time. It has been painful not only because of Wayne, but because we learned about a young lady from our youth group, that we worked with when we were first married, has stage 3 breast cancer. She has two young kids and my heart is just breaking for them. I also learned that a family that was part of an online retreat on which I served, the dad entered hospice for his brain cancer. 

I have cried out to God many times that this is just too much and I can't take one more step. In those dark, overwhelming moments, God shows up in big ways. Many times, a worship song comes to my mind. My playlist on my phone consists of many songs that help me worship God and remember who He is because I need my attention redirected to Him. Although I'm reading my Bible, music is what reaches my soul the deepest these days and it ministers to my soul. 

One song that I play quite frequently is "Though You Slay Me" by Shane & Shane. I was reading the background for the inspiration of the song. He describes being in the hospital with him mom when they discovered that his dad had died. She hyperventilated from the great pain and loss. As he held on to his mom as she cried and wailed, she sang softly the words of Job 1:21 "He gives, He takes, blessed be the name of the Lord." He said she vocalized her deep trust in God even in the midst of the worst pain and loss. From this encounter, the words of the song were written.

We see this same praise come out of Job's mouth in the midst of his terrible loss. He says in Job 13:15, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." I like the way David Mathis described it on Desiring God. He wrote, "By no means does such praise mean the pain is lessened. The hurt is every bit as real. But such a supernaturally inspired testimony to God does testify, Even as great as this pain is, God is greater."

This is where I have to put my focus and my trust. God is greater than the pain that I am experiencing and the hardships that we are facing. The chorus of the song plays through my head many days and nights.

Though You slay me

Yet I will praise You

Though You take from me

I will bless Your name

Though You ruin me

Still I will worship

Sing a song to the One who's all I need 

Wayne has been struggling the past few days. Although the weekend should have been a chance for his body to rest from the radiation break, it appears that the swelling from the treatment is affecting him greatly. Wayne has fallen at least five times in the last four days and even had a seizure last night, despite being on steroids and other natural inflammation reducers. I am trying not to worry, but the thought of five straight days of radiation on his already weak body frightens me. I don't know how to even write and explain what it is like to see you once strong husband struggling to walk across a room or lift his hand to brush his teeth. It is devastating to watch and our little girls are starting to have some big feelings with what they are seeing. 

Thankfully, Wayne is 8/15 done with radiation and 12/21 with chemo. Today we watched church online since Wayne was not up for walking across the street to church. Previous times for radiation, I would drop Wayne off and drive around until he was done since the appointments are so short. This week, I will park and take Wayne in each day to help prevent any falls. It is a struggle to balance being stubborn, to keep fighting and not give up, but also admitting you need help. I cannot imagine how hard it is for him. Last time was super rough. I had to help Wayne get back into bed a few times, and one of the times, I pulled a muscle in my lower back. It was a great reminder to me that I have to see his legs as weights and use proper form helping him to prevent myself from getting injured. It's just hard to remember when it is 2:30am and you just want to get back in bed.

In the midst of all the hard, we continue to try to make memories and have some fun. Another funny statement from Wayne occurred around 1:30am on Thursday. I was helping get his legs into bed and pulled the covers up. I accidentally pulled them up too far. Wayne said, "It's covering my breathing apparatus!" I responded, "You mean your nose?" We had a good laugh at that one.

Thursday morning, we took Joella out for an early birthday breakfast. Her birthday isn't until the end of the month, but she really likes a restaurant in IL, so we took her out. It may just be Wayne’s favorite too? Does 3 trips in 6 weeks suggest that he loves it?😂

Friday afternoon, Wayne and I took time to create another legacy video with Inheritance of Hope. Since they offered to do one, I jumped on the chance to make another video with Wayne. I know that it will be very special to the kids as they get older. It was another great experience and we loved working with Peggy on the video. Peggy, although we’ve never met in person yet, has been such a blessing to our family. She met up with some of my kids at Liberty when they all visited. Once again, IOH has blessed us with so many godly friends and connections!

Speaking of Inheritance of Hope connections, last week Naomi traveled to Indiana to surprise her friend Sarah, who she met on our IOH retreat, at her play. I was so thankful that Naomi had a chance to get away and just enjoy being a teenager with a sweet Christian family. God’s timing is always perfect. The friends and connections our family made last year on our IOH retreat have been so helpful to all of them as we have navigated the last few difficult months. 

Later on Saturday afternoon, I visited my friend Angela's house to see her son Howard off to prom. Prom is treated as a monumental moment in some cultures of Chicago. It was such a privilege to be invited as part of the family for this event, which included a throne. A friend told me that another prom send off had a helicopter! Angela and I have been friends for over 13 years. Her kids are very special to me and I loved getting to see them all. We did homeschool classes together, numerous field trips, and just spent a lot of time together hanging out. It was fun remembering all the good times we spent together. It’s not okay that they are all getting so old!

On Saturday morning, the kids were able to help at our old church with getting some decorations made for VBS. I love how the body of Christ works. We have felt right back at home with our friends and family in Chicago. It has been a weird place to be...feeling at home with our church family from Chicago, but also missing our church family in KY. I know we will all go through some mourning again when we have to leave everyone behind again.

Saturday afternoon, Sophia took someone at church up on a challenge. Remember the 37 scoops of ice cream 8 of us ate last week? Sophia and her friend said they could eat the 37 scoops in 10 minutes. If they could do that, they would get it for free, but if they lost, they had to pay for their own ice cream. They managed to do it with about 40 seconds left. Sophia said the roof of her mouth is still sore from freezing it yesterday. You can enjoy the pre-competition and post-competition interviews.

I had signed up months ago to do a CluedUpp Game in Lexington with some friends. It was yesterday and I was not able to participate. Thankfully, my friends continued on with attending the event. They spent the morning running around downtown Lexington following clues. They came in 14th place! They Facetimed me and let me know that they were the only team that actually decided to dress up. The CluedUpp Game's theme was Beauty and the Beast. I think their costumes were great (the phone has a picture of me, but you can’t see it). 

Finally, I love the way God moves and connects people at different times. I have been doing a lot of research the past two weeks on CBD related products for Wayne. I have found some great articles that suggested that different blends of products could help with not only his symptoms, but also possibly with his cancer. But this world of medicine is new and full of terms I don't understand. God was able to open some doors for me to speak with people who are either growers or scientists who work with the product. After radiation tomorrow, I will be driving to a local farm to speak with someone who is supposed to be very knowledgeable on this subject. They have been a great source for a friend and her husband, who also has cancer. It is amazing that God used someone from my old Bible study years ago, to help provide me with a solution for a problem now. 

Prayer Requests:

- Please pray that God gives Wayne's body the strength it needs this week to get through the next five days of radiation.

- Pray that Wayne is flexible with the doctors if they decide to temporarily raise his dex to help with the swelling. He is adamantly against raising the dex, but I also can't keep up with his weakness if it gets worse.

- Pray for peace, strength, wisdom, and patience for me as I help Wayne as his caregiver.

- Wisdom and discernment as I speak with different people about alternative treatment options - to know which way to proceed.

- Please pray for our children, especially Joella who is struggling a lot. 

- Pray for Naomi as she travels to IL on Tuesday

No comments:

Post a Comment