Harder Family

Harder Family

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Update 1/31/24: Endurance

 James 1:2-4 “My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.”

Endurance is an interesting term. The definition is: the ability to withstand hardship or adversity, the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity-a marathon runner’s endurance; the act of an instance of enduring or suffering.

This definition reminds me of Hebrews 12:1   “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

The feeling of running a marathon is what many days feel like lately. We have to take one day at a time and have had to endure some very difficult tasks. If I dwell on things too long, I feel very overwhelmed. Matthew 6:34 rings so true! “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” It’s probably why I have not been consistent in posting updates. Some days feel so overwhelming, and it’s all I can do to just make it through the day.

I have been trying to find positive things to focus on when I start to feel down or discouraged. A few days ago, my friend sent me a sweet picture and text about Wayne, which encouraged me so much:

“Somethings been on my mind ….when u had posted on fb u were collecting memories or funny moments of Wayne…..and I think today my memory was created...I cried writing this-so I apologize in advance for making you cry!!  🤣🤣

This month I’m in the children’s wing working with two little boys who have special needs (high spectrum autism). Today when I was leaving that area I looked down toward the fellowship hall and there sat Wayne in his wheelchair alone, he & I exchanged waves. We headed to walk down and talk to Wayne. When I got down I said “are u waiting on ur ride”. He chuckled & said “it might come today!”  We both shared a laugh and I said “well….they may have figured u have wheels u could head on home”. He laughed and said “not in this weather, they will need to comeback and get me”. 🤣 then of course I see joella running to the van then she turns around and comes running in the church. Wayne looks at her and says “ummm u have the keys go start the car”. The look on her face of “really - I need to go back out in the cold” and then Wayne’s look on his face. We all just shook our heads and laughed. 

When I got home and got in FB I was looking at the pictures on the churches page which is something I do every Sunday when I get home from church. 

I came across this picture of Wayne…I immediately had this wave of emotions & tears. Standing on his 2 feet was a man, a son of God who has been given his life sentence of 3-6 months to live due to brain cancer lifting his voice, his heart, and his praise to Jesus!!!!  A man of God who in every waking moment of his journey, whether it’s a good day or a bad day, he praises & thanks God for every one of those moments. 

It makes me think, if I had to walk in his shoes would I do the same? I don’t know …. But what I do know is that I have the forever memory of a friend, a brother in Christ who fought and prayed that his journey would be an inspiration and bring others to Christ. A legacy of Christ’s love for us.  

It’s amazing how much one picture can speak to you or make you feel.  ❤️❤️❤️

I just needed to share this with you!”

Her words rang true in my mind. This is a picture of someone who is enduring and persevering! Someone who continues to praise and glorify God despite all the hard things he faces. This is a man who abides with Jesus. Abiding in Christ pictures a close relationship, an intimacy with Jesus, not just a superficial relationship. I truly believe that suffering and trials prove the genuineness of our faith!

As I was driving to radiation, this song came on and made me think of how Wayne and I endure each day. It is a total dependence on Jesus! There is no other way to face the difficult trials we have without Jesus by our side as He carries us.

Abide by Aaron Williams

Wayne Update: Wayne continues to remain stable and nothing much has changed. He has weekly therapies from home, which has been such a blessing. Anything we can do to help Wayne feel as normal as possible, we are doing. Wayne insisted on getting a few things in order this week. We had spent time working on his service, his burial plans, etc. This has been a rough week trying to balance his wishes and not getting too sad thinking about losing him. I am thankful for those who have walked along my side and helped me with these tasks. Once again, it’s only by God’s strength that I have been able to accomplish some of these tasks.

Visiting cemeteries and choosing a plot. Wayne also wants to be buried in a plain pine box. A very sweet friend of Wayne’s is making this for him.

Rebecca Update: Radiation has been much easier to endure then chemo, but it still hasn’t been easy. I have to travel daily to Lexington, which has been exhausting. Today, I completed 40% of my radiation treatments. I have had to celebrate the little things to get through the long six weeks. I decided to break down my radiation like I used to tackle my half marathons. Instead of focusing on how much I have left, I celebrate how much I have completed. Friday will be a long day of doctor appointments. I have radiation, blood work, meet with my oncologist, and then I have my next immunotherapy. 

Celebrating little things to enjoy: $3 chai tea after radiation on Thursday.

My dad and some friends have helped with some of my trips to radiation. It helps break up the monotony of traveling alone 5 days a week. 

We survived some cold days in KY. It reminded me of Chicago. Bo loved the snow.

Cuddling in bed with the two youngest. We got to enjoy a movie with them while the oldest were busy.

We love our counselor. She is such a blessing to our family and helps all of us navigate all this heavy stuff.

Micaela finally had her science fair. She did a great job and I’m proud of all her hard work. Once again, we learn something as a family that impacts us all. For example: Naomi did her science fair in hand dryers. Needless to say, we have never used a hand dryer since her experiment. Micaela’s science fair taught us that plant based cleaners are safe to use, but normal chemicals don’t appear to be safe for our health. 

Prayer Requests: 

- Wayne: please pray for Wayne as he continues his therapies and for us as we make decisions.

- Rebecca: continue to pray for my treatments that I continue to have minimal side effects and that this will kill all the cancer. Please also pray for me as I honor Wayne’s wishes and make some big, hard decisions. 

- Grace: please pray for Grace as she joins her team for the next 20 days as they serve in TN. She leaves Friday morning, so please pray for her safety.

- Kids: please continue to pray for them as we navigate all these hard things. 

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