Branches

Writing has always been therapeutic for me, but somehow during this season of life I find myself at a loss for words. So often I try to write and find there’s no way to articulate all the emotion that I feel. I never knew it was possible to feel such a vast array of emotions all at the same time. Over the course of any given day I feel sadness, I feel anger, and I feel fear. But I also feel joy, I feel peace, and I feel thankful. Somehow even though the world around me, my world, is spinning violently out control I am able to have moments of joy and peace and thanksgiving. And that is nothing short of the grace of God.

I’m learning that there is a blessing that comes from stopping to be thankful. That blessing is joy and peace. When I stop in the midst of this horror long enough to be thankful for her life, to be thankful that she exists, the Lord is faithful to bring me joy. When I stop worrying about what the next 15 months of this journey will bring, how sick she’ll get and if the cancer will ever really be gone, long enough to be thankful that she didn’t feel sick TODAY, He’s faithful to provide peace.

We woke up this morning to a fallen tree on our roof. It had snapped close to the base and fallen over the top of the kids play set and the top of it was laying on the roof. A closer look revealed that it hadn’t snapped completely from the base of the tree and every few minutes we could hear “naps” and “pops” as it broke off a little more. An even closer look revealed that the only reason it hadn’t fallen more, quite possibly breaking through our dining room window and definitely taking out the play set, was because it had been caught by a small branch from another tree that was still holding it up. That tiny branch was, infact, what was keeping the entire tree from breaking.

Seeing the branch helped me put my day into perspective. I was angry the tree had fallen in the first place. It hadn’t stormed at all last night and there seemed to be no logical prompting to it. Secondly, Kendrick had to take another unpaid day off work to deal with it. Plus, we were out the expense of our insurance deductible. Seriously? There wasn’t even any wind last night. No wind.

But then I realized, if I took my focus off the tree and instead placed it on the branch, everything changed. I was so thankful for that branch. I know that insurance would have covered the damage, but how much would our lives be inconvenienced by the repairs. What if we had lost our comfy weekend at home before we depart for another week of chemo because of all the repairs required. And who’s to say it would have been a straight shot anyway, what if it had veered left and went into Carter’s room. I was suddenly so thankful for the branch, I didn’t care about the tree.

And that’s the way I’m trying to do life with cancer too. If all I do is concentrate on it, it will take me down as it spins my life violently out of control. So I’m thankful for what we have in the midst of it. Izzy’s hair started falling out this week. She’s in a wedding this weekend and she wanted to still have her hair for it. She doesn’t and the other girls will. But I celebrate that when I handed her a pair of scissors and let her take control of the situation she never looked back. I told her “If anyone’s going to take away your hair it will be you. We won’t give that to cancer”. And the whole time she did it she laughed saying she was “making her own hair fall out”.

She has to take an antibiotic twice a day and rinse out with mouth wash six times a day. That’s not fair. And it’s only just begun. We argue back and forth about whether she should do it in one big drink or tiny sips. Last night she looked at me and waved the syringe in my face and said “The only way I can fight cancer is one sip at a time”. I nearly cried tears of joy. She gets it. And better yet, she’s fighting.

These are the branches that keep my focus off the tree. I pray that God gives me the grace to continue to see them. The tree is huge. It clearly has the potential to destroy everything around with it’s massive impact. But the branches have the potential to soften the blow.

15 thoughts on “Branches

  1. Molly – Randy and I were talking about your branch. Izzy is the tree….one day she’s strong and healthy. Then…..cancer! That awful disease. The branch is the prayers of everyone who loves her and are holding her up! Lord, let us all be branches for Izzy.

  2. Beautiful post. Perspective does change so much of how we face our trails and daily life. I wish I could meet sweet strong Izzy. I pray my children will grasp that kind of strength and fighting spirit.

  3. Molly- I loved reading this. What a great way to view those difficult times. Praying for your sweet little daughter and your family.

    Tracey (Tuterow) Lawrence

  4. Your writing is so beautiful Molly. And wow, what an amazing outlook you have on all of these situations. You are truly inspiring and not a day goes by that I’m (we’re) not thinking about and praying for you, Izzy, Carter and Kendrick.

  5. Wow…what an amazing perspective you have, and it’s so true! Sometimes it’s not the BIG picture that you have to look at, its the small little details that are the most important, the ones that need focused on right now. I’m glad for the branches in your life..may they always hold you up! 🙂

  6. There is so much truth in what you have written!!! Thanks for sharing and encouraging us and I pray our prayers will continue to encourage and lift you up!!! Fight on!

  7. Good golly Miss Molly [sorry, had to say it :)] I don’t know where you get the words, the strength, well, I could just go on and on……you are amazing!! Your daughter is amazing!!! I check this website daily to read about what is going on and am always truly amazed at your posts. I thank you Lord for the branches. The world is blessed to have Molly, Kendrick, Izzy and Carter in it!

  8. Perspective is everything…From Little Izzy realizing where she is at with the cancer to the little branch holding teh larger tree. God gives us all we need, all we need to do is open our eyes and hearts to see it. Molly, your perspective is right on. Batteling an illness is about taking life as it comes and yes there is a choice, to let the illness win and controll ones life or take controll of the illness and live life. Many blessings to your family, we continue to pray.

  9. Wonderful words. Thank you for sharing.

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for the branches in our lives, we know they are your grace. And thank you for the trees. For if there were not trees, there would not be branches. As much as we hate Izzy’s “tree”, we know you are with her every step of the way. And we praise you as we wait for her healing.
    Lord, I ask you now to heal Izzy’s body. By the reserrecting power of Jesus Christ heal her body dear Lord. Please be with her mother and father as they learn to cope in this new normal. Bring peace and calmness to your children. Amen

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