2016 Has Been a Cruel, Devastating Year for My Family. But We Still Have Thanks

BY: - 1 Dec '16 | Faith

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The minute people start stringing Christmas lights, you can’t help but reflect on the past year.

In 2016, we lost Muhammad Ali and Prince, my family lost three members to cancer and Trump is our President Elect. So when my mother was also diagnosed with cancer a little over a month ago, it was hard to respond with any additional shock. We were emotionally floored for sure, but if 2016 didn’t teach us anything else, it’s that no matter what happened today, you still have to wake up the next morning— if you’re lucky enough to wake up at all.

As with millions of us going through our own personal milestones, it’s easy to find reasons not to be thankful as we descend into the holidays. Time, like cancer, is relentless—and doesn’t give a damn about your feelings.

We remained optimistic.

My mother moved in with my family this summer after her husband, my step-father, passed away from cancer not even a year after his diagnosis. I was happy to have her close in her new home during such a devastating announcement. Her oncologist said she needed immediate surgery, and her planned trip to Thailand right after Thanksgiving would need to be postponed. Everything took a backseat to her health.

We remained optimistic.

Procedurally, the first surgery went well. Our oncologist said he wanted to go in aggressively, and if he was successful, my mother may not need radiation or chemotherapy. She had a rough recovery from the procedure at home with some new temporarily attached medical equipment she had to haul around the house until doc said otherwise. Less than a week after the procedure, her doctor was amazed at her how well her 70-year-old body was healing, but he also told us the procedure was not a success. He suggested another, more radical procedure to cut out and remove the cancer, and it would need to be done immediately to prevent spreading. She agreed to go under again.

We remained optimistic.

She spent days in the hospital, and continued her recovery at home. She was doped up with doctor’s orders to not do absolutely anything except keep herself clean while recovering. It was rough. She had more equipment attached to her. It might as well have been a weighted ball and chain for someone so active and full of life.

This year, our Thanksgiving feast, cooked and enjoyed by our family members was extra special. Even in the midst of a challenging 2016, we all cooked a dish. Even our 5-year-old made fresh cranberry sauce. We laughed more often than usual; there were more hugs. Only six of us around the table, and the house overflowed with gratitude.

We remain thankful.

Two days prior to our perfect 2016 feast, my mother’s oncologist told us the most recent results showed she was 100 percent cancer-FREE. No more surgeries, no chemo, no radiation, no pills after she heals from the surgery.

We remain thankful for the will to live and persevere. Thankful for the opportunity to make new memories. Thankful for medical professionals and their service to humanity. Thankful for our loved ones we still have. Thankful to have more time. She’s relentless.

 

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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4 Prayers for Peace in Your Marriage When It Hits Hard Times

BY: - 2 Dec '16 | Faith

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Peace is something we all need. I know I don’t want to live life with a bunch of arguing, fussing and fighting. I don’t want to live with worry, sadness or depression. All these things rob you of peace. If you are anything like me, peace is an essential part of the marriage relationship. The four short prayers here are all about talking to God and making confession over the peace in your marriage relationship (each place you see a blank insert your spouse’s name).

  1. Lord, I pray for your peace to rule richly in my marriage and in my home. You said in your Word that the peace you give passes all understanding. I receive that peace right now. I choose to let the peace of Christ rest in my heart. As the peace of Christ rest in my heart, it will extend to my marriage.

Scripture: Colossians 3:15; John 14:27

  1. Father, all the circumstances and emotional upheaval that cause us anger, bitterness, frustration and hurt, I turn them over to you, and I promote peace in my marriage. You are a God of peace and not a God of disorder. In Proverbs, it says that those who promote peace receive joy. When things are looking crazy, it is the peace that transcends all understanding that will maintain joy in our marriage.

Scripture: Proverbs 12:20; Philippians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 14:33

  1. Peace is a blessing, and it belongs to us. You, our Heavenly Father, have granted _________________ and I this good and perfect gift. We are filled with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Because of these fruits, we remain on one accord not allowing the cares of the world to disrupt our peace.

Scripture: James 1:17; Galatians 5:22-23; Psalm 29:11

  1. My marriage is a refuge and a safe place. I do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, I repay evil with blessing because I want the words of my mouth to be acceptable in your sight. I dwell with ____________________ according to wisdom. I ask that you continue to increase that wisdom as we continue to lift our marriage up before you.

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:9; Psalm 19:14; James 1:5

Praying for peace is outstanding, but we must do more than pray. We must put action behind our prayers. We pray in faith believing what we pray. Then we act because faith without works (or action) is dead. Actions that line up with our prayer will cause us to grow. Continue praying these four prayers and add in some patience, a little love and a kind word. That’s what I’m going to do.

Listen, when you begin to pray over the peace in your marriage, it may feel like everything is coming against you. Don’t give up. Stand through the challenge. Declare and decree what is yours, and walk in the peace that passes all understanding. The peace that already belongs to you. Take hold of it, and don’t let go.

BMWK what prayers do you pray for peace in your marriage?

About the author

Deborah L. Mills wrote 183 articles on this blog.

Coach, AUTHOR, Speaker, WIFE, Mom, and GRANDMOTHER. That's the gist of who I am. I love people and love to see their life and relationships thrive. As a coach I am ready to support your dream when you don't feel like it. As an author and speaker I am ready to pour into your life so that you can live your best life now. I am a personal and executive coach. Together with my husband I also marriage coach. GO TO MY WEBSITE. THERE IS A FREE GIFT THERE WAITING FOR YOU. http://bit.ly/2deborahlmills

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