Sunday, April 5, 2009

From my heart...

In an absolute effort to be 100% transparent with you, dear blog readers, I have to confess something to you. For the last month now I have struggled with many trials and have shared a few of them with you, but have also "held back" a few of them and kept them close to my heart.


That is not something that I normally do...well, not something that I normally do anymore. After wearing a "mask" for 5 years as a Pastor's wife and Pastor at a mega church I have actively pursued being a "speak the truth in love" "what you see is what you get" kind of girl. I no longer have that desire to wear the mask and want to live an authentic life with passionate purpose to tell the world about Him.

In doing that it requires me to be transparent through the good times and the bad times. Let's face it, it would be nice to come around and get pumped up, encouraged, and pat on the back every time you come here to Mel's World (and for the most part I try to do that), but there's also the reality that life is and can be hard at times. For me, this has been a very rough season. Granted, there is always JOY on the journey, but there's also been a lot of pain and sadness along the way.

My hope, is that by sharing this with you then you will see that we need each other. We need to pray for each other, we need to love each other, and we need to give grace to each other freely.

Acts 20:24 NLT ~ But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

About a month ago my mother (she's 57) went to the doctor because she found a spot on her breast. We truly didn't think it was much of anything other than a cyst or something, but the doctor decided to go ahead and do a biopsy. The results came back that it was Breast Cancer. Mom had the lump removed in mid-March and the surgeon was optimistic that since she had caught it early, her lymph nodes were clear that since it was small and contained that she would not have to have chemotherapy.

We knew she would probably have to have radiation, but when she met with the oncologist to review her pathology reports they said the type of cancer she has is very aggressive and that they would indeed need to put her on chemo.
The same day my mom found out that she had breast cancer my grandmother (she's 86) found out that she has bone marrow cancer. The crazy thing is that up until this point there has not been a single person in our family that has had any cancer (and there are over 140 of us in Kentucky).

Needless to say there were some very dark and scary days in and around my family. For a couple of days I just cried and sought God through it, then on about the third day after we found all this out I decided to just get mad. Mad at the situation, mad that cancer had hit my mom and my grandmother, and just mad that I let myself sink into despair for two whole days.

After that I decided that I would claim victory over my family and would pick up the armor of God and prepare for battle.

Romans 8:37 NLT ~ No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

I know that this is just the beginning of this battle, and I know that there will be days when the battle is going to be long and hard, but I also know that He has prepared me (and my family) for this battle.

Psalm 35:2 NLT ~ Put on your armor, and take up your shield. Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be an armor bearer for my mom and will shout from the rooftops the goodness and grace of God the Father to any and all who will listen to me. There is a reason that God has chosen my mom (and family) for this battle and we will not go into it without being securely settled in the palm of His hands.

So, dear friends of Mel's World, this is where you come in. I am asking that you would join me in prayer for my mom (Regina) and grandmother (Mary) as they prepare for their battle. Mom starts her chemo this Friday (Good Friday) and is going to have 4 months of chemo followed by 4 months of radiation.

I'm asking for your prayers. I'm asking for you to join me in prayer for my mom, grandmother, and so many other women that are dealing with breast cancer right this very minute.

Matthew 18:20 NLT ~ For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.

You see, there is POWER in prayer, and I know that miracles happen when God's people pray. Join me on this journey, would you? Over the next couple of months I will be blogging, twittering, and checking in periodically to let you know how the journey is going, and while we walk forward on this journey I would love to ask for you to bathe mom and grandma in your prayers.

Also...I know that many of you have loved ones that are dealing with cancer right now as well. I'd love to join YOU in prayer for them as well. If you or someone you love is dealing with Breast Cancer, Bone Marrow Cancer, or any other cancer for that matter, please leave a comment with their name and your specific prayer request for them.

When we are done, my hope is that we will have blanketed this planet with prayers for our family, friends, and loved ones. One day we WILL see a cure and I know that when we do there will be celebrating in the streets because of it.

Matthew 21:22 NIV ~ If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Pray believing WITH me, would you? Thank you for being on the journey with me!

Seeking JOY on the Journey,


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25 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Beth in NC 8:52 PM  

Oh Melissa, I'm so sorry. I know how you feel. My daddy has cancer. I grieved and was angry when it first happened too. I understand.

I do pray God brings complete healing to your Mom and Grandmother. I also pray God brings great peace to you as you watch your precious family members fight this attack.

Keep us posted.

Love!
Beth

Debbie 8:57 PM  

Oh Mel, I'm so glad you didn't keep this to yourself and instead felt comfortable enough with your blogging friends to share your heart. I will join you in praying for your mom and grandmother. You know, your mom is only one year older than me! That hits home. I've also had many of my friends who have been impacted by breast cancer.

I did a guest post last year for The Pink Ribbon Review, which is a b5media blog about breast cancer. I will see if I can find their link to send to you and also I know I have a copy of the post I can send to you. My aunt was also diagnosed last year with breast cancer but is doing very well. She's on tamoxifen and tolerating it well.

Please know that you're not alone. I'm glad to walk alongside you and pray for your family. Remember Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Trust this situation fully to the Father who loves you and cares about you.

Mari 9:17 PM  

I'll be praying for your Mom and Grandma. You may remember that I lost a sister-in-law to breast cancer about 6 months ago so this is close to my heart.

Just Mom 9:40 PM  

Of course, I'll pray. :-D

btw ... I find it interesting that you found your strength after the third day. Sound like any One we know?
:-D

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend 12:12 AM  

Melissa,

I am so sorry. Will be praying for your family.

I love your blog and your sweet honesty.


Hope you will stop by my blog again soon.

I am going to have a "card box" giveaway every month. This drawing will be the last day of April. Every comment you leave throughout the month will enter your name in the drawing, so if you visit several times and leave several comments, you will have a better chance to win.
This NEW blogger was so touched by all the comments I got on the Blog Party, that I decided to make this a monthly GIFT...
Also, if you link to my blog telling about the monthly giveaway, you will have your name entered 10 extra times...How is that for an incentive?
I was so blown away by all the responses that I wanted to email each person personally, but TIME... just has not permitted..but I did love reading all of them..I am continuing to introduce my family members and then there will be some fun blogs coming up from Disney World in May.
I am so thankful for all my new friends.

A Stone Gatherer 5:05 AM  

I will be praying! My sister's sister in law Julie has breast cancer! She is a hard woman who isn't really fighting it! Pray for Kam (my sister) to have opportunities to speak with her about Christ!

Praise and Coffee 9:26 AM  

I continue praying for your family. Much love and I appreciate your transparency! You are the real deal.
Sue

Diane L. Harris 9:33 AM  

Mel,

I will pray from your mother and grandmother.

I'm also requesting prayers for my sister-in-law Sandra who has just started radiation treatments for breast cancer after successful surgery; as well as Marsha, a lady who lives next door to my church and is undergoing chemotherapy I believe for breast cancer as well.

PastorMac's Ann 9:47 AM  

Will be praying, Mel.

Amy Wyatt 10:19 AM  

Mel,
I will be lifting you, your mother Mary and your grandmother Regina up in prayer. Please let me know if there is any thing else I can do, even if it's just to talk and vent. Let's talk soon.
Amy

Amy Wyatt 10:19 AM  

Mel,
I will be lifting you, your mother Mary and your grandmother Regina up in prayer. Please let me know if there is any thing else I can do, even if it's just to talk and vent. Let's talk soon.
Amy

Holly 1:58 PM  

Absolutely, I will pray for you and your mom and grandmother, dear Melissa.

You are precious in the body of Christ!!

Lisa writes... 2:54 PM  

May you see the Lord's faithfulness to you, your mom and your grandma in ways yet unimagined...

Lisa 3:06 PM  

Praying for Mom and Grandma. I do know without a doubt God has his hands all over this!!!
Praying for you too!! hang in there.

Lucy Ann Moll 11:07 AM  

I'll pray for you, Mel, and for your family. It's okay to not "be transparent" at first as you process stuff. Thanks for sharing now. Love ya, Lucy

stacey 3:33 PM  

I am so glad you didn't continue on your own, instead blowing the battle horn so we could help you pray and claim victory for your mother and grandmother.

Nancy 4:27 PM  

I am praying for healing for your Mom and Grandmother. Nancy Layton

Mindy 9:40 PM  

Melissa,

Your mom is so awesome, and I'm sure that your grandma is too. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.) I will be praying for them and you too. If you or your mom needs anything, please let me know. I am here for you and her.

Mindy

Latte With Me 10:21 PM  

I would be honored to pray with and for you and your family.

I don't like that C word at all.

My 13 yo nephew has osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and we're praying praying for him too. I've already lost my brother, grandfather and husband's best friend to cancer. grrr

http://lattejust4me.blogspot.com - I have a button on the right hand side for prayer for McShane. If you feel inclined, please pray for him.

Pamela Kramer 12:17 AM  

Our prayers are with you and your family. I'm glad that you are blogging about it. You need support and prayers from every where!

Chelsey 10:30 AM  

Mel,
Wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and your family. I walked the cancer rode with my own mom. If you need anyone to talk with our bounce things off of, I'd be more than happy to offer that up to you.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room 10:46 AM  

Sweet Mel,
I am so sorry for the trials and will PRAY for your mom and grandma as they go through this time. And I will pray for YOU!
Keep your eyes looking up!
Love ya
Blessings,
Melissa

Linda 1:59 PM  

Mel,
I am sorry to hear of the trials you and your family are facing right now. I will count it a privelage to pray for your mom and grandmother.
Linda

Melissa*Elswick 1:56 AM  

Praying, praying, praying! My grandma beat breast cancer - it won't win! :) I love you dear friend and am so excited to do ministry with you at our sweet church. You are an encouraging and inspiring leader!! Great having your momma at Good Friday service! See you Sunday! XOXO

Hope 10:47 PM  

praying for you.
I thinking getting MAD sometimes is alright and Cancer would be an alright thing.

rest in HIS arms and you will find peace.

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