Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Trials

It has always been my intention in this blog to deal honestly with the circumstances, attitudes, issues, feelings, tensions, frustrations, fears, emotions (the whole laundry list) associated with our battle with Ewing's Sarcoma.

Not to bare all for any impure motive like a need for attention or sympathy - but to share enough of what we face so that others will know that we are, by God's grace, grappling with the uncertainty and suffering associated with such a trial in a way that is honest and authentic. We are relying upon God alone for the wisdom and strength that we need to live through this monetary (momentary, that is) affliction in a way that pleases God.

Our desire, from the beginning, has been to please God. By God's grace, we continue to pray that what He has seen, what He is seeing, is pleasing in His sight. And we pray continually that others may see through our frailty to His great strength, wisdom, and power. That others may see His love and grace shine through our circumstances. That others may know the hope that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. That others may experience the peace available to all who trust Jesus Christ to free them from their bondage to sin and free them to live wholeheartedly for Him.

As the days pass, our hope does not wane. Our hope intensifies. Each day is a day closer to seeing Jesus face to face. The peace in our hearts sustains us more than ever.

At the same time, the circumstances of each day become more difficult. As my pain increases and my body continues to shut down (I will not take time to share all the details - there is really no need to do so - but this is part of the challenge we are facing), our dependence upon God is put to the test. Do we still have hope? Do we still enjoy His peace?

In all of this, my dear wife's burden is increasing. I find it frustrating that the best I can seem to do is to pray for her and to encourage her through each circumstance. In all of the busy-ness, she wrestles with finding quality time to spend with Jesus, the only One who can truly help her through this. In these times, she needs her brothers and sisters in Christ to lift her up in prayer. Please pray for her to have strength. Please pray for her to have rest in Him, even in the midst of her busy-ness.

Don't get this wrong - my wife is strong in the Lord. She knows the source of her strength. Her love for me is unwavering. Because her love for God is unwavering. But she needs to be held up in prayer.

Today is one of those days that I feel like the two-month prognosis is accurate. I feel the pressure of time pressing against "the list" of things that should be accomplished before I go. Every day, I must face these feelings head-on and focus on the truth of God's Word. He still numbers my days. And I must be all about using these days according to the priorities that He has given me.

One of the frustrations that we face as a couple these days is that we have not been able to sit together for any reasonable length of time, to pray, to read the Bible together, to share the blessings that I have received through numerous e-mails from "people from the past." In 21 years, we have always found time to share such moments with each other; in the past three weeks, when we need each other most, we cannot find the time.

In addition to receiving numerous cards, e-mails, and phone calls extending prayers and encouragement, we have been blessed with many out-of town visitors - both family and friends. We have enjoyed spending time with each person who has come into our home.

The only drawback in all this is that there is only so much time. It is not possible to see everyone we would like to see. That we need to see.

There is one particular family that we need to see. That we have not seen or spent time with in quite a while. A family, like many others, that has given freely and sacrificially of themselves, to be a blessing to our family from the very beginning of my diagnosis.

On the day that the oncologist told us I had Ewing's Sarcoma, our children were staying with the McLaughlin Family. That night, we asked them to pray about being the family primarily responsible for the care of our childen while cancer treatments took us out of town - for up to five days at a time. Prayerfully, they agreed, and have taken in our children and treated them as their own on many occasions - sometimes at a monent's notice. We are grateful for their sacrifice and value their friendship. The gift that they gave us was not insignificant. We need to get together with them and spend some quality time in prayer.

I do want to slight any other families. Many other dear families and friends have helped us out in so many ways. Meals. Taking care of our children after school. Cleaning. Doing household projects. And the list goes on. We would love to have the time to spend with each person, each family, who made some kind of sacrifice on our behalf - we know there are many! But time just doesn't permit us to do so. I can only hope and pray that those of whom I speak know the depth of our gratitude and love for them. And that one day, Lord willing, we will all join togther in singing praises to our Savior in Heaven.

I was just looking through a pile of notes and found this:

Am I more consumed with God or with what God can do for me?

Interesting thought/challenge for today.

Most of "the clan" is leaving this morning for Easton, PA and the Crayola Crayon Factory. Lunches are being packed. Children are getting washed and dressed. There is excitement in the air. At least, among the children. The adults are getting ready for whatever the day may bring.
My wife should be returning shortly from taking our daughter to school. Due to various circumstances, they got a late start.

Such is the start of this Tuesday.


MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

If I could, I'd make some soup, or dinner, or something. I'd clean, I'd pray and take your wife out to lunch or anything else she needed. You are indeed blessed to have such a committed woman by your side. You both are certainly fulfilling your marital commitments to each other in a Christ-honoring way. I pray the Lord will extend your time with Merrily. I hope my blog comments do not take away the precious time you have together.

We continue to pray and lift you up to our Savior and Friend!

Anonymous said...

You two have been married as long as my husband and I have been. I love the caption under your picture - "So happy together".


Brian said...

Mr. Bond,
This is Brian Howard, one of your former students from Walker. I've been reading your blog entries and I am amazed by your strength. It is truly inspiring to have been through so much and to still have a positive outlook on life. I wanted to thank you for being a great teacher while I was in middle school. Of all my classes in middle school, your classes were always my favorite. I'll never forget the Animaniacs. My thoughts are with you and your family.
-Brian Howard

davidwm said...

Mr. Bond,

My name is David Lawrence, I don't know if you'll remember me but I went to Walker. I never really had a class with you, I came in 8th grade, but I did take your study skills class the summer before I started school there.

You were my first impression of the teachers and learning environment at Walker, and I got so excited. I remember thinking that here its cool to be smart, and a good student, and clever because you encouraged us to be all of those things in the way you taught, and the way you dealt with your students. I felt like I had finally found a place where I could flourish. Thank you.

I'll never forget on the drive up to Blue Ridge you taught us that the song AMAZING GRACE and the GILLIGAN'S ISLAND theme song had the same beat structure and we sang them to the other's tune. There is a Gilligan's Island pinball machine in the burger shop next to where I work and every morning I go in and play a few rounds. When you put your quarter in it plays the Gilligan's Island theme song, and I always think of that trip.

Thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. You are in my, and my family's, prayers.

David Lawrence davidwm182@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.

Anonymous said...

Mr Bond,
I am a friend of the Chupicks and have been following your blog for a few weeks.Having gone through a similar situation with my Mother less than 6 months ago. I want to say to Merrily to let people help with the chores and running, use PAPER PLATES! Make a specific time for just you and your husband or your whole family, even if it is just 10 minutes each day. Don't feel like you have to entertain all of the guests/family. They don't expect that. They are there to help.Let Hospice help you as well. They can provide you with aids (shower chairs,canes, beds,etc.. all at no charge) I tell you this b/c I tried to do it all and the stuff CAN be done by others granted not as well as you.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog and been including you and your family in my family's prayer. Your strength is truly and inspiration. God bless you and your family.

Carol Stone Covenant Marriage Seminars said...

Nice blog! I remember a blog about Covenant Marriage Seminars with a similar discussion. What a coincidence.

clifford said...

You have been very strong for your wife that why many Family Blessings will come