Update Seventy-Eight

Oh dear.

It’s been 9 months since my last update! This has NOT been on purpose:) Since then my heart’s been barely able to keep up with it’s own emotions/processes. Trying to figure out how to relay it to others (in an official ‘pen to paper’ kind of way), was just more than my brain and heart knew how to do, I think.  Of course, it’s been an absolute joy to run into people, exchange updates on life and God’s amazing unexpected paths. But it’s true, the more time has passed the more overwhelming it has been to know how to start this update and figure out how to relay the whole thing in a way that captures my heart.

So I decided I’m going to stop feeling paralyzed and just not worry about it:).  It doesn’t all have to happen at once. (Thanks Nancy for that reminder).  So whether this comes out in several parts, or it all just comes together now… here we go.  We’re jumping in!  Can we all hold hands? That’s even better:)

2011 Recap:

  • January 12th – 2nd brain surgery
  • January 25th – My sweet grandmother went home to be with Jesus.
  • February 14th – Started chemo (Happy Valentines Day:).
  • March 4th – My 29th birthday. Amazing surprise party. Doug Nevill (who I barely knew) asked my dad if he could take me to dinner.
  • March 9th – Doug took me to dinner. (THAT conversation could be a book in itself:). A relationship began… (as did a daily battle surrendering a whole new onslaught of fears).
  • May – Started my part Portland/ part Port Angeles existence.
  • June – Mandy, one of my childhood best friends became my roommate. Also, a delightful trip to Hawaii with my parents and good friend Stacy.
  • July – Trip to Montana for my grandparents’ memorial. AMAZING time with family…
  • and Doug;)
  • August– Little Christina Lamb was born.  (New daughter of former roommate, Stacey Lamb and her husband Adam.  My cousin Chris & I introduced Stacey and Adam–now there’s a baby…. YES:)
  • August. 23rd – Doug proposes.  I cry and say “yes”.  He cries.
  • September – last of 8 rounds of chemo. Oh… praise the Lord:)
  • November 26th – Doug & Christina get hitched (A sweet & small wedding, perfect for my brain oh-so-badly needing simplicity).

Now for 2012.  I’m turning 30 this year.  Woohoo!! I’ve been reflecting on the journey through my twenties.  I have had financial struggle, relationship struggle, and a failed personal business, Well and yes, there was definitely the diagnosis of brain cancer at 25, the 2 brain surgeries, 1 recurrence, radiation & chemotherapy, partial seizures, and a statistical life-expectancy of 4 to 7 years.  Through all of this however, I have also experienced God’s absolute generosity and kindness.  I have traveled, I have launched a non-profit and have been continually surrounded by amazing friends and family.

Though some of this can sound grim, God has given me a heart full of life!  I am challenged constantly to focus on God and trust in His daily provision of peace and power.  The second I let my eyes stray from that intentional place of surrender, FEAR is the first foe to come racing in to shut me down. But 2 Timothy says, “God did NOT give me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of sound mind.” Love the “sound mind” part;).

My friends, we are meant to live powerful lives! What does powerful look like to me? Abiding SO deeply with Jesus that no degree of pain or difficulty that enters my life will be able to sway me from trusting His goodness, sharing His hope and being open to any way He would like to use me to make His name known on this earth.

We WILL face trials, we are promised that.  We are even told to not be surprised when they happen (I Peter 1:12).  But how will we walk through them? Will it be along with the rest of the world in fear or anger (as is our first human instinct), OR will we be known for our joy–a joy that can only point to Christ?

It is my greatest desire to choose joy. Not because I understand all His ways, or am not concerned about what some of them might look like, but because I don’t want to waste a second of this beautiful life paralyzed by fear.   I want to embrace the purpose and adventure that God has for me rather than mourn the loss of the plans I can so easily create on my own.  I am so thankful that I have been alive on this earth 30 years! And I’m glad you’re here too! Let’s celebrate, my friends!

Love to you all,