Update Seventy-Nine

Wow, what a whirlwind!  I must admit this is an update I’ve sat down to write a few times, but the intimidation of having so much to catch up on paired with wanting to be able to express my heart, well, I got a bit paralyzed.

All that said, here we are. It’s time. I’m just going for it, and we’ll see what happens!:)

The new happenings:

For all of you that don’t know, Doug & I are expecting!!  And actually quite soon.  My official due date is December 18th and  as I write this, I am 32 weeks along. We are SO excited:)

The reason I say soon, is that instead of having 8 weeks to wait, we actually are most likely looking at 2.  My brain MRI’s have recently shown a re-occurrence in tumor growth.  This tumor  needs to be taken out with surgery and, as usual, the sooner the better.  My next MRI appointment to track the tumor growth will be on November 5th.  If it has continued to grow,  they will be quickly setting me up for my 3rd brain surgery– with a baby in the mix.

The plan at that point would be to check me into the hospital that night, and slide me into my reserved 9am c-section surgery slot.  They would then give me a week or two to recover and then usher me right into brain surgery.  Yes I know, totally crazy.  Is this really my life??   Or am I watching some fun dramatic medical show??:)  I have been assured, this IS my life… and you know what, I  STILL love it!

A lot of people wonder and some ask, “Sooo was this pregnancy an accident?”  Or perhaps in other words, “why in the world would you guys decide to get pregnant in your situation?”

This is our heart.  Doug & I decided from the very beginning of our relationship (including getting together in the first place) that we never ever wanted to let any of the decisions we make be based out of fear.  Let me tell you, there are plenty of fears to choose from!  We quickly realized that if we let our lives revolve around trying to avoid possible pain, or maintaining some perfect picture we wanted to create, we would never do anything.  I would have never agreed to go on that first date with Doug (which almost happened), we wouldn’t be married, and for sure children would NEVER be an option.  Too much potential pain.  We would also not have any close friends, close family, or dreams/excitement for the future.  The bigger the blessing, the bigger the loss.  Right?  It’s understandable at times to try to avoid that pain, but we knew it was no way either of us wanted to live life.  Doug made that decision when he chose to pursue me.  I’ve gone through a process of making  “no fear” choices in the past few years.  Together we solidified that “no fear” conviction (over a tearful cup of coffee) wondering how in the world this life together was supposed to look.  We knew God had brought us together as a gift, but it really was our choice for how to walk it out.  To me, accepting Doug was another way to accept LIFE–all its joys, all its pains, all the blessings God is so kind to lay in front of me–even if that means great sorrow if those gifts have to be taken away.  In the end, I’m choosing to LIVE!  WE are choosing to just LIVE as the Lord leads, asking for wisdom all along the way.  I love His statement in John 10:10,  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Abundant life.  That can’t mean, “unless you have cancer” or “unless your baby will have to be taken from the care of your body prematurely” or both!  Really it boils down to this.  Can we have “abundant life” when life takes a swerve that feels like it could crush us?

The answer is YES -– because Jesus said it and we believe Him. Not to mention all the ways He’s already so powerfully shown us that abundance over and over again even when all things could so easily point to despair.  So how are Doug and I choosing to believe the promise?  We choose to keep embracing the life we’ve been given–to live, and love, and laugh, and cry…  and praise Jesus all along the way.  He walks with us, and we trust Him–not to eventually mold His will to ours, but to fill us with His strength and His joy.  He is teaching us to experience and reflect (in the good times and the hard) our beautiful God, every chance we get to breathe in the gift of another day on this earth.

This isn’t to say we’re not living in the full reality of our situation.  We know it’ll be hard.  We know we can’t do it without help.  I’m imagining the trauma of my last surgery, my current energy level,  then throwing a sweet little pre-mature baby in the mix. Impossible!  But you know what?  Our God is the God of the impossible.  I will admit to you I’ve had my meltdowns, I’ve had my pleas with God, “I just want to be normal!  I just want to be an energetic go-getter wife who takes care of her man, a athletic young woman who can train for half-marathons with her friends.  I want to do the pregnancy to birth thing without stupid cancer getting in the way.  I want to be the best mom to that baby boy I can possibly be!!”  But what if I think he deserves better?  What if I become disabled, what if I die, what if I have to leave my Douglas alone to raise our little boy? Where is the abundant life now?

Here’s the truth. The abundant life is everywhere.  All along the way–all intertwined in the beautiful complexity of God’s all encompassing care.

It’s strength when you want to collapse.
It’s joy in the despair.
It’s loving friends coming out with sledgehammers to break down your walls.
It’s laughter through the tears.
It’s family to surround us with comfort and love.
It’s flooding me with trust when causing pain to those close to me is my greatest fear.
It’s hope when it doesn’t make sense.
It’s understanding what a thankful heart really means.
It’s trusting the Great Healer to heal me in the way He sees fit.
It’s getting to talk about my Jesus more often.
It’s even seeing others come to Him!

My new greatest fear is wasting the life God’s given me:) “Normal” does not exist and is never worth striving for. Abundant life does not mean easy, and easy is not likely on the schedule for a while:)  But we walk forward ecstatic for the birth of our son, little Isaiah Douglas:)  We trust Him with our future, whatever it may be.

Please pray with us, friends.  We need every one of those prayers.  Will you pray for the health and growth of little Isaiah, for a successful surgery, and an easier recovery this go around?  Will you pray for Doug watching me go through this for the first time?  And will you pray for my friends and family to experience Jesus as they surround our little family?  Will you pray for everyone who encounters this story to experience the amazing love and presence of our God?  These are the greatest gifts we could ask for.

We love you.  We are thankful for you.  We will figure out how to keep this updated somehow, as a gift to our friends that fill our hearts with such joy.

Until next time,
Christina Nevill:)