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,
Christina

30 thoughts on “Update Seventy-Eight

  1. What a year it has been.  Never in my wildest imagination could I have come up with anything close to this year.  I am so thankful that you are alive and well.  I love that you live down the street.  I think your new husband is amazing.  I am excited to see what this next year holds for you.  
    Love to you,
    Mom

  2. What an amazing year you’ve had! God’s plans are pretty exciting! You are on a new wonderful journey with your amazing husband and I can’t wait to see what He has in store! You are such a blessing to so many people! Love and miss you!

  3. Oh Christina, you have been such an inspiration to so many, and a great reminder to me to not waste precious time living in fear.  God has used you mightily, every day.  I pray that you will continue to rely on Him for all of your needs.  And what a gift He’s given you in Doug – someone to help you and comfort you and remind you of his love and HIS love.

  4. It’s just plain fun to see what God has done in you, through you and to you! And through that you let us join you in your joys and trials. I stand amazed and challenged to trust more and worry less.

  5. so perfectly put azizem!  He has such a beautiful way with words through you.  it truly makes me smile to read your updates, whether sharing difficult or joyous times (or both!) your words paint a picture of God’s goodness.  thanks for taking the leap and sharing even when it all seemed so overwhelming (even in a good way) to post here.  The wisdom you share reminds of us things that are timeless!!!  

    With all the amazing things these past years have held, I can’t wait to see the better things yet to unfold with Doug in the pic too :).  what a gem a guy to get to walk next to in this life!!

    love you SO and can’t wait to see you soon!!
    stacy

  6. What a incredible testimony you are. I love how Jesus is the hero of your story! You continue to amaze me…everyday. I am sooo blessed.

    With His love,
    Your husband.

  7. I love you Teener!! And too  am so thankful you’re alive but more thankful for how full of life you are!! You are forever inspiring me to go deeper, push further & pull more out of life. I so adore you & think you’re pretty great! :)

  8. i’m so thankful that mandy has introduced you into my life. i have prayed for you and read your journey over the past months.  thank you for being so vulnerable and transparent with many. you are a incredible reminder of all that we can obtain through Christ.  xoxo

  9. This is really incredible. Seriously. We are so happy for you and excited for what God continues to do with your life.  
    ~Eryka and Mark

  10. Thank you. His plan is so much greater isn’t it? I am blessed by you – thanks for the extra push and reminding me constantly of the hope we profess. LOVE YOU!!! So excited for what God has ahead – you ready for the ride!? :)

  11. Oh Christina, you’re always so full of joy.I’m so glad that you’ve been alive almost thirty years.I love you like God loves you well I don’t think I could ever have such a love as God.Love Chloe  

    Christina you are amazing and you’re a servant of God . You speak truth and Justice.I love you. P.S. your husband is cool. P.P.S. YOU ROCK. From Laila.

    Christina!  Wow!!!   One would never know how difficult it can be to write these.  What a blessing and gift to us all.  From your pen and beautiful mind, flow Rivers of Living Water… and humor :0) We love you!!!

  12. We love watching the Lord bless you and Doug!  What a whirlwind this last year has been for you.  Your story continues to amaze and bring joy to our hearts, and it is a most delightful privilege to pray for your continued healthy journey and dance at the beauty of this new life as a married lady.  You are an inspiration, always pointing people to our Lord Jesus; and we look forward to seeing His love displayed through your lives.  God Bless you both!!!

  13. Christina,

    Your faith in God continues to amaze me and inspire me. You are one of the best gifts God has ever given me. What a crazy year 2012 has been. Can you believe it? I am still blown away by it all. Words can’t even quite describe it. I can still picture us as roommates looking at one another with a scared yet excited smile on our face as we ask each other, practically every day of last summer, "What is happening to our lives?!?"  It still makes me laugh. I am so blessed to have had you so close this past year. God truly does give us the desires of our hearts and works things out in a way that is beyond our wildest dreams. I love you so much.

  14. Thank you for being an inspiration to me as well.  Our last visit was amazing as I looked into your face and cried about my struggle yet yours is so much more and you encouraged me!  I strive to be in such a place with God that I can someday encourage someone else the way you do me.

  15. love love love that "it is my greatest desire to choose joy" !  It is a choice, isn’t it?  just like peace and happiness and anger and every other emotion.  And even in the midst of your doubting if anyone will truly understand where you are coming from, that is still a choice.  So GO FOR IT!

  16. Thanks for the beautiful update Christina!!  What a blessing you are and an example of a surrendered life to God.  Thank you for your honesty!  Blessings to you and Doug as you walk your life journey together!  Looking forward to hearing MORE from you…
    Love,
    Kari

  17. Christina, in some ways I barely know you, and yet in others I feel that we are old and dear friends.  Your continuing journey has been humbling, inspirational, and so joyfully honest  through the valleys of shadows and the threats of our mutual enemy.  Thank you for being so much of what I aspire to be in Christ our Lord!  Have you ever read Fenelon?  You share (though a few centuries apart) an internal epignosco (ask Pastor Mike:-) of the profound release of Life that is available in the midst and through adversity…thank you allowing this one of your incredible fan club to  participate with you at the throne of Grace.

  18. Wow, what a year!  So honored that you’re sharing it with the rest of us.  Wishing you all the Joy Peace and Power you can stand. Much Love to you sweet Christina.  And congratulations to you and Doug.  God is SO GOOD!

  19. Christina, I have been going back to check on updates and am relieved to see you are well and joyous, married to a special man….I just took a deep breath! you are truly the miracle…hugs and love for you and Doug, Karen Mrozek and Clem Paslack(your old neighbors from Terra Linda in Portland back when you lived with Linsay, the other side of the Coyners)

  20. What a lovely timeline and thanks for sharing. Two of your biggest fans asked me to keep the computer open so they could just look at your pictures! Then they went and played wedding. Want to guess who they pretended to be? We are blessed by you in so many ways. Love from all of us KARJs

  21. Christina, you are an amazing writer and an amazing woman…and I know every other person has used that word amazing, but it’s true…..because you have chosen to have joy because you have an amazing God..an awesome God!
    Thank you for being courageous and sharing your heart. You are such a blessing!!!!! Love and hugs,  Nancy W…hehe

  22. You don’t know me, but you know my daughter-in-law, Karilyn and my son, Danny from Port Angeles. Karilyn and Danny shared your story with me, and Karilyn recommended that I read Christy Wilson’s book, The Serpent and the Sparrow.  I just finished it. You are an amazing young woman and such an inspiration to a "newborn" Christian like me. I pray for the kind of faith that has carried you through these past 5 years. – Tara Gillam

  23. Christina,
    I have been checking your blog about once a month hoping for a new update on your amazing life. Wow! What a wonderful update I got today!!! Your new pictures show how joyful your life is. You most definitely derserve it.

  24. Christina,
    It feels so good knowing how full God has made the happy cup in your life, guiding you through it seems. I check your blog every few months and admit a little concern crept in there, but I should not have doubted His excellent plans for you. We don’t know each other, but you stayed in my family’s Seattle house during surgery number one. I will tell you that fear is something I wrestle with in large ways, and it seems like it increases as I get older. I always say that we are intended to live powerful lives but seeing this exemplified in your story sets the bar. May God bless you in every small moment and in every powerful one.

  25. Hi Christina. It was my heart’s delight and pleasure to see you at KCF and that I got to spend time with your mom. Know that God brings you to mind and heart so I can have the privilege and blessing to pray for you and Jodee. Thank you for being the example of a true Jesus follower and not just a fan. Much Aloha.

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