Wow what a crazy few months it has been. I know that everyone has bumps and bruises in life and I am confident that God has a GOOD plan for the Prather Family (Jeremiah 29:11) But... needless to say I must pour my heart out a bit. I spent so much of my life hiding my emotions and "keeping it together" that I take opportunities to be authentic when I can. I pray that in pouring out my heart some of you may be able to connect to the struggles of life and we can give God Glory together in the end!
Our craziness started in May when we found out that Todd would be getting transferred to Virginia for his job. Virginia?? I was shocked and my first thought was "I don't know anyone in or near Virginia!!!!" And the last two months of working out the job transfer has been crazy! Filled with house searching in an EXPENSIVE area, inspections, contractors, electricians, roofers (yes we had to replace our roof), moving companies, piles of paperwork, and more craziness... The move brings emotions of being scared of the unknown, sad over leaving a community and close friendships, and even more sad to be so far away from our family. But as I write this I can say that we have successfully sold our house, have everything in place to close on a new house, are becoming more excited about our adventure, and will do our best to entice people to visit by promoting our close proximity to Washington D.C. (amongst other awesome locations)!!!
Within the last six months we have been planning a mission trip with our church family to Burkina Faso West Africa. We have enjoyed being involved in this mission work over the last few years and pray God will allow us to continue in this work even as we leave this community. To prepare for this year's trip we did fundraising, story training, bible studies, and more... This trip was my FIRST trip and I was so excited to finally be going after longing for so long... But unfortuentely God had different plans... With a week left before our trip I still had no passport or visa :( It seemed as though it would take a miracle to get it here in time. Well miracles do happen and I DID get my passport and visa in time! BUT.... my poor hubs broke his ankle with just a few days before we were set to leave on our trip. We had high spirits that we would still complete this mission trip but our church family wanted to keep us safe and decided to postpone our trip :( While we are heartbroken that we are not in Africa (we would actually be there now) we do have complete peace about the tough decision that had to be made and that God will allow us to go to Africa soon! Even Eliana tells us "God will let you go to Africa soon because he loves you!" If a 3 year old can get it surely I can? Besides we know we can make our plans but God directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9)
It has just seemed like every day for the last few months there has been something... Either to do with these two large issues or problems with those we love, daily feather ruffling problems, and etc... One thing is for sure that Satan has been prowling around us trying to get us down (1 Peter 5:8)
But... and the oddly enough most wonderful part of the story is that admist all this we found out that my step mom has breast cancer. I know I said "wonderful" but stay with me for a second. First I must say that I hate to refer to her as my "step mom" that word implies a distant bitter relationship, which is nothing like our relationship! Now please hear me say I DO NOT THINK IT IS WONDERFUL THAT SHE HAS BREAST CANCER. In fact I can't believe that our family has been thrown this curve ball. But the way she is handling this, and in fact the way her and my dad are handling this together is AMAZING and completely Glorifying to God. And their is an odd thing about wanting to complain about life when one of your parents has cancer... It was absolutely ridiculous a few weeks ago as I cried to her about my "junk" and she was getting pumped with chemo and wearing a cute hat so her freshly shaved head wouldn't be cold! But she loves me enough to let me do so ;)
Anyway - I want to end this post with some wise words from my step mom. Words that are inspiring and glorifying! And despite "crazy months" we should all be reminded that God's love is enduring and eternal!
July 18, 2011
As I write this, I can only pray that God will speak through these words, and without
drama, communicate my story in a way that is a blessing to others, rather than
a burden or fodder for non-productive conversations.
In May, I found a lump in my breast and knew that what I had found was cancer. I changed
my annual checkup to the week after school got out and finished the school
year. By June 9th my discovery was confirmed and by June 27th
I was having surgery for port placement and lymph node biopsy, so that I could
start chemo the next day.
I’m not afraid to have cancer, and even though I don’t foresee death in my near future
I’m not afraid to die. I know my Savior and know that I personally have nothing
to lose through death, but I do have other fears. I fear for my husband and
children. I fear going to the grocery store and becoming part of a small town
news flash. I fear missing opportunities to show people God’s tremendous and
overwhelming love for us.
In the past year I have come to realize that God doesn’t need me. Shocking huh? It’s true
though. He has the power to run my world and responsibilities perfectly without
my input and help. As a matter of fact, I would even boldly say that He is
humoring my involvement for my personal spiritual growth and development. It
would be heartbreaking for Mike to lose me. I know that he loves me as deeply
as I love him, but it would be more heartbreaking for him to miss this
opportunity for complete trust in God. Life or death trust in God. As far as my
kids go, I had to realize that God is a perfect and faithful parent. He is the
real mother of my children and He’s not going anywhere. Genesis 1, Psalm 24, Psalm 47, Psalm 50, Psalm 93
As for my grocery store fears, are they rational? Well, I’ve been part of that “news
flash” mob so I would have to say yes, yes they are. I’ve spent 2 months
protecting my privacy and its working. In fact, it’s working so well that I am
missing all my opportunities to show people how God is working in my life. I’m
not a naturally extraverted person. I want to stay home and only have contact
with people who love me enough to call. I don’t want my life to be about
cancer, and I don’t want to be part of “the club”. BUT, I want to shout about
how honored I am that God is looking straight at ME.
Three years ago, I asked God to help me grow spiritually – whatever it takes. Some of you
are already laughing at how brave that request was! Two years ago, God showed
me a way. Things were going well until I hit a big spiritual wall. That wall
was intimidating and scary. I knew enough to push through it, but instead I
backed off, knowing that my spiritual growth would be stunted until I learned
to trust and depend on God. Every so often I would look at that wall and know
that I was being disobedient. I was disobedient for two years. Malachi 3:3, Matthew 7:11
People say that God doesn’t do things like give people cancer. I’m not going to debate
that. However I got cancer I will say this: God is teaching me like I have
never been taught before. God is looking at ME. He is not only demanding that I
give Him my control and trust, but He’s showing me how to do it. He is disciplining
me as a loving Father who knows that there is much more at stake here than a
few decades of earthly life.
3:11-12, John 10:10
So may God bless you this week, month, and year. May you be willing to be authentic about your troubles, but see God looking at YOU in the midst!
Prayers and Blessings - Dawn