Wow. My heart is full. Let me tell you about this journey I am on.
Life is wild, isn’t it?
First I need to share with you what exactly this journey entails. My body starting fighting about seven or eight months ago. I began to experience trouble breathing and doing activities while working at my summer camp. It was a pesky thing and I started my journey going to different doctors trying to figure out what it was. Without insurance and little money it was soon a headache of different medicines and tests. I moved to California and began my ride with the Circuit Riders. The Lord moved in my life in radical ways but I was still battling this sickness. I pushed through and kept going stopping at an ER when I needed to. Okay, so maybe I didn’t listen to my body like I REALLY needed to but I think everything happened as it should. Finally, as I was about to head out on tour with the team my body gave up. It couldn’t do it anymore. There wasn’t much fight left in me.
So this is where it gets crazy.
I go into the St. John’s ER in Tulsa on February 16th and don’t leave until March 5th. You’re telling me that this adventurous, sun addicted spirit was stuck in the walls of a hospital for that long?? Like I said… life is WILD. It began with a scan revealing a huge mass encompassing my airway. We finished the first surgery and the results were inconclusive. The doctor’s are confused, treatment plans are being thrown around left and right, and I’m just along for the ride having crazy God moments with my anesthesiologists. Then things got tricky. I went in for my second surgery and this one had added risks. The surgeon nicked my airway and my lung collapsed. I woke up in ICU with a chest tube, catheter, a sponge in my lung, a large IV attached to my femoral artery in my leg, as well as another large IV attached to my carotid artery. My body was wrecked.
After hanging out a couple days in the ICU and meeting my favorite nurse ever, Carter (miss you! let’s get steaks soon), I was moved to a different floor where I underwent some more surgery. They needed to take the sponge out of my lung, they needed another bone marrow biopsy, and they needed to scope out my airway to see how it was doing. This is where they determined the diagnosis of a reoccurrence of Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer. So… okay take a deep breath with me. That was a lot of medical stuff and you may have groaned a little while reading it. Yes, it was a painful journey but kids I’m okay!! It has just taken my body and mind a hot second to recover and come back to reality. While all of this was happening my phone shut off and wouldn’t come back on. I’ve been off the grid.
GUESS WHO IS BACK BAYBEE.
Let me tell you I am more in love than ever before. This beautiful journey has completely shaken me. I am so in awe that Jesus chose me to partner with Him in this. When He started weaving this blanket of connection and community He somehow thought to put me in the middle of it. I’m so grateful. I need to tell you about this truth. It is of absolute necessity that you understand how my mind is processing like this. Everything is upside down, right? Like what in the world? How could someone be so utterly covered in peace? I need you to listen up. I need you to open your eyes. Take a moment, take a breath, and allow your mind to be released into a Kingdom Atmosphere.
Hey you, take a risk. This isn’t about religious theology, divine doctrine, or some hippie voodoo. The entire reason why I am alive today is because of a Simple Truth.
He. Is. Good.
It is inherently the uttermost core truth of anything we could ever hold onto. His character, His nature, all of Him all of the time. It is so good. He knows no different.
And He is completely captured by you. He is enamored. The depth of His love is endless. It is sacrificial. It is costly. It is joy. It is trial. It is the most beautiful blend of both pleasure and pain. Growth is stretching and sometimes stretching hurts when you have a chest tube and a sponge in your lung. But I get to tell you about what has been happening since I’ve been released from the hospital. He has been helping me recover my hopes, my dreams, and my dignity. I cannot fully explain to you what it feels to be stripped of human dignity and basic function but it was a trip. Today was my first day of no appointments and I spent it with my mom being pampered and brought back to life. I know this all sounds dramatic but my body was physically unable to move in the ICU.
Okay can we get gritty here? You know I love vulnerability. Today I went into a salon and had someone wash my hair because it had been so long. I was unable to wash my own hair. I LOVE my hair. But I had to conserve enough energy in a shower to try and wash the rest of my body so my hair had to wait. ISN’T THAT WILD???? The body is such a crazy thing. I also got a pedicure and a facial. I think that as I was laying on the massage table the esthetician was literally bringing life back into my body. It was like she was washing away all of the medical junk that was attached to me. I left the salon a new woman. Maybe this is all too much info.
So this week has been all about regaining my energy and processing the events of life. I have been overwhelmed by the support shown to my family through my community. Today I sat with one my best friends and tears welled up in my eyes as I told her,
“I’m just so rich.”
These riches are like heavenly treasures. They come in forms of food, encouragements, prayers, gift cards, hugs, donations, time spent together, and an abundance of love. I think one of the saddest things for me in the hospital was seeing other patients and their lack of hope. There are so many lovely people who have no support, no family, and are lost. All the while I parade the halls holding my dads arm with an army of support behind me. How did I get this rich?
But here is the thing. They aren’t ever truly alone. In an instant we are met by Love. If we would just let go of our castle’s of self sufficiency and independency and allow the divine sovereignty of the Only One who can do any good with us take over everything would change. If we could just be a little brave and take a step into the ruthless trust of the Ultimate Good and be overwhelmed by the results. If we would just stop fighting the perfect plans He has for us by trying to submit our own dinky agendas. What if… just picture it… all of your dreams, desires, and wishes were minuscule to what He actually had planned for you. What if He took you from your destitution and clothed you with royal robes. What if it is actually true? What if this childlike bible story of someone dying for you was true? What if you were loved so immensely that you could give everything you have to Someone whose nature is only good and watch as your life unfolds in a glorious story of exciting adventures and joyful opportunities.
Isn’t it worth a shot? Just to see. Let curiosity take you. Let risk be your friend. Test it out, I dare you.
To change an atmosphere within yourself- within your mind- and accept the Love dangled before you as a fruit that will change everything. To lose all sense of security and fall into a blanket of trust and comfort. To abandon what has failed you and to put all you have and could ever offer into the infallible and unfailing goodness of His trusting hands. Strong, relentless, powerful, sovereign, and loving as they are. I’m happy to be able to do so. My cares are mounted on the One thing that can do anything about it. In all honesty, it speaks to my logic. I wouldn’t simmer the magnificence of my Jesus into a dusty religious theology- my mission is to break that with individual relationship. But it is soothing to know that in all things- it is too logical for me.
So I will continue to share the God moments that have resulted from this wild journey. As probably everyone knows I really like coffee. It’s like this big thing for me or whatever. The other day my parents and I were on our way home from a busy day of appointments and what not. We were trying to beat traffic and make it to this coffeeshop by our house before it closed. My mom needed to run an errand so she dropped us by the door and drove off. Funny thing is the hours had changed and the shop had actually just closed. The door was locked, it was cold and windy, and I was tired. Okay so picture this: you just worked a full shift, you need to pick your child up from daycare, and this sick looking girl just tried to open the door of the coffeeshop. Now she is sitting at the table outside in the wind looking just feeble. This is where we meet sweet Keli. She opens the door and says, “Why don’t you come on in I still have some coffee I can give ya!” So my dad and I walk in and she makes us three coffees as I sit on the couch with my swollen eyes and beanie. (By the way, hair is doing great now… not even losing it!) My dad felt the urge to tell her that Jesus was going to bless her for doing this and gave her a generous tip. She stopped, she smiled, and she said, “I think He already did… I was just thinking about how I needed money to fill up the gas tank before picking the kid up from daycare!” Then she looked directly at me and after I asked her what her name was she said she thought I looked familiar.
My aunt had stopped at this exact coffeeshop before visiting us in the hospital a week or so ago and had told Keli about me. Keli is a prayer warrior. She immediately began interceding for a girl she had never met before. I stood up and walked over to her, we hugged, and tears were everywhere. It was there that Keli began prophesying and praying over me. She recited scripture and filled the atmosphere with Kingdom Truth. It was such a beautiful moment. I think Keli is my favorite barista. Definetely one of the most powerful in Truth.
Wow! What a ride. Thanks for hangin in there with me on this one. Life is just gonna keep getting better. I am standing firm in the belief that I will not even need my next chemotherapy treatment. This week has been so healing. My labs are so great that the doctors even canceled my shots. I didn’t need them to recover from the last treatment. He is so on the move. But here is the thing… He is telling me there is still a small battle coming in the next two weeks. If that means another treatment then that is what it will take. However, there is something much bigger than me at work here and I’m sure excited to find out what it is. So be encouraged. I’m alright… I’m back. I’m alive.
I am so in love.
I’ve had the tattoo for awhile now.
Simplified it means, “The Gospel of Grace is never exclusive.”
You gotta ask me if you want the full story.