But now, O Jacob{Jessica}, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Make Up and Pearls

One day while Jessica was still in the hospital she decided she was going to get up and get out of the room.  For the first time in a week, with help, she got dressed, straightened her hair, and put on make up.  Instead of getting in the wheelchair she pushed it out on the floor and felt invigorated.  And, if you know Jessica, of course, that wasn't enough.  She was going to push herself as far as possible.  She pushed the wheelchair to the elevator; went downstairs and she pushed it all the way to the exit door.  At that point, I insisted she get IN the wheelchair.  I rolled her out into the sunshine and fresh air for the first time in days.  Others were enjoying the outdoors as well. I pushed her up to some chairs and sat down beside her.  Soon we struck up a conversation with a man whose daughter was also at MD Anderson.  He looked at Jessica and said, "You don't even look sick."  Now mind you she was in a wheelchair and we were rolling an IV pole with five IVs going.  "But I am.  I am very sick."

This week Jessica had her second chemo treatment and her third radiation treatment.  They are radiating her lower back from hip to hip.  It is a very intense and aggressive radiation.  Jessica's abdomen is swelling and pants are uncomfortable.  Yet everyday she
gets up and gets dressed puts on her make up and her pearls!  Jason doesn't get it.  He says why don't you just put on sweats and a t-shirt,  what more could you need?  We all know he's always been one to  "love to get dressed up  :)"   Jessica on the other hand (and since she was little wearing 3-4 outfits a day. much to her father's dismay)  is going to look her best when she goes out in public no matter where she is going. And although she is very sick, despite "not looking like it," you will find her in pearls and make-up!

It is somehow appropriate though that Jessica should wear her make up and pearls.  Pearls are made out of adversity.  A grain of sand gets into the "stomach" of the oyster and causes pain and irritation. To ease the pain the oyster begins to envelop the painful irritant with a liquid.  Layer upon layer it smooths out the rough edges and turns its pain into something valuable and beautiful.

Make up and pearls are Jessica's way of beginning to smooth out the rough edges of something painful and heartbreaking into something valuable and beautiful.  Each day things are getting easier. Today the girls, their daughters, will arrive in Houston.  Just in time for Mother's day! (Thank you Nana and Papaw. :) )  She will complete her radiation on May 21.  She will have her third chemotherapy treatment on May 24.  Somewhere along the way they will put a port in place.  And then on May 25 we hope will return home!  That's right, she is coming home!!!  The edges are smoothing. 

She will continue chemo treatment in Newnan once a week.  And return to Houston the end of June for three days of followup scans and medication adjustments.  This routine will continue every six to eight weeks UNTIL a cure is found! And while we search for a cure and as Jessica continues to live with hope and peace, and pearls and make-up choose this day how you will live.

We may not be able to choose what life throws at us but we can choose how we respond.

 Jessica, Jason, their families and friends with God's help are going to turn this experience into a beautiful pearl!  And, it is our hope that many will see in that pearl a reflection of God's glory and grace.

 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20 (NIV)

*Ladies on Sunday - wear pearls!!!!!
(with whatever you are wearing as a reminder of one of Jessica's favorite Bible verses,

"You are all together  beautiful, my sister, there is NO flaw in you." ~ Song of Solomon 4:7 
In Living Hope,


  1. Love this post. Praying for you all daily!

  2. Alice Bailey WardMay 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    People would see Anita out and about or see her pictures on FB and think she must be cured. They had no idea the work involved in getting her "outside ready." Loved reading this post. Praying for you all. Alice Bailey Ward, Twin of Anita

  3. Thank you for your continued posts. Jessica looks wondrful and knowing the girls are spending Mothers' Day with her, makes my day.

  4. God bless for sharing these precious moments with all of us and being such as inspiration. YES - we will wear our pearls tomorrow for Jessica. Enjoy your Mother's Day. M Sergent

  5. I'll be wearing my pearls and praying for you.

  6. I'm so glad your beautiful little girls will be spending Mother's Day with their beautiful Mom. I'll be wearing my pearls and thinking of you. God is good all the time! Prayers and love.
    Vivian and Eddie

  7. Charlotte JacksonMay 12, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    YOU are such an inspiration. Love you Jess.

  8. Jessica, although you don't know me...I have many people around the world praying for you! Every single day you and your family are in my prayers! I have learned that sometimes God sends His greatest love letters in dark colored envelopes! (Actually, I was Jason's first grade teacher at Mountville.) B. Clifton

  9. So happy Jessica's treatment is underway. Hang in there, I know from personal experience chemo and radiation is not fun (I'm a 9 months breat cancer survivor). The port will help. So happy the family was whole for Mother's Day. Your story was brought to me through your Travel Agent, I have shared with others who are also praying for you. God is good!

  10. Jess is beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Praying for you all.

  11. I just read this today on Monday. Sunday (yesterday) I got ready for church and felt like I needed a necklace. I reached for my pearls and put them on :) Praying for you daily!!

  12. So inspirational! Your family is such a unique gift of faith, love and eternal significance! May it permeate the essence of our being and make our souls crave the God of our creation for our purpose on this earth!!! Love, love, love you all! From GA to TX and back again!!!!

  13. praying for you every day, Jessica.

  14. ps thinking of you when I wrote this: http://betweentheinterruptions.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/all-quiet/
    sounds like I am on the same page as your mom! I am hoping and praying with you all.

  15. PLease give us a new blog. We want to hear about the whole story. Christians have down feelings But we Know Who is always upholding us and Carrying us through the bad. Lean on Him and let Him carry you through. He knows what is best for His child and you are His. Love you and praying for you. BUMC