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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This life is not for the weak!

I was told this week by a sweet and spiritually strong friend that this life is not for the weak. She herself recovering from a small medical procedure was speaking to her journey of healing and the difficulties she had faced. But, how true! Life here on this earth IS NOT for the weak. In fact it can often be difficult, scary, unknown, lonely, disappointing, challenging, saddening, and overwhelming. Now, I know and do not take for granted that life on this earth can also be exciting, joyous, blessed, beautiful and so much more. But, let's be honest, sometimes life is just hard! Point blank, its more difficult than we want it to be, more stressful than we need, more sad than we ever would want and more scary than the best haunted house. Finances, health concerns, family relationships, work, school, raising a family, managing a business, chauffeuring children, taking care of aging parents, doctor's appointments, and telemarketers all insure that life is hard. (well, maybe not telemarketers, really - but they have annoyed me lately! :) )

Life for me the past six months has been hard. It has required extreme prayer, lots of encouragement, family and friend support, many doctor visits, and did I mention lots of prayer. Six months ago I was diagnosed. Six months ago I was forced to think about things I thought I could think about later in life. Six months ago I was crushed, scared, and overwhelmed. Six months ago my body was consumed with pain. Six months ago, I did not know what the future would hold. But, just as life has been hard, God has been so good.

I am ever grateful as we have reached this six month mark that God created each of you. Because life has been hard. But, you have quickly come to my side, prayed for my healing, held a fundraiser, bought a t-shirt, raffle ticket, bumper sticker, bbq plate or a cross, fed my family, offered gifts of your finances, called me, sent me a card, text the prayer pager, stopped by for a visit, or sent me a Facebook post. And in each of these gifts of your love I have been encouraged, strengthened, and loved. I have been reminded that while life is hard, God is so good. God is my provider, my strength, my hope, my peace, my comforter, my love. Someone said to me a few weeks ago, "How did you get loved so quickly by so many?" And while I truly do not know the answer to that question I am ever grateful first and foremost that I have a God who loves me and who in my weaknesses makes me strong. Second, I am grateful for the love of Christ that has been shared by each of you. I am truly, truly, humbled that you have loved me in my hardest time. Thank you.

I am currently on a second chemo treatment. The first choice of an IV drug administered weekly was a difficult drug. It was hard on my body, and was not proving to slow down or stop the cancer growth. However, this second treatment is a three pill regimen each day. With it (and the power of God and your prayers!) I have felt stronger, and been enabled, managed pain and had the opportunity to "do" more.  In fact, our family has been to the beach for a week of fun, restoration and memory making (thank you to the angels that made that possible!) Because I have felt so well, Ella and I have each day together and we have made more messes and memories than I would have before my diagnosis. Savannah and I love to visit the pool as often as we can, and we as a family are planning more opportunities of travel and memory making! Not to mention that in three days I am headed back to the beach for an all girls weekend! Can you say fun!?!?!  All because I am feeling better. (Thanks be to God!) The plan for the future is for me to remain on the pain regimen I am on and to continue on this chemo drug until it no longer provides me with positive results AND, last but not least --- to keep making memories with my loved ones! Physical results will be gaged with a PET scan. A date has not been set for the next PET scan, however I assume it will be in the next four to six weeks. The memory making will be gaged by pictures and smiles you will see on Facebook!

So, keep the prayers coming. Know that I am grateful for each of you. I am thankful for the gift of life and for six months of living with cancer. And I am not taking for granted one day. I have learned in this  journey that we need to slow down, make memories (because they are what last), laugh more, take pictures, print the pictures, put the pictures on display, hold hands more often, tell people you love them, and hang on! Cause life is hard, but God is good. And I pray that as each of you journey in this life that when life is hard you will see the goodness of God and know that I am thinking of you, praying on your behalf and trusting that God will see you through. Cause life may be hard, but God is good.

Love and Thanks for each of you - Jessica
PS. I promise to keep the blog updated better in the future!


  1. So glad that you are doing well.. keep your faith strong as you are! With God all things are possible! You remain in my prayers!!

  2. I am so happy that you are having a girls trip, they are so important. I will stop by for a quick visit before you leave, I have something for your trip. Have a BLAST and make more memories !!!!!! Love The Jones'

  3. Thoughts and prayers to your family and may God keep blessing you each day with strength and courage to face this disease head on and with full force.
    -Amy Parsons

  4. You are in our prayers. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jessica, May God continue to bless you and your family! I pray for you all each day! Enjoy your girl trip! The beach is a great healer! Hugs! Laura Spaller

  6. We prayed for you and your family yesterday in our Disciple class. The answer to your question is that you weren't loved by so many so quickly - so many were already loving you. You are a reminder for us to share our love with others more often - thank you for blessing us!

  7. You are awesome!!!!! We love you so much. What an inspiration you have been in our grandsons life. We will be praying everyday.

  8. Okay, Jessica, you can't have a major life and health crisis and ignore the mountains! The psalmist didn't say, "I will lift my eyes to the beach...." The higher places are restorative and intrinsically spiritual. Perhaps trip should be planned soon for heading north when the leaves change and there are cider stands around every winding road :)

    All kidding aside, enjoy the girls weekend away and know you, your mom, dad, and the rest of your sweet family are in my daily prayers as I continue to ask for every available miracle. Peace be with you and with your spirit.

  9. I think about you and pray for you every day!!

  10. Always praying for you! (I'm Amanda's mom, the nurse Practioner) I'm a cancer survivor myself, but have been cancer free for the last 3 or 4 years now. If you have not read the book, "The Broken Shell" ... I've forgotten the author cuz I mailed my copy to someone else I know who is facing his own medical nightmare.

    You have been such an inspiration to many! Just to let you know that you are always in my prayers!

  11. Jessica, you're an amazing woman. I’m a cancer survivor (at least I hope so) – and I would had used my blog with to share my journeys experience, but I wasn’t blogging at that time.
    I hope from the deep of my heart that you will get through the journey – it’s very rough and tough – and I had to look up what Stage 4 Renal Cell Cancer stood for and I understand that you are on a different journey than mine. Jessica, it has nothing to be strong or being brave - its only about surviving - but it has a lot to do with the mental status during the journey ... and from reading this post you have got. Life is a bitch and it's okay to be bitchy back. My thoughts are with you.

  12. I am so happy to hear you are feeling well and are having so much fun! I am praying for you every day!

  13. Hi Jessica! My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer my question I have about your blog! Please email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com whenever you get a free moment!