How can I express my gratitude to God for all of His provision over this past year without sharing the circumstances? So please rejoice with me for what God has brought me and my family through.
Coming into this year, God rearranged my life, so that I started the year without any outside commitments, a huge change from my normal level of involvement, and got me off diet coke. Both of these were crucial to coping with the onset of pancreatitis on January 26.
One of the big events of the year was Mom’s 75th birthday. I had wanted to give her a big party; however, my sister’s had another idea. We all agreed that Mom would appreciate being able to hear Marnie present for the first time ever as a birthday present, so we all signed up for a women’s retreat where Marnie was the speaker for the weekend. Again, God was providing for us, as I was barely able to function much of that weekend and could not have hosted a party, had we gone that direction. Additionally, Mom got to share her birthday with two women who accepted Christ on that Saturday, one after watching and listening and praying with Mom and her table. What a blessing that we will always treasure!
So many more wonderful things God provided, like my 14 year old niece being in town when I was ‘kept’ at the hospital for my second procedure. She was such a help to Mom while I was hospitalized and lightened our spirits. Her 10 year old sister joined her a few days later and we were able to enjoy them both. I should mention that Cassidy came back to help during another procedure and their mom, Marla, was able to be around and help out for a couple of days and that my sister, Marnie, as able to come down and pick me up and get Mom and I settled after my first hospital stay.
While all of this was going on with me, my brother-in-law, Dave Foster, married to younger sister, Vicki, contracted Epstein Barr virus through his eye. The concentration of the virus in a cranial nerve center made it incredibly painful and hard to diagnose. Vicki has been juggling her full time job, care of a very sick husband and their four boys, whom they home school, while moving around, since Dave couldn’t stay on their boat home for several months. My niece, Keren, graduated from college in June and has been with the Fosters, helping out, much of the time since then. What a blessed sacrifice she has been making to help Vicki’s family through this difficult time. And, yes, they too are seeing God’s miraculous provision.
As the year ends we are looking forward to Christmas in Warroad, MN with Marnie’s family. We also enjoyed a Thanksgiving visit to Florida. Marla’s family hosted Vicki and her family, niece Keren, Mom and me for Thanksgiving dinner. How grateful we all were to be together, since three of those present had now faced life-threatening illnesses, and we all reminisced about our missing Dad.
One page is not enough to adequately thank each of the neighbors and friends who helped us to make it through this year. God answered our prayers, often through your assistance, and we are so blessed.
Praying that God will bless you this Christmas season and in the coming year.