Today, I had big plans. Special, wonderful, amazing plans. My dear friend Brandi was supposed to come visit. She and her husband were going to spend the night. I was supposed to get to spend two days in a row with her! We were going to have uninterrupted visiting. Visits that weren't interrupted by a nurse coming to draw blood or another bag of chemo hooked up to an IV. I had dreams of telling her all of my adventures in mothering and hearing the latest updates from her 2 sweet children. It was going to be a little taste of heaven right here in my living room.
But yesterday, Caleb started coughing. The doctor said it's probably nothing major. It's probably just a cold. But it could be much more. It could be something as scary as RSV. So Brandi can't come.
You see, 16 months ago Brandi woke up and had some trouble walking. Thinking she'd had a stroke, her husband took her to the hospital. The doctors said it wasn't a stroke. It was cancer. Brain cancer. A scary, aggressive tumor that had taken hold of her precious brain. The details of that day are forever etched in my memory like some horrible, awful, never ending nightmare. In the past 16 months Brandi and her husband have thrown their heart and soul into the fight against the tumors in her brain. A month ago, the scan showed what no one wanted to see. The tumors were growing. When I found out my heart dropped. Growth? There couldn't be growth! We'd been praying! We had a connection with a God bigger than cancer. How could there be growth?!?!
Brandi immediately started aggressive chemo. In the past month, she hasn't been feeling well. Everything looks like the cancer is winning. I wish I had words to describe how I feel. Because Caleb has a little cough, Brandi can't come see me. It's just too risky. I spent a good part of the morning crying in my selfishness that I wouldn't get to see Brandi today. Then I cried that Brandi might be called home. I wanted to kick and scream and beat my fists against the chest of an almighty God. God, being the amazing Father that He is, let me throw my temper tantrum, then quietly sat me down in my favorite chair and told me to pick up my Beth Moore Bible study. I rolled my eyes at the sight of the book because I'm so far behind on the homework assignments. (Life with a newborn is more of a challenge than I thought it would be!) But I couldn't shake the quiet whisper in my heart that said I needed to pick up the book and get in the Word. So I did. And in big, beautiful letters across the top of the page were words that I know were written just for me.
"Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Him there is no shadow or change." (James 1:17)
It's one of Brandi's favorite verses. Her blog is built around it. And suddenly, it felt like Brandi was in my living room - that little piece of heaven I'd been longing for. The Lord reminded me that my life was full of good and perfect gifts. Brandi and I have been friends for years and I've been blessed by her wisdom a thousand times over. She's a good and perfect gift in my life. I know that I'll get to spend eternity with her praising a God who never changes!
Today is not what I dreamed it would be. But today God had a fantastic plan that was bigger than my little plans. So I'll trust that whatever happens at her doctor's appointment tomorrow is a beautiful part of His plan. I'll trust that His healing is complete and perfect - whether it's on this earth or in a beautiful homecoming. God is still God. That's all I need to know...