Sunday, February 28, 2010

Anticipatory Joy

anticipate: (verb) to expect; look forward to; be sure of

I was sitting in my car at a stoplight today when it hit me: I am not happy.  I don't feel joy right now.  Sure, I can laugh at things that are funny and still crack sarcastic jokes, but the actual feeling of JOY is just absent right now.  I feel sadness, loss, grief, loneliness...but not joy.  Depressing, huh?  At first, sitting at that stoplight today, that's what I thought.  But, I realized that while I don't feel joy right now, I do feel what I like to call "anticipatory joy". 

Isaac used to tell me the one thing he actually liked about being in pain, was the way it felt when the pain was finally gone.  (I imagine he's feeling amazing right now!)  So now, here I am - feeling the pain of grief...but anticipating the joy that will come when that pain is finally numbed a little.  The joy that will follow when I get through this grief.  Psalm 30:5b says "...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."  I am holding tight to that promise right now.

I remember the days before Isaac and I got married, and I was counting down the days to the wedding.  I loved driving with my windows down blaring "The Best Thing" by Relient K and just feeling so overflowing with joy.  I know I'll get there again.  I know it won't be easy.  I know I have an awesome God, loving family, and amazing friends to help me.  I know there will be a day where I am driving, windows down, radio blaring, and feeling joyful.  But for now, I'm letting myself be sad, cry when it hits me, curl up on my couch and wallow when I need to, and trying to move forward the best I know how. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Finished the race...

At 6:30 yesterday morning, my Isaac quietly left earth and entered the glorious gates of Heaven.  I wanted to share with you a glimpse of that precious time. 

Tuesday, Isaac was unresponsive.  He didn't say a word, barely moved, and only opened his eyes once all day.  I knew this meant that he was nearing death, I just had no idea how near he was.  In the morning, he lay there in bed just groaning and breathing very uneasily.  I switched him from nasal canulla to an oxygen mask and that eased his discomfort.  That evening, I started to hear his breath become raspy and a bit "gurgly".  I know that is one of the signs that a person is in their last hours, but I have heard Isaac breath that way before - even before we called in hospice.  I figured he had more fluid on his lungs and I'd call the nurse first thing in the morning. 

Around 4:30 Wednesday morning, I awoke to hear him groaning again.  His breath was very uneasy and it was obvious he was uncomfortable.  He was breathing like he had just run a mile.  I gave him some morphine and Ativan (an anti-anxiety that helps calm him), waited 30 minutes, and when those meds didn't seem to help, I called the on-call hospice nurse.  At about 5:15am, she had me repeat the doses of the meds, plus give him another to help dry up the fluid in his lungs.  After about a half hour, he was breathing really comfortably.  In fact, it was the most comfortable I had seen him breathing in a few days.  I thought the storm had passed and we'd be okay for a little longer.  I looked at the clock, saw it had been an hour since I gave him the meds and it was time to repeat.  I told him I was going to get more meds and stepped into the kitchen.  I poured some coffee, grabbed his meds, and when I came back into the dining room, he was gone.  I could see he wasn't breathing and couldn't see his heart beating in his chest.  He was just gone.

That's the technical, medical play-by-play.  But, something more important was happening in that time between 5:30 and 6:30am while I waited for the meds to ease his discomfort.  I decided there was no way I'd be able to go back to sleep, so I pulled out my Bible and sat down at his bedside.  I read to him from the Psalms (I remember reading Psalm 121 and Psalm 23, plus many others!), Isaiah 55 (8-9 were his life verses), and Revelation 21-22.  Here's a verse I remember reading and praying "He who testifies these things says 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20).  I prayed as I read that "Yes, Lord, come...come for him quickly" and the Lord answered! 

I also pulled out my phone, and turned on my Pandora app to my Hillsong station.  For some reason, I started writing down the son  gs that were playing in that last hour.  The first song was "This is Our God", which I just found to be so peaceful and comforting.  Then, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" came on and that's when I thought I should write the songs down because I knew God was telling us something...little did I know, it is very possible Jesus was right there with us just asking Isaac to see Him.  Next, came "Spoken For", which really got says 'take this world from, I don't need it anymore, I am finally free' - and I think that's probably exactly how Isaac was feeling.  The list also included, "Desert Song," "Your Love, Oh Lord," and "Your Grace is Enough".  The last song that was playing was called "Came to My Rescue" - Wow!!!  Came to Isaac's rescue, indeed! "I called, You answered.  You came to my rescue and I want to be where You are." 
But for me, the songs and the verses were not the sweetest part.  I am so glad to know that in his last hour, Isaac was hearing the Word of God and praises to His name.  But...I am the most joyful knowing in his last hour I was there.  I was holding his hand, I was telling him over and over that I was right there with him, that I'd do everything I could in my power to ease his pain, that he was a wonderful husband, and how very much I love him.  I was at first surprised that death came so quickly.  But then I remembered one of the last real conversations Isaac and I had last week.  I remember telling him not to hang onto this world.  I told him that the moment he sees Jesus he should run to Him as fast as he can and not look back.  I told him "When you see Jesus, you run.  You run as fast as you can to Him and don't hold on to us back here.  We'll be okay." I like to think that's exactly what happened.  He saw Jesus.  He didn't hesitate for a moment, he just ran into the arms of His Savior and was healed.

Monday, February 22, 2010


When I first heard the song "He Loves Us" (the David Crowder version), I immediately loved it.  I couldn't put my finger on it right then, but there was something in that song that spoke deeply to me beyond the simple chorus of "He loves us, oh how He loves us".  I've listened to it many times since then, and it's taken me a few weeks - but this week I've finally landed on what I love so much about that song.  Here is the first verse, then I'll tell you what I see in it.

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

It starts out "He is jealous for me".  The first of the 10 Commandments says that we are to worship no other gods but Him.  "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God" (Ex. 20:5a) As I began examining my life, I started to really see the meaning in this simple phrase "He is jealous for me", especially when connected to that 1st commandment.  God is a jealous God.  He wants to be first in our lives...and I have to confess, He has not been first in mine. 

Looking ahead to 2010, I had been filled with disappointment, sorrow, and loss.  One obvious loss in my life will be Isaac.  And, there are other things that I will lose this year as well.  One is my parents, who are a huge part of my life.  They are retiring in June, selling their house, and driving off in an RV (yes, you read that correctly).  I will miss having them just a short drive away, spending Saturdays shopping with my mom, calling on my dad when I have car trouble, and just generally knowing they are nearby.  Another loss in my life will be the team I teach with.  In just the short few months I have been on team with them, I have come to rely heavily on them for a daily dose of humor, support, professional advice, encouragement, and lots of coffee.  Next year, when the school year starts, I will be on a different team with mostly different people.  I will miss my new friends on the Wildcat team, not just because I love teaching alongside them, but because they are incredible people who have become close friends of mine very quickly, and have given me immeasurable help and support during this difficult time. 

I can't tell you the number of tears I have cried over these losses...the number of times I have asked God why...and the number of times I have dwelled on the dread I was feeling when I looked ahead into the future.  All I could see was this cloud of loneliness surrounding me - my husband, my parents, and my school friends would all be, in some way, gone.  But, as I dwelled on the words "He is jealous for me", God began to change my thinking.  God began to tap me on the shoulder and make me realize that maybe He is allowing all of these things to be stripped away because He is jealous for me...He wants to be first in my life, and I have put Isaac, my friends, my parents, and many other things before Him. 

So, I continued looking at the song and the phrase "Loves like a hurricane, I am tree.  Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy" - and realized that these losses are my hurricane.  Hurricanes are huge and destructive.  They blow such strong winds that they often leave nothing but smashed and broken pieces behind.  God is loving me this way - He is loving me with such power and strength, that like a tree in a hurricane, I have no choice but to bend beneath His mercy.  He is loving me in a dramatic and powerful way, that feels painful to me sometimes, but it is what I need to draw nearer to Him. 

This thought process was spurred on when I read a blog that gave me the most perfect illustration of God in my situation.  It describes a parent who lays their child down for a nap because they know the child needs sleep, but the child doesn't want to nap and thus stands in the crib and cries.  The parent wants to rush to the child and pull them out of the crib and stop their tears, but they know the child needs this sleep - so they stand outside the child's room on the other side of the closed door just waiting until the child settles down.  Isn't that beautiful illustration of God and us?  I am that child, in the crib crying...and God didn't just put me there and walk away...He, like that parent, is standing on the other side of the door, listening to me, knowing it hurts me and wanting to pull me out of this and stop my tears, but also knowing this is what's best for me.

"And I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affection is for me" - well, that is where I am right now.  I am realizing just how beautiful God is, but more importantly - how much He loves me.  That even without my husband, with my parents far away, and on a new teaching team - God remains the same. 

"He loves us, oh how He loves us."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Notes from my husband...

Something that has always impressed me, as well as most who know Isaac, is the way he has dealt with cancer.  As we have sat around talking about Isaac here and there, something that a few people who know him well have mentioned is that Isaac never seemes to fit here on earth.  Most of us have the "dream" for our life, we knew what we wanted to be when we grew up...but not Isaac.  Since I have known him, he has gone through saying he could be a teacher, janitor, Best Buy employee, Blockbuster employee, volunteer at his favorite fish store, work at an aquarium, and many other possible careers!  He has always had such a wide variety of interests, and always said he never felt like he belonged here. 

Today I started reading back through Isaac's old Facebook notes and saw so much evidence of his frustration with life on earth, his struggle with understanding God's plan for his life, and his acceptance of the reality of death.  So, I thought I'd pull some quotes from some of his notes to share with you all.  There's a bunch, and if you read only one - scroll down to the very bottom and read the last one, it's the best.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I can't really put my finger on it, but most of the time I am either out of sync with the rest of the world or people are just plain boring. I find that I feel so much older than my peers, but I'm really not. I get frustrated though when people seem to go through the motions. It seems everybody has a plan for the future of when they will do then. What about now? What are we going to do now? I find that people say they will aspire to do something once they get their degree, then they will be able to do something "important" or whatever. The trouble with this thinking is that we find ourselves holding off the past "presents" the present and when we get to the future (which will then be the present for us) we continue to claim that we will do something in the future.

Saturday, October 14, 2006
For some reason though I still have a good attitude about this, its a little scary to think that I could die, but it is pretty liberating to know you are an unbound person, free of all the crap that the world throws at you, a world that says you need this or that to be somebody or to make a difference. For me its just living, living one day at a time, in the trust of Him who has given me this affliction, not for my glory, but for His.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It gets very boring very quickly in the hospital just because there really is no freedom, like to go outside, walk anywhere you want, its kinda like jail, and your sick and getting nailed with something else even other than imprisonment. Makes me wonder how many other 21 year olds are going through something like this again. I can't help but wonder that, I feel so alone, with this. It is my burden to carry, and mine alone, I realize that, I will continue to live just like normal people who don't have cancer or the pain that I carry around yet still smile about, cause I know that I as long as I'm alive I have reason to be, simply that God still wants me here.

Friday, January 5, 2007
Been thinking about how so many people look forward to so many things and when they get there, they look forward to something else, its like a cycle that never ends. I think this happens in life too much, we find ourselves in high school wanting not to be there waiting for the day that we start college. When we get to college and get used to it, we long for the day we graduate, so we can get a job. When we land that great job, what do we have to look forward to? Retirement? Perhaps we should look at life differently, that what is, is now. We long so much to see our dreams and goals achieved, yet when we do achieve them, we move on as if they never happened, on to another goal, another achievement. Bask in the beauty of the moment, every moment, whether it be a good one or a bad one, you may not have a next "moment" to hate or enjoy at all.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I actually can't believe I made it to 22, two years ago when diagnosed with this, I woulda laughed at you, I seriously thought I'd be dead, but God is good all the time, and I'm living in His grace day by day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007
It is good to think back about how things used to be with me. I was excited that I was going to be a missionary, my heart was for people in other countries that have never heard the gospel before, and I was going to be a part of that! Now, I am in a different place and a different time. I'm unsure of what I'm supposed to do specifically for me. I flounder in so many ways, beckoned by obscure reasonings of other people only to come to the conclusion that reason alone will not suffice truth, no matter how hard I try. Perhaps God has given me this cancer to get me thinking deeper about issues that can be answered so easily by theology, the Bible and pastors or professors, but so hard to come by when you have to make the actual choice on a difficult matter. Maybe it is the experiential maturing that I need to someday use as a gift to other people, or perhaps it is a lesson that life is hard, and it should be that way because thats what makes it worth living for. I thank God for all the blessings he's brought into my life. People who come from understanding backgrounds, people who have been through hell, and come out praising God for their afflictions not because it made them stronger Christians, but stronger Christians who "have been there". They are an encouragement to me beyond words.

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Today I realized how much I don't fit in still. I'm so different from people, my worldview is lightyears away from most peoples. We don't even think about the same things. I feel that all of my friends are awesome friends and they relate as best as they can to me, but at times I still feel at loss for somebody to really connect to. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. Perhaps I need to see what other people are thinking, understand who they are, to take some time to sit down with somebody and just talk for a couple of hours. I hope "normalcy" comes soon, I want to be one of you again.

Thursday, July 26, 2007
Human-ness, if there even is something else, just doesn't seem to be for me.

There is one note that has struck me the most, so I saved it for last...written almost 3 years ago exactly.

Why I am excited to die

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sorry for a such a strange title, don't worry, I have no intentions of committing suicide of any sort. I just came to the realization that death is so much closer to us than any of us think. I am exicted to die to see what reality of life is beyond this. I have hope that what I believe as a Christian is what will happen. I will not be naive and say that I know 100% that when I die I will go to heaven, I have a hope grounded in faith, not blind faith, but a faith that is backed up by many evidences and rational that I will go to heaven. You can't really know anything 100%, but you sure can come close, faith takes you the rest of the way. Another reason for being excited is that I won't have to deal with this cancer crap anymore, It'll be done and instead of a body of flesh and bones, I'll be a body of flesh and spirit! I can't see getting bone cancer if I don't have any bones! haha

On the flip side, I realize the scaryness of death. What if I am completely and utterly wrong about the afterlife? What if things are exactly the opposite of what I now believe? What happens then? I am also coming to realize that death is lonely, even if you die in the presence of other people, it is something that you do utterly alone when you are "gone", well unless you join the huge massive collection of souls as some hindu's and buddhists believe.

In conclusion though, I feel that I my purpose here is not over, that I have many things to look forward to... meeting new people, traveling new places, developing relationships, and pouring myself out for others. If I can do these things I think I will have fulfilled a good part of my purpose for living.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It is NOT easier...

I've gotten tons of cards, emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls from the many who are supporting us through this journey.  I love getting them, and being reminded that we are not alone in this!  However, there are some things that people say that just really do not help.  For example:  "Well, you knew this [Isaac's death] was a possibility when you started a relationship with him".  As if that really make this easier? 

Yes, I knew, before I even became friends with Isaac, that he had cancer and it was serious.  I knew after every single scan that came back with a new spot of cancer, that this day could be coming.  I knew when I said "in sickness and in health" in my wedding vows, that we would probably have more sickness than we would have health.  I knew all of these things...but does that mean losing my husband is any easier?  I was telling someone this week about him, and they said how hard it must be, and another person said "Oh well she knew this was a possibility".  Really?  Obviously they didn't mean to minimize the situation the way they did, but really? 

I was thinking about it while watching the Olympics.  We talk and talk about those who go into the Olympics as "medal contenders".  But, there are the people who go into the Olympics with no hope of winning a medal.  They go in, compete, do their best, and leave - knowing from the beginning that they aren't the best and aren't going to win a medal.  Do you think, though, that they don't at least hope?  I bet every single competitor has imagined their perfect scenario.  They think that maybe, just maybe, they will have the performance of a lifetime and the "medal contenders" mess up, and the stars will align and they'll get to stand on the podium with that shiny medal around their neck.  They know it's not likely, but I bet they hope.

That's how Isaac and I entered our marriage.  We knew that his cancer was rare and didn't have a great prognosis.  But we hoped - we hoped that maybe the next treatment would slow things down enough until a better treatment came along...and that treatment would shrink things enough until maybe one day, we'd get our gold medal.  We'd find the treatment that worked.  We knew it wasn't likely, but we hoped.  We went in, gave it our best, and here we are.  We didn't get the medal we hoped for - but boy, did we try...and I think it was the performance of the lifetime!

"As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This time of year...

There's been a blog brewing in my mind for a few days now, but I just have had trouble putting it together.  The week of Feb 12th-Feb19th contains some important days for me. 

First, February 12th was Isaac's 25th birthday!  We had a few friends over, sang to him, and had some ice cream cake - Isaac even had a few bites of the ice cream!  The day was bittersweet for me though, as I was feeling a little regret in my heart.  Last year, I didn't do anything big for his birthday and I told him that this year we'd do something special.  We had a 4 day weekend, and I thought at first maybe we'd go somewhere on a trip.  Then, when we decided on hospice, I was planning to just have an open house birthday party for him.  I didn't imagine I'd be feeding him ice cream cake in a hospital bed. 

Second, is of course, Valentine's Day.  Sigh.  For years, I thought about how wonderful it would be to actually have a Valentine!  I can't actually remember what we did for Valentine's Day last year (how bad is that?!).  This year is strange for first married Valentine's Day.  I just don't even know what to say other than, it's certainly not how I expected to be spending my first married V-Day!

Third, February 19th will mark 2 years since Isaac and I made the leap into couplehood.  I can't remember the exact date, but sometime around Valentine's Day 2 years ago, Isaac was in the hospital.  I visited him, and left him a Valentine card.  In it, I shared with him that I had feelings for him, and thought we should pursue a relationship.  It took a little coaxing, but he eventually admitted he felt the same.  It was just different for him, he wasn't sure that he wanted to let me in like that, feeling it wouldn't be fair to me to ask me to be in a serious relationship when his future was so uncertain.  I knew though, that I already loved him too much to just ignore it!  And so, our relationship began! 

This is just such a weird place that I am in right now.  Our CNA called it "coasting", which really does describe how I feel.  I am sure that my mind and body are just going to crash once he is gone.  But for now, I feel like I am on autopilot.  I get around 4-6 hours of sleep a night, never all in a row though.  Yet, I am not exhausted.  I hardly cry anymore, I just hold it together somehow. 

Many people have told me how strong I am, and this whole experience is certainly showing me that I am stronger than I thought!  But, I think you would be doing the same thing if you were in my situation.  You don't really have a choice.  You have to be strong, because if you just fall all apart, who will be there to help your loved one?  I believe we rise to the occassion.  I do what I have to do, and lean heavily on Christ and the help of others.  I break down sometimes, but I don't stay down!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Yesterday there was a lot of laughter in our house! Isaac was in rare form! The day began with him deciding, at 8 am, that he needed to sit up so I went to sit next to him because he is a ltitle unsteady, then decided that he would climb off his bed and into my air mattress - where he fell asleep for 2 1/2 hours! I asked him why he was getting in my bed and he said "for kicks and giggles" - haha!
This is what our dining room looks like at night! (but usually he is in the other bed!)

Then, our friend Ned and his daughter came over.  Ned asked Isaac how he was doing and this was the conversation...
Isaac:  People!  She's not letting me having any good drinks here!
Me:  What do you want?  Water? Sprite? Dr. Pepper?  Chocolate milk?
Isaac:  Chocolate milk
Me:  I'll go get you some
Isaac:  Bull crap.
(I return with a glass of chocolate milk)
Isaac (to Ned):  Well, she's only going to let me have half. 

It was too cute!  (and he had a second glass of chocolate milk later in the evening!)  He had some Sprite yesterday evening too, and says "That's so good!  I love how it's like WOOSH in your mouth!" - he always has loved a "peppy" soda, as he calls it.  Then, before bed I asked him who I am (he was getting a little confused) and he says "The one who kicks my butt" - darn, right!

I cherish these little glimpses of him, when he makes me laugh, and I can just enjoy a little "normal"!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Waiting for You

My favorite part of the day lately is around 10:30pm. That's about the time that all of our visitors have left, and the only sounds in the house are the fish tank and the oxygen machine. I climb into bed beside Isaac and hold him in my arms. I read him the cards and notes we've gotten in the mail, or some Scripture. I sing him what became our somewhat unconventional song - A Bushel and a Peck. I'm not even sure how or when we started that, but somewhere in our relationship he said to me "I love you a bushel and a peck", and it just stuck. So, I read to him, sing to him, and then pray over him. It's such a sweet time, and I'm so thankful we have those moments together.

Last night, after I "tucked him in", a line from a song popped into my head. "Hungry I come to You for I know You satisfy" from Hungry, the version done by Kutless. I have the Kutless CD with that song on it, but I'm not sure why it popped into my head like that when I hadn't heard it in weeks. So, I looked up the song on YouTube and the lyrics. The part that spoke most to my heart was the lines "Broken I run to You for Your arms are open wide. I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life. So I wait for You."

There are a few things in those few words that speak to where I am right now. First, "broken" - if I could sum up all the feelings I feel in one word, it is broken. Broken, to me, means I've fallen apart but I can be put back together. Broken, but not beyond repair. And, when we are broken, and run into the arms of God - He is the one who lovingly picks up our shattered pieces and puts them back together. Often, He puts them back together into a different and better version than before.

His touch restores our weary souls. Weary...not tired...but weary. That's a good word for how I feel. I'm not tired. I think I'm running on about 4 hours of restless sleep a night, but even when I have the chance to nap, I am not tired. (some of that, I must admit, is thanks to my friends at Dunkin Donuts) I am weary though. Weary in a way that no amount of sleep will help. I think the only remedy for that weariness will come after Isaac is gone and I can have peace that he is no longer suffering.

But, it's the last line that I love the most. I've listened to this song a ton of times and never really registered that line until last night. "So I wait for You"...that's what we're doing here. We're not waiting for Isaac to die, but rather we are waiting for Jesus to be ready to come get him. It makes me think back to a song I used to love before Isaac and I started dating (and, for the record, before the movie Fireproof caused it to become overplayed!), "Worship in the Waiting". Before, I was choosing to worship God in the waiting for Him to bring Isaac and I into a relationshop...and now I am choosing to worship Him while I wait for Him to take Isaac home.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Glimpses of Jesus

Even though I am sad, and seem to be on the edge of tears every minute, I feel such peace today. It is at times like this, when we are going through the worst, that we get the chance to see the best in other people. I have seen Jesus all around us these past few days, and think I should share some of my glimpses with you.

After our first really rough night Thursday, I drive to school thinking I'm not sure how much longer I can keep working. When I arrive at school, I find that some dear friends had arranged it so I could stop working Friday. When I shared this with another friend at church on Sunday, she teared up because on Friday morning she had been praying for that exact thing.

I have seen Jesus in the friends who have sat by Isaac's bedside and kept me company. I have seen Him in 2 friends, who come daily to sit and just be near Isaac. I have seen him in another friend, who came home from out of town this weekend and was here by Isaac's side every day.

God's love is in the meals I have received, the email and comments I get, the texts and phone calls, and many offers to help with our needs. I saw Jesus this morning when I got a Facebook message from a high school friend who said at 3am, God brought me to her mind and she was praying for me. Unknown to her, at 3am I was crying out to God for help. Isaac had wet his bed, and I was by myself at 3 in the morning trying to get him to let me change his sheets and clothes. God heard my prayers - and answered.

But, the place I have most seen Jesus through all of this, is in Isaac. Last night I whispered to him "Do you still think God is good?" and he mummbled "MM hmm" and nodded. Last night, I got a measure of peace when I was Isaac said to me 'In Heaven, I won't have to worry about this. I won't have to have this feeling. No more pain."

So yes...this is the most difficult thing I have ever gone through. It's the lowest valley and the dryest desert. But God is in it with me. He shows His face daily. I will be okay.