"Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am YOUR God. I will strengthen you and help you."
It's the night before Tammy goes into the hospital, and we're leaning heavily on this verse and the sentiment it carries. We are not afraid of what lies ahead, but we can't help but be a little apprehensive. We're about to embark on a process that has a 1-in-5 chance of ending her life. We're choosing to focus on the 4-in-5 chance of survival, but we know the risks are there.
Friday was Tammy's last day of work, and many of her friends stopped by her desk to say good-bye. She kept reminding them that it was "until we meet again" instead of "it's been nice knowing you." But there still were plenty of tears. Friends and loved ones are scared, and Tammy has been using the opportunities to witness about her confidence in the Lord's plan. She is not afraid. Here's how she describes it.
Fear can cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy peace, kill friendships, suppress memories, silence courage, and invade the soul and defeat the spirit, but only if we let it. Fear is a choice, as is faith. Faith can enable love, restore hope, overcome fear, bolster peace, enhance friendships, sweeten memories, awaken courage, and invade the soul and strengthen the spirit.
Sometimes it is very hard to rely on our faith. It does not make us bad Christians; it merely reflects the fact that we are humans. God knows where we struggle. He knows that our emotions make it tough to completely release everything to Him. But we must remember that He is the Creator of the universe and He holds everything together in His creation.
Today in church we sang a song called "Center." Here are the words: "You're the center of the universe, Everything was made in You, Jesus. Breath of every living thing, Everyone was made for You. You hold everything together; You hold everything together. Oh, Christ, Be the center of our lives, Be the place we fix our eyes, Be the center of our lives. We lift of eyes to Heaven. We wrap our lives around Your life. We lift our eyes to Heaven, to You."
We want Christ to be the center of everything we do. Practically, we would like Him to "hold everything together" inside Tammy's body as she receives the transplant. We're asking Him to guide the new cells to their new home without allowing rejection. We're asking him to keep her from developing life-threatening side effects. We're asking Him to carry her through this whole process. And we're asking Him to comfort you as you think about Tammy and our family.
You are a very important part of our lives. We have been buoyed by your prayers and well-wishes. We have relied on you, both physically and emotionally. We are very thankful for all of you.
We'll update more regularly once things start to happen more frequently. Please keep praying.