Wow, what a wonderful weekend we had! Our blessings continued from Friday into the weekend and we were able to spend time together as a party of five as well as with so many of our fans, coaches, team members, cheerleaders etc. Our community and people from all over show such love and support to us all the time but this weekend at the Varsity Baseball Games. They scheduled a “Team Fouch” day, what a celebration. So many people were there with hugs, kind words and cheering after our news at MD Anderson the day prior. I witnessed something so special it is engraved in my mind. Matt threw out the first pitch, yes he did make it across the plate, and Jake was the catcher for that game. Watching them meet after the pitch on the field and hug was so wonderful. If your wondering, EGR won both games! On Sunday our family went to church at New Heart Church and I was able to give my testimony about my faith and the journey to get there. I then was baptised, what an amazing experience. Now I realize that everyone reading this is at different places with religion and may feel uncomfortable talking about this. However, I feel so thankful that I want to share my testimony with you.
I should give you some background first. My parents had me baptised as an infant and made a commitment to raise me knowing God, they so lovingly carried through with this. We went to church on Sundays, religious education, youth group and felt blessed knowing that God was so good. As I grew older and went to college, then after marriage and after having each of my kids I still ‘tried” to stay this course. Somewhere between weekend games, activities and exhaustion we fell away from this path and would “try” to make attending church fit into our busy schedules. Many times I yearned to be like my parents and Matt’s parents with the commitment they had with us when we were younger. After Matt’s diagnosis finding our Faith became so important to us, thanks to those many people that prayed and still pray for us.
So no matter where you are, I felt the need to share my journey.
Faith Over Fear,
Finding Faith-Baptism Testimony
July 18, 2018 our family’s world changed in less than a three hour period. Two and a half hours after a MRI in the emergency room on my husband’s abdomen, we received a diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer. Immediately tears poured from my eyes, I was in a state of shock. The thought of losing my best friend, my husband, the love of my life and the most loving and dedicated father, made me feel like I was suffocating. Questions about why, how, when spiraled in my head along with denial and every other emotion imaginable. We were admitted for biopsies, tests, a Port insertion for treatment etc. Matt and I were beyond heartbroken and filled with fear like I had never felt before, thrown into what felt like the darkest hole. Once Matt was comfortable and asleep feelings of hopelessness, despair and loneliness took over my mind, body and soul. I wandered the hospital like a small child that had lost their mother. I went from the family sitting area, I circled the hallway, stopped to check on Matt, texted my sister all while crying out for help. I spent many hours searching “Google” for cures, treatments, statistics, best case scenarios, worst case scenarios and every piece of information in between. I was desperate, this wasn’t happening, not to us! I continued this sequence of events until around 3:30 am in the morning. Around this time I put my phone aside and curled up in the family sitting area, knowing that if I went back to Matt’s room I would wake him. I was so tired, so angry, so hurt, so alone, so sad and so lost. As I lay there I noticed a television in the corner of the room that I hadn’t noticed on earlier. I believe God wiped away my tears long enough to notice it as well as giving me the gift of being present in order to hear his message. You see, the spiritual channel was on and the word FAITH was so loud and clear, I believe God sent me that message. It was at that moment I felt safe, protected, like someone wrapped me in a hug and held me. Instead of “Googling” treatments, cures, the “what ifs” etc. I prayed! I asked for forgiveness, I asked for guidance, I asked for strength. I yearned for a relationship with God. I wanted God in my life, I needed him. For the first time in my life, I wanted my faith to be bigger than my fears. I put my trust in God, something that I had never fully allowed myself to do. I gave my worries, fears, sadness, anger and other feelings to him. I accepted that God has a plan for me and for my family.
Nine months into our journey I feel God’s presence, I am not afraid to take his hand. He brings comfort and peace. He brings joy and hope. He brings never ending love to my family. I have had so many messages sent from God that remind me that he is right next to me. A message that is truly special to me was using my own son Jacob, as a messenger to bring our family to New Heart Church. I now know that the tears that I often shed are so I can see more clearly, I also know that without experiencing darkness, I would not crave the light.
Joshua 1:9 is a verse that I have read and recited since Matt’s diagnosis.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
How blessed am I to know that God’s love for me is so great that he will never leave me. How blessed am I to have the Lord as my savior. How blessed am I that the Lord lifts me up and sets me free.