I Pledge Allegiance

Saturday. Our Sabbath. A day that we rest and worship. We look forward to this day all week. Unlike last week, Tara had the strength to go to church. Being there with her is still powerful for me. It forces me to closely examine the words I hear, sing and say there. Will I say things I don’t believe? No. Rather, I say it with a flood of emotion. Like a grateful patriot uttering the pledge of allegiance or singing the national anthem. Tears often stream. Like a groom saying his vows, looking into the eyes of his bride. Weeping is common. When the words connect so deeply with what you feel.

If I had the perspective of this page of our lives when I spoke the words “… for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…”, I would have wept a river. I would have looked Tara in the eyes and said, “We can make it. I love you and I want to take this journey with you.” The hardship is easily worth our family and our love.

Tara’s battle now is to gain strength. Her body is no longer in survival mode only. There is room for more. She is working on eating less but more often, eating the right foods, and pushing her stamina. Its tiring and the progress is slow. But it is there. Her distended belly is starting to shrink, meaning it is holding less fluid. The shingles, well they’re a pain in the butt, literally. But this too shall pass.

She is able to love life. I washed her hair tonight, at least what’s left of it. I told her that my hands looked like I dipped them in glue then grabbed a gorilla. Covered in hair. That could have gone either way, but she laughed…thankfully. She hears many times daily that she is beautiful. Lewis has been a great comforter, often rubbing her shoulders and saying, “Mom, I love you. Can I pray for you?” Having Jenna, Andrean and Esther cuddle with her today while watching a movie blessed her. She says how much more she appreciates things, and how she will never take for granted the little things, like easily going to the bathroom, or getting dressed, or anything else that is more difficult right now. This was the mood of her day. Gratefulness. Appreciation. Joy.

So now she sleeps. Another day down in the battle. We are going to make it. Thank you God for daily sustaining us and reminding us of your goodness.


9 thoughts on “I Pledge Allegiance

  1. Continuing to pray for you all but specifically for Tara to gain the strength she needs!
    2 Corinthians 12:9
    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
    Daniel 10:19
    “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my Lord, since you have given me strength.”

  2. Just after reading your latest post, I opened an e-mail that contained the following link to a beautiful video based on Michael W. Smith’s “Breathe.” It richly blessed me, and it reminded me how desperate we all are for God. May you be blessed as you watch it and rest in Him.

  3. Amen. Thank you for encouraging all of us- because these good days, growing in strength, give us strength because we know from where your healing comes. Thank you Jesus. There’s nothing more cleansing than the tears of connection in faith to our Father. The depth of emotion also when He connects souls in marriage, friendship and fellowship.

  4. I am glad to know that Tara is making good progress. I laughed at the gorilla joke. I am glad Tara did too. The good thing is that hair grows back. I love Michael W. Smith’s Breathe video. It also made me think of the song – The Potter’s Hand. We are all being molded and made into what God would have us to be. Your attitude of willingness to walk this path and allow God to do his will in your lives will bring many to Christ. I continue to pray for you and thank God for the good things he is doing in your family, despite the cancer. Enjoy all the cuddles, snuggles and quiet times together you can share. Take each moment and thank God for those blessings, just as you have been. Father, I pray that you would continue to strengthen Tara, that you would heal her body of the shingles quickly, so that she would be more comfortable. I pray that each day would bring a fresh awareness of you and your words for her. Thank you for her faith and for her family’s faith. May they always rejoice in your goodness and give praise among God’s people for your marvelous acts of mercy and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  5. What a treat to see each of you Yesterday. Tara you looked so beautiful! Your eyes are sparkling again! You both are radiating the light of The Lord. It is evident you love and trust your Heavenly Father! It was wonderful to see you as a family – you are blessed!

    Team Nichols

  6. Jay, Tara and family – I cannot express how blessed I am and the inspirtation I receive each day as I read your updates Jay. Though none of you have met me I am one of Nancy’s first cousins who lives in Colorado. We had a first cousins lunch in AZ a couple of weeks ago when Dorothy was in the Tucson area and we all talked about the wonderfui God inspired updates you send out on the challenges you face BUT how your faith carries you through. Having lost our oldest son in August at age 54, we know that with some of life’s trails we could not endure without God in our lives.

  7. I am continually in prayer for Tara and have a prayer chain in Naples Florida praying around the clock for Tara also. Mom,Gram
    and Great Gram

  8. Your battle is ours as well, Tara and Jay. The Lord brought you to mind in a special way on Saturday morning. My thoughts and prayers were with you. Much love.

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