It’s done. I rang the bell.
It was a really good day.
I cried on and off all day. I’m just so overwhelmed by the goodness of God.
Music is a big part of my faith experience. I love music and it’s so often the tool God uses to draw me close.
Driving to my last radiation treatment, I turned on the radio. I don’t often listen to our local Christian radio station while driving to the hospital, I might listen to news or a podcast, but this morning I felt compelled.
While driving in, this was the playlist that came on: Jericho by Andrew Ripp, Dry Bones by Lauren Daigle, Waymaker by Leeland, and Known by Tauren Wells.
If you’re not familar with these songs, here some of the lyrics:
Long before I ever called your name, you were fighting for my victory. Carved in your flesh and bone are wounds that have said my soul’s forgiven. All of my fears like Jericho walls gotta come down, come down… (Jericho)
But we know that You are God, Yours is the victory. WE know there is more to come that we may not yet see. So with the faith You’ve given us we’ll step into the valley unafraid. As we call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive. We call out to dead hearts, come alive, come alive. Up out of the ashes, let us see an army rise. We call out to dry bones, come alive. (Dry Bones)
And you are way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness. My God, that is who you are. (Waymaker)
I’m fully known and loved by You. You won’t let go, no matter what I do. And it’s not one or the other, it’s hard truth and ridiculous grace to be known, fully known, and loved by you. I’m fully known and loved by you. (Known)
While I was at MD Anderson, the amazing team of therapists I had were so excited for me. My entire family came and stood outside the glass door that looks in at the bell so they could cheer me on. The women were so excited to “meet” the triplets they’d heard about.
After my final dose of radiation, we walked down the hall. You read a poem on the wall, “Ring this bell, three times well, it’s toll to clearly say, my treatment’s done, this course is run, and I am on my way!” Seriously, I’m crying typing it. I was crying reading it. Then you toll the bell three times. Bray and the kids were outside cheering.
I’d stopped for donuts for the therapists and picked some up for the kids too. I got to drop them off at school (a little late, we got special clearance to come celebrate with me)!
On our way to school, God blessed me with more music. Amen by King and Country and New Today by Micah Tyler. Resurrection day is here. Bells are ringin’ loud and clear. Caterpillar to a butterfly. Risen to another life. All the people say Amen! Amen! All the people say Amen! Amen! From death to life. Amen means SO BE IT. It is an affirmative response. And a conclusion. What a gift to have AMEN playing on the radio at my conclusion. Then:
Your mercies are new today, your mercies are new today. I can rest on your shoulders, there is grace to start over, your mercies are new today. (New Today) After the conclusion, I had the gift of a reminder: TODAY IS NEW! There is grace to start over. Today is a fresh start.
What a gift. God affirming messages through music that He has been teaching me all along the way. People all day trickled in with texts and messages. A dear friend dropped flowers. A precious co-worker zoomed me. (Ha!)
After little bit’s softball practice, Bray took us all out to dinner to celebrate. We went to the exact same spot he took us after we’d found out the cancer news and we were all so sad. We had laughed so hard that night, for the first time in two days, and it was such a celebration this time. He ordered champagne and dessert, big splurges for us, and we ended up seeing three separate families we knew at the restaurant who cheered us too! I opened a good bottle of wine a precious executive had given me a few years back for a big win. I let him know he was helping us celebrate another big win.
It’s all been a gift. All of it. The drains and the miracle of how it got out. The surgeon and the miracle of how I got her. COVID and the miracle of how everyone caught it but me. The community who utterly surrounded us and loved us and showered us with their presence and their presents.
I’m not out of it. I’m still burned and tired and it will take a few weeks. But I’m SO completely deep in my bones grateful. For this. For God. For my family. And for you.