Sometimes it’s hard to find words for things that are hard to talk about. To be brave enough to say that you’ve gone through something that shakes your world so hard, you don’t even know how to stand back up. To keep fighting through each day, even when your heart doesn’t even feel like it has the energy to keep beating.
The aftermath of the illness knocks the breath right out of you. To a pre-teen, the words “brain tumor” seem so insignificant at first. But soon after I heard those two life-changing words, I learned how much power a brain tumor holds over the person you love. How it changes a person. How it steals your independence. How the hospital becomes your second home. Every part of your life is shaped by this brain tumor. And life is not the pretty picture you painted for yourself as a child. And friends, coming to terms with that is HARD.
But I am not the same person because of it.
My mom was diagnosed with a Low-Grade Glioma Astrocytoma in the hypothalamus at the age of 34. She was only given 6 months-1 year to live, but she fought for over 3 ½ years after her diagnosis. To this day, I still don’t understand how she endured the struggle for so long. Her grace through suffering was a constant reminder of Christ’s love for us, and I really think that is the only thing that got our family through. Romans 8:26-28 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Now, 14 years later, we were contacted by the American Brain Tumor Association, asking if we would photograph the teams for the Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5k here in Columbus. It was so heart-touching to be apart of this event and I am so grateful that this organization is working toward “providing and pursuing answers”.
For anyone who feels lost or overcome with darkness and pain, keep searching for the light. And when you find it, hold onto it with all your might. When I find a fiery red piece of hair on my head, I think of my mom, and it reminds me to keep fighting to find the light in every struggle. To find joy, even when things are not how I pictured them to be.