This past week my husband and I have been on vacation. On Good Friday we drove to the Oregon coast for the trip to the ocean we had promised each other last year when we began to realize the length of the journey we were embarking upon. My breast cancer recurrence had made itself known in July and shortly after on August 1, I wrote one of my favorite God stories – the blog post entitled “Holy Fruit.”
(For Holy Fruit II to be more meaningful, I encourage you to stop here and go read Holy Fruit under the August 2010 posts. The postscript still gives me goose bumps and has everything to do with this post following)…
Wayne and I have navigated the past nearly ten months through two major surgeries with chemo treatments tucked in between. To say it has been wearing is an understatement. The thought of our getaway to the ocean was the ‘carrot’ that kept us putting one foot in front of another, season after season. That and a very special bottle of wine waiting to be uncorked when we had come out the other side of this very long tunnel.
We couldn’t load the car fast enough that morning. After the long months of having a short chain at home and Wayne carrying a full workload in addition to playing chief caregiver, we were ready to leave “Dodge” in the dust. Safely nestled in a corner of the trunk was that special bottle of Latah Creek Huckleberry Riesling that was left on our front porch that summer Sunday last August.
On Easter evening, with the sight and sound of the ocean waves outside our room’s bay window, we shared Holy Communion with our very special wine…and saltines from Norma’s Ocean Diner. 🙂
Sitting in our room at the inn on Resurrection evening was the culmination of this long journey. As we took the elements of Christ’s body offered up for us that we may live, we had one focus only: gratitude and thanksgiving from the deepest places within us for how the Lord had preserved our life once again.
Though we have been so cared for by loving family and wonderful friends to whom we are immensely grateful, the Lord has been our constant Companion from that first dreadful diagnosis day to the evening we uncorked the fruit of the vine that has held such special and holy meaning for us both.
Here we are six nights later once again tucked in at home, the ocean just a distant roar in our memory. The bottle of wine is empty, but our hearts are full and overflowing. In spite of some of the hardest days we have ever known, our Redeemer pulled off a miracle. He turned the wine into water. Living Water.
Though healing from the final surgery will continue for months to come and stamina will take time to be rebuilt, it feels so good to have the past year behind us. As we greet May and the season of new birth after the long winter, we are proof positive that our faithful Lord does indeed “…satisfy the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things.” (Psalms 107:9) We will never stop proclaiming His heart for us, or for you.
Nancy Charlene and Wayne David