Saturday 4th April, 2020.
Hello Lovely Friends,
How is everyone going?
It’s the end of another extraordinary week within our world: nation, local government, workplaces, communities, families, walls, minds!
Yesterday was supposed to be the end of Term One for schools in Queensland, but it had been declared a Student Free week here, so although some students have been at school due to parents being in essential work, most were at home. (Read as 1 week of early holidays :) We had already taken our kiddos out of classes prior to this, on our doctor’s advice, and our eldest was not going to the Uni campus, but we had been keeping schooling going from home. We’ve celebrated birthdays and our 24th Wedding Anniversary without being able to gather or go out. Like many of you, we’ve been up-skilling on how to digitally connect and gently try to help the extroverts in our family find new ways to climb the walls!! So much has been happening in our world and in our microcosms that we have been putting off posting to avoid being yet another stream of info flowing into peoples’ emails/inboxes/thoughts. However, we are so aware that your prayers, support and connection have been such a constant blessing throughout our journey so we wanted to keep you updated, and also to remind you that we are praying for you and yours too!
In February, on continuance of the same medication, the Myeloma levels had come down to 14 (we are looking for zero). They remained at 14 for the month of March, and all of the other levels that we watch are also going well. Praise the Lord! The monthly "Bone Juice" infusion progressed uneventfully too- which is always a good thing! :) Speaking to the Doctor this week sees a change to a tele-health call for the appointment later in April, and going forward for the foreseeable future. He has also cancelled the “Bone Juice” infusion for April, and will change them to a 3-monthly timeline. The next set of vaccinations that were scheduled for Bernadette in May have also been postponed. These things will help in reducing the risk of infections by limiting the visits to hospitals/centres with lots of people. In terms of energy, Bernadette continues to pace herself day by day, and without sounding flippant, she thinks it kind of feels like the world has just slowed down to her speed! Careful choices about going out, trying to be positive and productive in the home space regardless of all that is going on around you, and being reminded to do what is important rather than what is urgent! #notaprofessionalyet
Over the past few years during this journey of ours, we have been trying to live out the reality that the bible speaks of, where the power of the Lord is made perfect in our weakness because His grace IS sufficient for us: a promise for all of us, all the time (2 Cor 12:9). It is humbling. It requires commitment and passion. It requires daily, step-by-step faith choices to declare with all of our life that God is worth trusting for every answer we need whether or not we see it yet. But it breaks opens an exhilarating pathway to walk with Jesus, lit with love, that brings joy in the midst of pain, and hope and strength for each new day.
Right now, in the face of the COVID-19 virus that is sweeping the world, we collectively face the reality of our lack. Knowing we cannot possibly be/do/give all that we see is needed to help others, or even to just help ourselves, we have a choice. Do we dig in and muster up whatever self-reliance we have, talents, energy or right ways and positive thinking? Or do we submit to the leading of the Father God and allow Him to direct all of us and our ways so that His power and grace is brought to bear in every situation? He promises to be an ever present help in times of trouble (Ps 46:1).
He knows what we need and He wants us to trust Him and be released to ‘sing’ in the darkness and ‘shine’ the light of eternal hope, with practical and spiritual out-workings to all those around us. God is able to handle all of our questions and emotions. But, "I have been learning to leave the Why alone, and ask God for How. He then reveals to me the What, positions me for the Where, and nudges me towards the Whom and the When.”
Thank you for acting out your faith towards our family in these ways already. Let’s encourage each other to continue to do likewise in these times, and meet the needs of those God has given us, with the constant refreshing and enabling coming from an Almighty Source that will never run dry. May the Lord be your refuge and strength, your shield and your joy!
Love and Blessings,
Robb & Bernadette & Family xo
This song has been on my mind all week! Shout to the North- By Martin Smith (This version sung by Robin Mark)