A quick look back

Hi friends, it’s Tony.   Most of the time, Mere writes our posts, but we decided it was time to switch things up. At least this once.

I tend to believe the things rolling around in my head aren’t really important or impactful, and certainly not well-expressed when I start writing them down.  But Mere has encouraged me to share my thoughts and a little bit of my heart on the current season of life.  If you know us well (or have been just following us) you know this has been one of the most interesting and unforeseen times in each of our lives.  When we got married just two years ago, we had some thoughts on what life would look like, how we would function as a couple and eventually as a family.

Well, things have changed over the past 7 months or so. We’re not going to be moving to Africa any time soon. I’m not going to be able to do many of the activities I‘ve previously enjoyed doing for a while. I’m not working full-time.  We’ve not experienced what it is to have a normal, simple pregnancy (and not sure if there is a such thing). Mere is not working full-time for the near future. Right now we can’t even rely on ourselves for a whole lot of things. Tony

If I just look at the current condition of our lives, it can be rather daunting, a little sad and certainly frustrating. But that would be selling the situation short, for the practical things surrounding us are just a fraction of what our life consists of these days.  I realized, if I am making a list of our “can’t”s or “won’t”s, then I thought I should also write down the things that this season of life has provided.

As I started this list, I found that it’s longer than the previous. This season has offered an opportunity for many rich conversations among family, friends and strangers.  We’ve been blessed to share our story with others and equally as blessed to hear stories of challenge and redemption from those around us.  Our family and friends have stepped up and cared for us in a very real way, staying with us, driving us to appointments, sitting with us, and checking in on us. This time has strengthened our marriage in ways we couldn’t have predicted; learning to better love and serve one another.

DSC_0209

Alex, Luke & Tony, giving cancer the stink-eye.

As time moves on, we continually rely more and more on prayer.  The Lord has been extremely faithful in meeting us in our time of need.  Regardless of whether our situation changes or stays the same, He’s met us, heard us and provided for us.

I know that one day we’ll look back and see this season of life as very impactful and formative.  However, I don’t know with any certainty how this is all going to turn out.  A friend recently said that God is the only one who can see down the road and around the corner. I wish I had this ability- to know how everything would work out.   At times, living in the unknown causes me to grow impatient with God, with Mere, and with life in general.  But since I can’t speed up time to get through my current situation, I’m learning to embrace it.

Slowly but surely we’re seeing the way this season is teaching us, challenging us and even bringing us joy in the midst of suffering.  I recently read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and was struck by his view of suffering. He says the way in which we suffer has the ability to add deep meaning to our lives. I believe that thought to be true even though I don’t know the full implications of it.

I’m now in the hospital for Round 6 of 6 inpatient treatments; the hope again is that this is a rather “boring” period and nothing out of the ordinary happens.  After this I’ll be starting another 18 week chemo regimen. The great news about this is that all the infusions will be done as an outpatient.  I don’t exactly know when all of this will end, right now we live from treatment to treatment and scan to scan, trying not to let results dictate all of our thoughts and actions.  We thank everyone for how you’ve walked beside us and loved us in this season.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “A quick look back

  1. Thanks for sharing Tony! This is beautiful & inspiring to all of us who have felt circumstances that could weigh us down if we choose to let them. A great reminder to Look at the positives and to lean on the strength of the Lord. Many continued prayers from my family to yours as you both continue on your journey.

  2. Thanks for adding your insight, Tony. I was just hearing about the Frankl book from another source (tho I don’t remember where for sure) and wondered if I should be reading it. 6 down (almost)!! See you next week. Love you.

  3. Tony: Thanks for sharing. Hearing from you is helpful for us. Things are still in a place we can get through them and hopefully look back years from now and wonder how we got through — knowing that God’s love and friends did it. Take care and stay strong (strengTH). Love, Dad Frey

  4. Tony,
    You and Meredith have been in my heart and on my mind with everything you are going through. How insightful and faithful to be able to find the positives in everything you are facing. How can one couple endure so much?? You both are definitely an inspiration to all. You may never know how much you are affecting others, but you are. Praying you can find some contentment and comfort in the quiet moments… Love, Neely

  5. Deaer Tony & Mere,
    My family and I have been praying for you daily and will continue to do so. God is with you every moment. Sometimes life is difficult to understand but faith, God’s love and love from your family and friends will help you. God be with you and bless you.
    Mary Ann Wissman

  6. Tony,
    I love how you keep referring to this season in your lives, for it truly is a season and just as spring is just beginning to jump out for us here in Maryland, you and Meredith and your little one have the next season to look forward to. Our “prayer warrior ladies” continue to pray for you all. Trust that around that corner ahead is a powerful witness for you both.
    Those of us who have survived cancer, by the Grace of God, know that He will use all that you have gone through for good.
    And we will keep praying.
    With much love,
    Annette

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