Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your blog comments comfort and challenge me...

Can't believe it's been another week already. The Salon 7 fundraiser was absolutely amazing. I was able to hang out there some on Friday and it was awesome- the auction items, the food, the radio station, the t-shirts, the donations...INCREDIBLE! It was so odd to be at something that was for me. Josh and I both struggle accepting gifts from others and letting others help us with things, and this was an ultimate example of that. When I walked in on Friday, I realized that all of those people there were there for me. I feel so unworthy and have to switch that unworthy feeling to thankfulness, and that is just what I did. They raised $8,000!!!!! Yes, I didn't put too many zeros, eight thousand dollars!!!! This will cover our deductible that will be due at the beginning of the year and should cover any tests that insurance won't cover. One could not believe the weight that this fundraiser has taken off of Josh and I. We could have never imagined this much money to be raised. In the medical world, what seems like a lot of money to us is pocket change! We are continually reminded that God will provide for us. Thank you Salon 7 for helping us with expenses and just loving us enough to do this for us. I still really can't believe it all happened. I am overwhelmed at everything you guys did! You are Christ to me!!!

Josh and I went to Houston last week for an expansion and everything went well. We think that I am fully expanded on my right side, but we still have more to expand on the left. It is possible that next week will be my last expansion. My doctor also said that he thinks I could have my exchange surgery sooner than I initially thought. It should happen in March or sooner:) That was some surprising good news because we were thinking that the earliest it could happen would be March. I love when God gives me those little moments!

Thank you all for praying for my test that I had run last week. Everything came back negative, which was good, but we still don't really know what is going on. I had a gallbladder, liver, and kidney ultrasound on Monday and everything looked normal as well. SO thankful!!! If symptoms continue to persist into next week, they want to do some G.I. tests. Please pray that symptoms cease and that I don't even have to do these tests. When I have a test coming up, I can become so paralyzed with fear. I get frustrated with myself for getting to that place again when God has proved himself over and over. I still need lots of prayers for fear to cease, symptoms to cease, and complete healing.

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." Deut. 7:9

One thing that has been particularly helpful to me since October 17th is reading the blogs from a year ago on the date they were posted along with the comments. At the time they were written and we received comments, we were in "survive" mode, and I didn't really have time to read them all and let them sink in. So many of you gave us such good advice on how to seek God, have faith, and how to put my beliefs into practice. Others of you expressed your love for us, or how you were praying for us. To read what we were experiencing at the time, and then reading your responses to our pain and story is something that uplifted me at the time and maybe even moreso now. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each post and the comments from a year ago. One person on the blog commented on how many wonderful Christian friends we have. I can sometimes take that for granted and not realize that we are the exception...WE ARE! I am so blessed by all of you...

"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." 1 Thess. 5:11

Last thing...one of the hairstylists at Salon 7, Jil Dasher (one of the most beautiful women I know), is participating in and encouraging a challenge called "No Make Up November." It is put on by Rave Ministries, and it encourages women of all ages to go without make-up for the month of November. Its' purpose is to bring attention to the pressure put on women to be what society calls "beautiful", rather than God's definition of beauty. Check out Jil's awesome blog and Rave Ministries' website. http://theminivantales.blogspot.com/2012/10/my-reflection.html?spref=fb
http://www.raveministries.org/

So, here's to a whole month with no make-up. Praying it gives me the opportunity to share with others about finding my true beauty in Christ. I never fully understood what that meant until I was stripped of all "womanly beauty." My breasts, my hair, my eyelashes, my eyebrows, my nails...all I had left was me. I truly think I felt most beautiful during my chemo when I came to the realization that God saw me more beautiful than ever before- fully seeking Him with my whole heart, in complete desperation. Praying I will only get more beautiful in His eyes... Join me on this month journey:)

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful." 1 Peter 3:4-5a.

8 comments:

ReneeClary said...

So proud of your strength! Pray for you and the family constantly!

Erin Goodfellow said...

Love you Aly, and enjoyed our chat tonite! I'm excited to be on the "no makeup" journey with you! I will be in prayer for you and all of the other ladies as we go through the month makeup free! You inspire me more and more each time I come to this page!

Love always,

Erin!

Brandie and Mark said...

Hi Aly, you and Josh are always in our thoughts and prayers. So happy that your expansions are almost complete. Please call us the next time you are in Houston...we would love to take y'all to lunch or have you over for dinner. Much love,

Brandie

The Morrows said...

I love reading your blog Aly. You are inspirational and absolutely beautiful! Praying for you.

Aly Taylor said...

Thank you Lindsey! Please keep praying!!

Aly Taylor said...

Thank you Renee!! I still need do many prayers!!!

Aly Taylor said...

Love you too Erin! Still in awe of all you guys did. Looking forward to the rest of this month and the opportunity to share with others about my no makeup!:)

Aly Taylor said...

Thank you Brandie. I'm still praying for you. Would Love to get together soon. I know your hair must be growing back. Pray you are enjoying some down time!