Ringing in a Season of Hope

I have asked Marybeth Lanius to write this week's HCC Blog. Marybeth is a regular part of HCC and leads our Survivors Support Group.

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Shortly after my last chemo treatment in June of 2020, I was struggling with the “what ifs,” the “what’s nexts” and the “what nows”. Unfortunately, after being entrenched in active duty (chemotherapy), a cancer patient must learn to LIVE with cancer.  

On 6.17.2020, I wrote this exact entry in my journal:
Last night I was suddenly overcome with tears. I cried to God…the same fear that repeats in my head throughout the day – in different formats. I am so saddened by thoughts of leaving my family too soon or even being sick over and over again. I will do anything to keep that perpetual pain away from them.  I closed my eyes and just listened…and heard these words “Believe it! You will live.”

Our Christmas decorations include the Christmas bells we received when we took two of our grandsons, Gavin and Connor, on the Polar Express train a few years back. 

Last year, Connor begged to take one of the bells in the car to play with on the trip back to his house. I forgot about that lost bell until the day after I heard the words “Believe it! You will live.” I was driving down the hill from our house and heard a distinct jingling. As I ran my errands that day, every once in a while, I would hear the ringing sound again. 

That night I told my husband, Brian, about it. His response was, “Haven’t you heard that before? It’s the Christmas bell that Connor left in the car last year. I hear it every time I drive your car.” I was amazed. I promise I had not heard that bell ring until that very day. 

Upon decorating that next December, I decided the tree looked full enough even though there were still a few little wrapped ornaments left in the bottom of the tub. I thought, ‘just one more,’ and then I’ll be done. So I unwrapped the crinkled, red tissue paper, and out fell the other Christmas bell AND a silver heart ornament with the word HOPE etched on it. 

My heart jumped! There it was again…another reminder for me to believe that I will indeed live a longer life – and finally, an eternal life with Jesus.  

PS If you have a heart for the sound of bells ringing this season, please sign up to help with the Salvation Army bell ringing during our annual road trip session! It is a wonderful way to get the family involved with holiday giving.  CLICK HERE