I love that Roanoke Memorial Hospial has free WIFI. We’re here today for Carolyn’s final surgery related to her breast cancer. It’s the last reconstruction surgery, and we’re both excited about it, but for different reasons…

As we sat in the pre-op room this morning together, (I sat; Caro was lying down) it was funny how we handle things. It’s literally not a “big deal” to us to find ourselves back in the hospital. We visited, laughed, checked on friends via Facebook and Twitter on our iPhones and looked forward to a busy weekend ahead. I tried to snap her picture to show her that she was beautiful even in a paper gown, but she successfully blocked my attempt with her hand. However, I can spin the picture another way and just say she’s waving at you all.

I related to Caro that I’ve not been in the hospital for myself since I was a kid. I had had some kind of stomach virus and threw up all night to the point that my parents stayed up with me, feeding me ice chips to try to keep my hydrated. When my hands began drawing up, they took me to the ER in Little Rock where the docs hydrated me with IVs. She rolled her eyes as I tried to convince her that the experience compared to hers. “I could have died,” I assured her.

This round of cancer has been different from other rounds. It’s been different because we’ve had a different church family to walk us through it in Northstar. They’ve been amazing. We are experiencing different doctors, different hospitals and new routines in a different state. Virginia has been just as kind to us as Arkansas was as we’ve weathered this process.

As many differences as there have been, we’ve also experienced some of the same that we’re grateful for. We’ve had the same loving families to call, visit and and encourage us. We’ve had some of the same friends to usher us through it with letters, cards and e-thoughts (whether Facebook, Twitter, email or blogs). Some of the same churches have prayed for us including Journey Church, First Baptist Monticello, Taylor Memorial Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church Monticello, Second Baptist Monticello, Immanuel Baptist Little Rock, and at least a dozen others.

In the difference and the same, we’re grateful to everyone who has prayed, cooked, laughed and cried us through this episode. Your helpfulness in carrying another cancer burden has made another experience lighter. It’s made especially so because we trust in the One who is the Light of the world. Our sincerest wishes have been that our response to cancer reflects His care. We did not choose cancer; it was chosen for us. Because Christ also chose us to reflect His character in this time, we have earnestly prayed that our lives have honored His Sovereignty.

It was a beautiful morning as we drove over to Roanoke, and as we drove, we prayed for today and all that it holds. We also prayed for the next several days of gloriously full activity. A two-hour surgery is in process even now. When it’s complete, and we’re back home, we’ll be blessed with busyness. We’ll have a houseful of friends over the next several days, visiting from Arkansas. On Saturday night, I’ll be speaking to college students at an event at Virginia Tech. Sunday brings a special day with Michael Kelley of Lifeway speaking at our church. The kids’ social and sports calendars plunge inexorably forward…

We’re blessed. And we’re grateful.

On this day...