Life's been a bit of a roller coaster for me the past few weeks. I think I'm hitting that point in the ride where your stomach catches back up to the rest of you. At the end of really high highs and a few really low lows I feel like the world is starting to right itself once again. Starting being the operative word.
My heart has been heavy for Coach Pagano and his family with the recent discovery of Leukemia that has put him in the hospital undergoing chemo therapy. For my non-football buffs, he's the head coach in Indianapolis of the Colts. I was trying to imagine as I read the news last week just what that must be like for his three daughters (he's a football coach with three daughters, just like my Dad). It has weighed heavily on me since and I hope you'll join me in praying for them through this tough time. As I look at his family and it reminds me so much of my own, I'm heart broken for them.
I was touched by the support of both our team in Indianapolis as well as the Green Bay Packers who we faced off against this week (our first rival since Coach Pangano was announced to be out for the remainder of our season )who all came out in ChuckStrong shirts in support of him as he battles cancer. It's so encouraging to me to see the NFL unite in support of one of their own.
I've been experiencing some stretching in my relationships these last few weeks. I'm grateful that in a season in life when much is going on, the Lord has brought some sweet new friendships into the mix. After my closest Tampa friend moved away earlier in the year there has certainly been a void in my local life. But as I've entered a new season of leading a bible study the Lord has provided me an amazing group of girls and one who happens to work a block away from me. We have now initiated what we call jailbreaks and when either of us has too much on our minds or a a series of intense meetings we call for a jailbreak, pick the other up and spend our lunch breaks together running errands and drinking heavily of diet coke.
I am experiencing a bit of emotional weariness if you're not catching that in the tone of this blog. But I stand amazed at all the Lord continues to bring together in my life. As I was thinking about what a year this has been for my family I'm humbled by the timing of my sweet baby niece. My sister wrote a beautiful e-mail announcing her birth last December and I was rereading it the other day. She wrote:
We chose the name Noa, because this baby girl is a reminder to us of the Lord's faithfulness to His people, even through plans and timing that we do not always understand. The Lord's faithfulness is so evident to us in the story of Noah in the bible, and it has been equally as evident in our families and in our lives as individuals, as a married couple, and now as parents. From this day forward, may we and others who know her be reminded of God's presence and plans for those that He loves each time we see her sweet face.
When I think of all my family has gone through this year and primarily within the realm of my Dad's work world I'm blown away by how telling my sisters words were. Noa has been and continues to be the perfect reminder of the Lord's presence and plans for us and she has brought so much joy to us in a topsy-turvy year. Sweet baby Noa, she is truly one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us. What a reminder of the Lord's faithfulness and love for us, his people.
I stand both amazed and humbled - what a God I serve.
Please keep the Pagano family in your prayers. And know that even as my presence here in the blog world has wavered my thoughts for each of you have not. Don't worry, I'll be around. For now, I leave you with this:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.