You Just Can’t Overstay Hope’s Welcome

spring

Hope (hōp)

Verb:   to cherish a desire with anticipation

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

~Epicurus

Hope brings significance to each and every moment we encounter.   Without it . . .  there’s no meaning to anything under the sun.

I know it has been a while since my last post.  Truthfully, this month has been a challenge—physically, mentally and spiritually.  Early in the month, I started my new chemo regimen:  dose-dense AC infusions—every other week.   I didn’t realize how emotionally bankrupt I would soon become.  I guess as my blood counts drop, zapping my energy level  like a nuclear missile—my spirit seems to wither too, much like the beautiful,  luxurious flower arrangement my nieces sent my way recently, one I’ve been desperate to keep alive.

Spring.  It’s funny the little things a girl thinks about as Spring emerges:   manis, pedis, new open-toed sassy stilettos  . . . perhaps a new outfit or two.  I covet my yearnings for these things that are simply not to be for me this year.  As I try desperately to hide my hideous nails in public, each one purple and black, lifting from chemo-related blood and infection . . . and my equally hideous, neuropathy-plagued feet, no longer acceptable for open-toed sassy shoes or pedis­­—I indeed feel deprived and sad.  Today, Lance, my 7-year old, in all his sweet honesty, pointed out the other sad fact that my eyebrows are disappearing, the final hair follicles to die.  The simple fact is:  it’s hard for me to have a Spring in my step or outlook these days.

Regardless of my thoughts filled with vain minutiae, Spring continues to unfold and as the crocuses begin to blossom in my yard, it’s impossible not to hear the heralding trumpet of new life spring forth.  With it comes a glimmer of excitement—a hope that day by day the season will continue to blossom, inspiring beauty in its warm welcome.

These days, my life is filled with urgent intention.  In fact, I find myself anxious and depressed when I’m too fatigued to move because I’m afraid I’m going to miss a moment, a great memory I can’t afford to lose . . . a picture that can never be recaptured.  Reflection has become part of my season of change.  Like Spring’s weather, this season of my life is a gentle reminder that I need to be cognizant of the rebirth taking place all around me—those  blossoms that not only take shape in my yard, but in my relationships . . . in my children, in myself.  Just as I need Faith to hold me together, I need hope to push me forward.

Making it a mission to treat hope as a verb, I choose to actively cherish my desires for the future with anticipation.  Spring is here.  It’s the start—a rebirth from seeds of hope.  I must cherish this moment.  This place.  This time.  It knows no bounds . . . you can never overstay Hope’s welcome.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  ~Romans 12:12 

28 thoughts on “You Just Can’t Overstay Hope’s Welcome

  1. Hi – wanted to give you hope. Last Spring, I was going through chemo learning my life’s lessons of cancer along the way. I do not remember much about last Spring other than the suffering of cancer and chemo. HOWEVER, this Spring I am making up for it! Everything seems prettier, everything seems brighter, everything seems more vibrant – especially me! This will be you next year! Spring will come to you once again, I promise.
    I wish there was an easier way through the suffering. There is not. But Spring next year will be double for your trouble! Sending a hug and encouragement your way!

    1. Denise, I’m overwhelmed by your encouragement and support! You are a true inspiration for those of us shuffling along this daunting road. Thank you for putting a smile on my face as I envision next year’s blossoms to be far more radiant! With love and appreciation, Nicole

  2. Each moment you can laugh will push the fear and pain a bit farther away. Call or text me any time during the witching hour/ s if you need a friend to talk to. Heck, I’m here for you ANY time. XO

    1. I so enjoyed having you overnight … thank you for nursing me back to health with fun and laughter (though I was comatose most of the time)! 😦 The boys had a blast too! Next time, let’s plan a girls’ night out — when the need for compazine isn’t trumping our fun! I love you bushels . . . xoxoxoxoxo Nicole

  3. Dearest Nicole, those who love you find you beautiful from eyebrow to toenail and the Lord, above all, sees you as radiant in all the perfection of Christ. What a most excellent scripture you gave us from Romans! It is a word for all of us today as we need hope in this world, and surely we have tribulation which demands patience and prayer. So we rejoice in our God of all comfort. You are encouraging so many as you redeem the time using the gracious gifts God has given you for such a time as this. Love, your friend, Linda XO

    1. Okay, I’m crying with your note! (good tears) Thank you for blessing me with your words of love and encouragement. Your support inspires me to remain steadfast with Hope and Faith at the helm. Loads of love and appreciation . . . Nicole xoxoxo

  4. Oh Nicole it hurts me knowing how hard & painful its been for you lately but Denise made me smile hearing her success story & knowing next spring will be brighter for you..I believe in having faith in “the secret” as hard as it can be at times, choosing & truly believing next spring will be a happier & brighter time for you..And there’s nothing that could change your striking beauty inside & out.. You are loved & admired for the truly amazing woman you are. Love you !! A. Vicki xoxoxoxo

    1. I love you! Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and support. Though difficult, I know that Faith is the only antecdote to fear . . . the cornerstone of Hope.

      This too shall pass . . . xoxoxo Nicole

  5. Hi Nicole, I don’t think we’ve ever met, but I’m part of the spiritual emphasis week team that was at FBCS this past week. I heard about your diagnosis and will be praying for you and your family as you travel this journey. Thanks for all you’ve shared on here – I just finished reading everything from the beginning through now.

    I also want you to know what a blessing your sons are to us during our time at the school. I don’t spend a whole lot of time with the younger grades so I don’t know Logan and Lance very well, but Colby has become such a blessing to me over the past couple years! As the week approached he was one of the specific students I was looking forward to seeing. He’s such a great young man – kind, thoughtful, respectful, mature for his age, and a clear heart for God. I was not surprised at all to read about the notes he leaves for you around the house! 🙂 I just wanted to tell you that you and your husband are doing an excellent job raising them! 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing your journey with us through this blog, and you will all be in my prayers!

    1. Matt!

      I’m overwhelmed by your note. The boys actually looked forward to April vacation ending because they were SO excited for Spiritual Emphasis week to begin. 🙂 Colby RAVES about his time with you and I cried when he shared with me how blessed he was to have time to talk with you and share a wonderful discussion about what he’s learned through this circumstance. WOW! He truly admires you . . . and so do I. It’s wonderful to have Godly, male role models to imprint on a young man’s heart. Colby couldn’t believe how you remembered the kids’ names. You are loved!

      Thank you SO much for allowing yourself to be used mightily for His great purpose and blessing us abundantly with your gifts and love. I can’t wait for Logan and Lance to get to know you better, too. God has certainly blessed us with three delightful, thoughtful young men after God’s own heart. Your testimony is an instrumental example for the children to see God’s divine plan and purpose powerfully impact others around us when we allow ourselves to be used for Kingdom purposes. Thank you!

      With love, prayers and heartfelt appreciation,

      Nicole

      1. Oh Nicole, you & John’s hearts must have soared w/ pride in hearing how much Matt enjoys & looks forward to spending time w/ Colby, as he is an amazing young man & yes you both have done a superb & rewarding job in raising such wonderful boys.. xoxoxoxoxoxo

      2. Thanks so much for your encouragement! I’m amazed by how you’re greatly able to bless and encourage so many others even as you go through such a difficult time personally. I definitely look forward to meeting you sometime! Praying for you!

  6. Hi Nicole, I don’t think we’ve ever met, but I’m part of the spiritual emphasis week team that was at FBCS this past week. I heard about your diagnosis and will be praying for you and your family as you travel this journey. Thanks for all you’ve shared on here – I just finished reading everything from the beginning through now.

    I also want you to know what a blessing your sons are to us during our time at the school. I don’t spend a whole lot of time with the younger grades so I don’t know Logan and Lance very well, but Colby has become such a blessing to me over the past couple years! As the week approached he was one of the specific students I was looking forward to seeing. He’s such a great young man – kind, thoughtful, respectful, mature for his age, and a clear heart for God. I was not surprised at all to read about the notes he leaves for you around the house! 🙂 I just wanted to tell you that you and your husband are doing an excellent job raising them!

    Thanks again for sharing your journey with us through this blog, and you will all be in my prayers!

  7. Hello Nicole, I’m so glad to have found my way to your blog. Thank goodness spring is here and can wrap you in comfort with the chirping birds and warming season. It is hard to cope with the physical change, I remember looking in the mirror and then wishing that I hadn’t. One thing that helped was going to a Look Good Feel Better seminar. They are free, widely available and give you loads of inspiration – I’ve seen women go in looking pale and come out looking amazing. Do consider attending a session if you are interested. I’m 100% certain you would be warmly welcomed. ~Catherine

    1. Catherine,

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and support. Yes, I definitely hope to attend the next Look Good Feel Better seminar. I do hear they are fantastic! I look forward to looking in the “rear view mirror” — vaguely remembering the details of this entire thing. ; )

      It will be a while . . . but that’s the hope Spring brings.

      Love, Nicole

      1. Saw this quote the other day and that last sentence reminds me of it…
        “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” – Bern Williams

  8. Hi Nicole I am extremely impressed and moved by your ability to adjust, the best you can with your diagnosis. With John and the boys on your side with the prayers of all of us and the almighty jesus Christ on your side, you will be able to overcome any obstacle that is put in your way. God bless and if there is anything you or John need do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Love and prayers Brian F.

    1. Brian,

      You are an amazing blessing … and a true friend. Your support—especially for John during this time has been SO appreciated. As I always say, the cream rises to the top when you need support . . . and you, my friend are the truest example, always rising to the occasion. We love you so much! God is good.

      xoxo

      Nicole

  9. Dear Nicole Your scripture says it all – though not always easy to practice. I agree with the friend who said next Spring will be awesome! Though we seldom saw each other, I hold a sense of missing you anyway! Sending hugs and God’s best blessings for this week. Love, Beth

  10. What a stunningly beautiful and honest post. I found it so hard to deal with all the physical changes too, I still do. And every spring brings with it so many memories for me. Still, it’s the season of renewal isn’t it? Thanks for the beautiful reminder to embrace the moment. Your last paragraph is especially powerful. Thank you.

    1. Nancy,

      Thank you for your beautiful words! You are such an inspiration. Though I’m saddened by the numbers, I’m also blessed beyond measure to have the wisdom and guidance of so many who have walked this path before me … you help make Hope possible.

      Loads of love and light,
      Nicole

    1. Matt …

      I’m overwhelmed! I can’t begin to express my appreciation for the beautiful flowers you sent. 🙂 I was so excited and blown away by your thoughtfulness. We are blessed beyond words that He put you in our path … truly! We hope to see you tomorrow night at the Spring musical.

      Love, Nicole

  11. Nicole…keep on making that lemonade. You are super strong and I know that all of this will be so worth it in the end. I’m keeping you in my thoughts. Lauren

    1. Lauren,

      Thank you! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily … you’re an amazing testimony of strength.
      I’m anxious to celebrate your birthday (belated) over dinner with our favorite “Arbi” very soon! 🙂
      Love & Prayers,
      Nicole

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s