I'm sitting here in the early morning hours, just an hour and 15 minutes away from Chunks-a-lot's MRI scan. I was worried that last night would be a sleepless one, but instead I found myself overcome with exhaustion. This morning, however, my mind will not turn off. I stumbled across someone's caringbridge page last night (caringbridge is a website that helps family and friends follow their loved ones through illness) and it was an older lady that had a brain tumor and had just recently passed away. I found myself digging through the old journal entries on her page and reading all the updates from years past up until the present. This woman had fought a battle through cancer that had so many ups and downs, filled with moments of pure hope and joy then turning to times of pain and sadness. It was obvious, as I read through this woman's 21 month struggle, even from the beginning that she probably would not survive her cancer, but the family that surrounded her seemed oblivious to this. The hope they clung to, even in those last days of life, was astounding. I suddenly realized how closely our paths run together. Sometimes I see it in people's eyes, the question of, "Don't you realize how sick your little girl is?". And no, I truly don't most of the time. There might be times where I am overwhelmed with the reality of this situation, but for the most part I only look at it with hope. "Doesn't she realize that there are astounding odds against her daughter's survival?". Yes, I do realize that, I just choose not to make it my focus. Does that make me unrealistic? Probably so. But then I think about the way God views us and there seems to be a huge parallel there. Like there are times where I know God knows I'm going to screw it up, He knows I'm going to bust and almost not recover, but He still has hope for me. And not an unrealistic, blind hope but a hope that is filled with freedom. I have spent the better part of my life trying to "prepare" myself for whatever life might throw at me. I eloped at the tender age of nineteen and spent the first year of my marriage trying to "prepare" myself for the fact that my husband might leave me one day. He didn't show signs that he would do such a thing, but the odds were against us, so I decided to build my wall to protect myself. Yet as my marriage has continued on, with no signs of failure, I've realized how much I lost in that first year. In my efforts to "prepare" myself, I lost my passion for love and my freedom to live it. I don't want to prepare myself for the road ahead with Chunks-a-lot. Sure, I know she's not supposed to survive. Yes, I realize the odds are highly against her winning this battle, and that's why I'm not going to waste a moment of this journey. Why not just love and love freely, without the burden of the "what-if's"? Why not just throw caution to the wind and trust God for that miracle, that miracle that almost seems impossible. I might get hurt, in fact I probably will. But at least I will have lived and freely loved without trying to control and plan out each step that might lie ahead. So today as we are embarking on this next MRI scan, the part of me that wants to give way to fear and anxiety is being stuffed away. God will be there as much in the end as He is in the beginning. In the meantime, I'll just love her. It's not my job to write the future, it's His. Today is just another page in this story and I'll happily walk through it with freedom. The freedom He has given me through His perfect love and never-ending mercy.