Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Book of My Life: My Testimony

I feel like there is hope for spring!  I just got back from spending Easter in Mississippi with part of my family, definitely a trip I needed...seeing family, green grass, and sunshine brought the breath back into my life :)  To help this winter and the waiting for this trip to go by even faster, I did some things to keep me busy.  Besides the nights in my house all cozied up by the fire with a great book and glass of wine (while Andrew worked away with his tool belt on finishing our basement), I also started AND finished crocheting a blanket for my new niece-Scarlett, cooked many new recipes, had some fun girls nights, made a new art project for my wall, stayed busy with church, worked with kids and horses, spent New Years Eve in Chicago on a boat, watched my sister and brother coach my nephews basketball team, spent my evenings at my parents getting better at cards while Andrew was at work, and started working as a server again at Bob Evans...just to name a few!  Call my crazy, but I really love serving people, and I worked at Bob Evans all throughout college, so when Andrew said one night that for the right price, he'll take me to Italy in the very near future...I jumped on it!

I also had a few health scares this winter.  When I finally hit my lowest weight where even I was scared, I scheduled an appointment with a doctor before my sister did it for me.  After getting scoped on both ends, we found no tumors (PTL!), only irritation in the intestines, a stomach hernia, and acid reflex (mostly damage done from therapy).  I still get a stomach ache when I eat sometimes, but now I just push through it, plus I take a probiotic that my hubby told me to take from the beginning.  It has certainly helped keep the natural cycle going and keeps me pain free too.  I guess I should listen to him more often, but after my medical history, I don't take chances anymore.  Which is why when I felt another lump after I started having pain, I went back to the doctor.  Good thing I did because when she did the ultrasound, I didn't see the black circle like I had before, indicating a fluid filled cyst.  This time I saw the grey, and the dots, and the look on the nurse's face.  This time I saw a mass.  The nurse left the room and I just starred at the wall.  I knew I should pray while I waited, but I couldn't think of any words to say.  So I just started reciting scripture...For I know the plans I have for you...In you, Oh Lord, do I put my trust...Our struggle is not against flesh and blood...for the Lord gives and takes away. That's when she came back in and said the doctor decided to skip the mammogram and go straight to a biopsy.  A lot of different emotions took place over the next three days of ultra sounds, biopsy, and results.  Confidence was one of them as they took me into the consult room to go over what 'could be' cancer- been there, done that before.  Anxiousness, as I waited to hear if there were cancer cells was another emotion.  Then came fear/excitement to hear over the phone that it was benign. :)  Fear being when they called because that was how I found out the first time I had cancer (this time it was just to save me a third trip in a row to the hospital) and excitement was when they told me it was not cancer and that I would see them in another six months for a mammogram.  Then, about an hour later when I came home from work and hugged a very relieved Andrew, came the tears. The real tears, the ones you can't stop from coming even if though you try with all your strength not to.  I had a moment like this when I found out the first time I had cancer, but it was actually a few days after I found out that I simply broke down and cried.  This time it took about an hour and a half. :)  I cried because I was happy, I cried because I was scared of the consistent unknown future, and I cried because I was confused thinking will there ever be a time where cancer isn't always right around the corner?  And I cried because I simply felt some feelings that I hadn't felt in almost three years.  That is why I want to tell you the history behind this blog and how it provided a new chapter...

I've always wanted to be a writer.  However, I never thought that the most writing I would ever do would be about my own life, but much more specifically, about My Testimony.  Little did I know, I have been preparing my whole life to write this blog.  I have kept a journal since I was in second grade, recording the ups and downs, and have had writers thoughts that at times got caught up in real life. :) You see, I'm the writer of my life story...but God, however, He is the editor.  Because however hard I try to write/plan what my life will be, God usually has other plans for the final draft. :)  Which reminds me of another quote 'Wanna make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.'  Not only do I have an editor though, I have all the parts to writing a book.  I have my publishers, those are all the people in my Life that support me and carry me through the hard days.  I have the dedicated part of my first I thought it would be dedicated to me so that when I was old I could read about my life so that I could remember it.  But now, I've realized that I want my 'book' to be dedicated not to me, but to my kids (biological or not) to pass down my lessons learned in Life and to share with them the only reason why we are here on earth, to glorify God and share His peace with others.  Now in the book of Life, I also have chapters... like The Oblivion Era- My childhood on Barnsbury Dr. where the biggest worry I had was where to ride my bike and being home before the sun goes down.  There is also The Daydreamer Era- my high school days where literally nothing mattered, I was center of the world I thought. :) Then The Adventure- The era where I met my 'back up friend' and how he gave me some of the biggest adventures of my life...who knew that through them I would fall deeply and endlessly in love with him-and be so lucky to have him want me to be his wife. Then came The Fall- a time where I forgot who I was made to be.  Soon after, The Enlightenment Era- This was when my wake up call came, cancer...and soon after, The Pursuit Era.  What I've come to discover was that this latest chapter in my life, this blog, was so much more than words on a page to make another chapter in my book, it gave me the greatest chapter yet...My Testimony.  I've always believed in God, however I believe that it took cancer, and even some pretty tough times after, to finally give me my true Testimony.  My Testimony will hopefully give me the foundations for only the greatest chapters to come in this book.

I know that a lot of you can not relate to cancer, but there is one thing you can relate to, it's the one thing we all have in common and something I've tried to share with you- Life. And in this Life, everyone needs help, not just those who are sick. Everyone needs encouragement because we live in a fallen world.  This world is full of chaos that we so quickly get wrapped up in and it is not getting any better.  But I want to tell you that even in the sadness you feel over the loss of something, the guilt that you just can't seem to forgive, or the hurt you can't get over, we have a Savior.  You already know this because I wrote this blog for anyone who wanted to listen to a sinner who found grace through a difficult time.  I knew that I always needed Him, but these past few years and months have shown me just how much.  I desire now to know Him more because of how He has healed me, to seek out his peace that He so graciously gave to us by dying on the cross, and share it with anyone who is like me, a human looking for direction and purpose. I feel like that song right now 'Bring your love to life inside of me, why don't you break my heart til it moves my hands and feet.'  These past few years, cancer and all, has given me the opportunity to break down so much that I'm ready to move and be a fishers of men, to step out of my comfort zone- from behind my pen, and just share a life story with you about a girl who was lost, and then found a grace like none other to lead her future.  I'm not the first to tell you that we can't go back and change our past, however I can tell you that my Life now is a life that is grounded by faith and a life that searches for peace. It's not for the answers to life anymore because I'm finding them more and more through my, it's finding peace.  Someone once told me that there is a difference between happiness and inner peace.  Happiness is a short lived high, it always ends.  Inner peace is being okay, regardless of the circumstance.  I've found through my 28 years of living that the only way to have inner peace is to have the greatest relationship of all - one with God. 

So am I happy? Yes, I have my supportive hubby, my lovable puppy and grumpy kitty, and the possibility of finally going to Italy. And not to mention my six month remission check up went well too.  My blood work looked good, and the CT showed that my tumor is still there but it is inactive and there is still scarring on my lungs.  So what is next for me you ask?? First, it is working on my inner peace thing so that I can remain healthy, however I never want to forget the days where I fought to stay alive...the days that made my true Testimony.  I'm grateful that cancer gave me the chance to rededicate my life and get me back on my rock again.  Another reason to get healthy...well of course for a baby Groman one day :)  And what a chapter that will be!  After that, who knows...I'm not the editor remember? :)  But writing has always been my way to relieve stress, share my story, record my happiest, and this blog, well it helped me share my God.  So although my life is not a movie, a Broadway show, or a New York Times best seller, it is so much more.  Because I have something more than a moment in time told in a script or through words on a page...I have something much more valuable, I have a Testimony.  And that alone is enough. 
Our greatest good is standing with You.

This year the Groman Christmas was at our house! 

Gotta love my kids :)

The Hochstetler clan
The matching scarves to keep us close :)
We were able to watch the fireworks go off over the city while we were on the boat to ring in 2013! It was another Bucket List dream marked sweatpants this year for New Years ;)

Future Fireman of America!
That is my nephew with Andrew at Chuck E. Cheese.

I went hunting with Andrew! We were about 20 yards away from a doe and fawn and when AJ drew back to shoot her, I said 'Don't do it!'  He reluctantly didn't and unfortunately, I'll never live that one down...or be allowed to go hunting with him again :)

This little guy is on the verge of being mobile!!

My new wall art :)
Can you believe that I made that?!
The newest employee of Bob Evans!

The Hefts in Mississippi over Easter...Julie is due in May!

Me and Maci, can you believe how beautiful she is?! She will be 3 in June.  She is so so special, such a personality and such a reminder to me of the beauty of Life.


  1. Thanks for the update! Praying for you always!! :)

  2. Thanks for the update! I was thinking of you at the beginning of May- hope you had a great birthday! Thinking of you!

  3. Laura, the pictures look great!! Very beautiful post by the way and I very much enjoyed reading this. I had a quick question about your blog and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks so much!