Friday, August 10, 2012

Meet My Lovely Friend Lori

Dear Friends ~ This post was originally published on April 5, 2009.  Now, over three years later, I am posting it again.  My dear, sweet friend Lori has been courageously fighting this battle with cancer for five years now.  She has never complained, and she keeps her eyes on Jesus.  Jim and I were able to speak to Lori on the phone (she could not talk) and tell her how much we love her.  We will go visit her very soon to hug her, to hold her hand and to pray with her.  Would you please pray for Lori?  May Jesus' perfect peace and provision and grace and mercy usher her through this time.  
We love you Lori.

"My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26

" quietness and trust is your strength..."
Isaiah 30:15
"But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior."
Jeremiah 20:11

Lori, Jim (now my hubs!), Me (12/31/90)
("Back in the Day")

April 5, 2009 ~

Lori and I have been friends for 23 years now. We met at our church's singles group and became friends quickly. Lori and I are opposites in many ways. She is quiet; I am very talkative (thankfully, we are both interested listeners!). She is on the shy side; I am outgoing. She checks this blog every day and never leaves a comment; I am totally the commenting type. She's a little bit country; I'm a little bit rock-n-roll. (Sing it Donny and Marie!) She dated a guy for a while who wore velour shirts, and I dated a guy...well, never mind...I'd like to forget that guy!

Lori and I have always been just as comfortable having a great conversation as we are just being silent. I remember a long car ride home together from a weekend at the beach with friends "back in the day". We chatted for a long time, and then we were silent for a few hours. She's that kind of friend...comfortable, fun, approachable, reliable and committed. Now, 23 years later, we only get to see each other a few times a year, but we always pick up right where we left off.

Lori was in my wedding. The Lord gave me the privilege of introducing her to Chris, who became her husband, and I was in their wedding. Through the years, we've shared much laughter and some heartache.

Over the better part of the last two years, my lovely Lori battled cancer. The diagnosis was very surprising as Lori felt perfectly fine. In the months that followed the diagnosis, Lori endured extensive chemo treatments, invasive tests, surgeries, difficult recoveries and the terrible side effects of all of these things.

Through it all, Lori's faith in the Lord held so strong. I NEVER heard her complain, not once. Even through the difficult weeks of recovery following a 12-hour surgery, she just said "please pray for me". I did as she requested and just prayed. She never complained. She was always thankful and aware of the ways God was taking care of and providing for her and her family. She always spoke of God's faithfulness and gave Him the glory. Her quiet but unshakable trust in God is her strength.

Me, Lori and our husbands had dinner together last night. As Lori was sharing more about her journey over the last few years, she talked continually about God. "He has blessed me and Chris so much. We can't believe the ways He has blessed us through this. It's overwhelming how He has taken care of us."

As I listened to Lori, I was deeply touched by her immovable anchor of faith and hope in Jesus. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul..." (Hebrews 6:19) Her foundation is sure. Her hope is eternal.

As Twila Paris sings in her song "The Warrior is a Child", Lori was "unafraid because His armor is the best". Her God is able. Her God can. Her God does. Lori is now cancer free, and she is praising Him for His wondrous works!

My dear Lori, you are a hero to me. You have gone through this battle truly keeping your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). You set your eyes on things unseen. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18) You trusted in Him who your security and your portion forever. "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." Psalm 16:5 I love you, Lori! I am honored to call you "friend".

"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11

Playing on Play List for this post:
The Warrior is A Child - By Twila ParisLately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
Unafraid because His armor is the bestBut even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
the warrior is a child
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile
'Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The Warrior is a Child


Blessed Mom of 8 said...

What a beautiful song to go with this powerful testimony of His awesome love for us!

Thanks for sharing your friend Lori with us! Praising God for His healing touch upon her life and most definitely her heart for all to see!


Heather said...

Thank you for introducing us to your beautiful Lori. A lovely tribute to His gracious spirit and working all things for good, though I am sad for the pain she has had to endure. We rejoice with you all as she walks cancer free but with faith far stronger than she began this journey...may your friendship continue to be blessed. It is certainly a treasure.


Chatty Kelly said...

I love that song!

So nice to meet Lori. What a sweet friendship. It certainly reminded me of Sue J & myself...opposites must indeed attract.

May God continue to bless her with his love & presence. May she be healed!

AND thank you sweet friend for your loving words to me on my blog today. I appreciate your prayers. I am feeling better about everything. :-)

Lori said...

After that moving tribute I have to leave a comment!!

I am blessed to have had Sharon in my life for almost a quarter of a century (gulp - are we that old?).

God has used her over and over in my life, through good times and bad.

Thank you for that touching blog - I certainly don't deserve it.

"Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You, Your right hand upholds me". Psalm 63:7-8

Joyful said...

A beautiful friendship and an awesome God.

I posted a video of that song about 4 weeks ago now on my blog. Powerful lyrics. It is the story of my heart right now.

His armor IS the best,

Chatty Kelly said...

Just wanted to give you a praise report that I found my missing Bible. I'm so thrilled. Thanks again for praying for me. You are a great friend.

Lisa said...

What an absolutely priceless tribute to a precious friend and sister in Christ. God brought you two together for a reason, and I have to think Lori is so grateful for your friendship every moment of every day.

You're such a blessing. Somehow, I feel like I've known you forever. Isn't it amazing how God brings us all together in the most unlikely ways???

Susan Mengel said...

Thankyou Sharon for the beautiful words for my dear sister Lori. She has suffered with this horrible illness for many years now and yes, she has never complained. She is my hero and inspiration on how to stand firm in your faith to our wonderous Lord and Savior. Currently she is struggling but her trust in God's will for her life remains unshaken. I would like to ask on Lord's behalf that all who read this would continue to pray for her comfort and for God to bless her mind and spirit with His peaceful reassurance. My big sister has been my rock and I love her immensely.

Susan Mengel said...

Should say Lori's behalf