Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Update 12/23/09 Day 45

Dear friends,
I didn't send out Christmas cards this year. That was Stephen's job, and he did it well. This year is different in many ways. We've been down a road we never expected, but the Great One has been our help. I have received so much grace in my life for all of my life, but now it's coming down like a blizzard. I am indebted to all of you in ways I can't even describe. The kindness and generosity of those of you I know, and those I don't has been utterly amazing. Relationships are what make life meaningful, and in that I have gained so much that as one commenter put it, I am a very rich woman. I can't keep up with the thank you's, so please accept my gratitude from cyber space. Valerie, Christina, Tracy, and all your co-workers and friends, thank you! McGinn Smith friends, thank you! Folks from far and wide who I want to wrap my arms around and squeeze like one of these memory foam pillows, thank you. Our families, thank you. My brothers and sisters in Christ from many churches, including our Our Savior's School family, thank you. And to Delmar Full Gospel Church, well, I can barely even type the words without crying. You all have been what Jesus was talking about when He said, "Love one another as I have loved you." To all of you precious people from here to England to Chicago and points beyond, my gratitude is only exceeded by my great affection for all of you who read this blog and care so much. I so look forward to the day when I can take all of your goodness and pour it out on some lonely, sad, worn, tired, suffering soul who will surely need a friend. All of you have changed my life forever. Forever I am better because of you.
Tonite I have set aside my various shortcomings and weaknesses simply to experience joy. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh. Today I mostly laughed, or cried with delight. Every day has it's machinations, but every day is a gift. And what a gift!
Steve had an appointment with Dr. Bagchi (remember, Bob the Builder?) today, and I'll give you the details on that tomorrow. It's late, and I'm tired, but I can't go to bed without saying good night to my fellow pilgrims slogging it out on the wild cliffs of the unknown territory with me. My day isn't right without you. So tomorrow I'll tell you about bones and graft sites, but for tonite I will simply say "Joy to the World, the Lord has come." He was, He is, and He ever will be. Bless His great and mighty name!
Your friend (and I mean it) on the pilgrim road,
PS Thank you for the beautiful and encouraging comments and emails. They mean more to me than you will ever know.


Anonymous said...

What a way to leap into Christmas Eve...with
a 'Christmas Cry' - tears of joy seeing you all together, knowing what HE has done & being assured of what He continues and will continue to do-my oh my- Loriann, if I may borrow your words; forever I am better because of you-and I would bet everyone following this blog would echo my sentiment.
God has used this blog to (simply put) help build my faith. The encouragment I receive from it each & every day has been life changing and maybe someday you, Kim & I can sit & visit and then I'll explain. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that others who contribute their comments have been equally encouraging to me personally. With gratitude for your willingness to share with us all,
Sue Cummings

Anonymous said...

Dear,Wonderful Smith Family-
How my soul,mind,and spirit sighed and gasped...and then, how I wept, as beaming faces appeared on my computer screen this morning!!!-a snapshot from the pilgrims' highway...
What an amazing gift...And ,O,how my soul rejoices for the five of you.
Yours,in Him,on this Holy Eve,
Joan(and Dan,too)

Anonymous said...

Oh what a sight
We're happy tonight
Walking with the Smith's in one accord.

As you can see I'm not a poet or a song writer, but heart is sooooo blessed to see all of you together.
Our God is indeed a Great God. His glory is surely shinging down on you. What a Christmas gift not only to you but to all of us that love you. Blessings and more blessings to all of you.
Hail to the King of Kings

In His love and all of ours
Sue & Leo

Anonymous said...

I you guys,
What a wonderful sight - five smiling faces at home in front of a CHRISTmas tree. We have our Christmas Eve service tonight and will be sharing the "White Envelope Story". Just one of the ways you have been a blessing. We have shared your story with our church over the past weeks and your light has brightened ours. Thanks!! Enjoy!!!!!!
Love and Blessings from Vermont,
Pastor Gordy, Sue, Jasmine and B

tiffany radley said...

my name is tiffany radley and i have been reading your story from day one, this is so heartbreaking but thank the man above they are alive!! he works in wonderful ways! i pray everyday steve and hannah get stronger and stronger!!! have a awesome holiday and im so glad steve is home!!!

Anonymous said...

That's the best Christmas card we've gotten yet!!! What a beautiful sight - the Smith's all together at home. It doesn't get any better than that right now. Anthony and I just sat and stared at that picture for what seemed like a very long time, just soaking it in - your beautiful smiles telling the story of your joy and elation. Our hearts leap with yours - our God is so very GOOD!!!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Mary Ann

Anonymous said...

Oh what a sight to behold, all your smiling faces. You couldn't purchase a better card than that. I must admit though, without my glasses on this morning, it looked like David was wearing a fur scarf! Jim said," Phyl that's the cat!" LOL! Your family has made this the best Christmas ever for us. We love you and rejoice with you. Have a blessed day.

Jim and Phyllis

becky said...

Wow! That's a great picture! I can't wait to see you guys and Hannah again! I hope and pray you all have a FANTABULOUS Christmas and a Happy Jolly New Year! May God bless you all!

Nevil Shunt said...

It is soooo good to see all the faces of the family togther with Steve !
It's the first picture I have seen of him since that fateful day in November. Happy you are all togther in front of the Christmas Tree. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
----An electric Elk called Simon

Shay Calhoun said...

HO HO HO !!! From down south in Orange Park, Florida! Merry CHRISTMAS to you and yours and may GOD bless you and keep you even more safe than what you already are. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily and we miss you all so much. All our love and prayers on your pilgrim road! Ricky, Shay, Patrick and Christiana Calhoun!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that picture of your beautiful faces testifies to how happy you all are to have reached this point! This is exactly what we've all been waiting for. Thanks for sharing your joy with us. May God be magnified!

Love, Karen & Mike G.

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Karen and Mike G.!!!

Also, wishing you all the most Blessed Christmas EVER!! You have certainly been a blessing to all of us.

Cara and Tay Holt & Family