Wednesday, March 10, 2010

'Anything For a Friend' update!

There have been some incredible advancements on the ‘Anything For a Friend’ front. Because of the efforts of so many of you, I have seen mountains being moved and hearts softened. It has been so amazing to watch the ‘Smith Trio’ (Brenda, Denise, and Scott) at work. They are tireless in the pursuit of the positive outcome of this event and because of their efforts, a countless number of you have responded to this call and sprung into action. I feel so grateful!

As I think about ‘Anything For a Friend’ and its power long after I am finished with my personal trial, a few things jump off the page in importance. From a financial standpoint, I have tried to imagine what it must be like for so many people who are going through a similar life circumstance, and the bills start to roll in and the medical options seem tied to financial ability vs. what is medically indicated, and the stress of an already overwhelming situation seems absolutely sinking. Well, that is the first blessing of this concept. Because of even with the thought of ‘Anything For a Friend’, our stress level has been reduced and we are able to focus on what is best, instead of what is affordable. What an incredible blessing!

Secondly, ‘Anything For a Friend’ creates a functional vehicle to deliver compassion to those in need. Prior to this experience, I was the one on the outside looking in and thinking, hoping, and wondering what I could do that would really help someone in need. A lot of times, I must admit, I came up short and I feel excited about getting this concept up and going so I, too can answer the call to help relieve the pain of an aching heart.

And thirdly, when the cancer diagnosis hit everything started to spin in absolute chaos and a feeling of loneliness and despair that I had never felt inched its way into my life. I was in shock and literally by myself (except for the boys and their laser tag guns), and then the reality of informing my loved ones came into full view and that is when the tears came. How would I make the call to Justin, my mom and dad, and siblings? How could I soften the blow for family and friends, and deal with my own heartache at the same time? As the moments from the fateful call rolled forward, so did the negative feelings, and the doubt, and the fear, almost enough to consume me, and then my new reality came into view in the form of a simple hug. I cried in the arms of Justin and my parents and didn’t feel so alone anymore. I was not being called on to do this by myself and that was extremely comforting.

For me the single most important part of ‘Anything For a Friend’ so far, has been the outpouring of love and connection with the gentle web of incredible people in my life (many of which I had lost connection with through the process of life). It has been this web, in part, that has caught our family and has quieted the loneliness and despair. What an incredible vehicle this concept has become. Think about it…because of Denise’s brainchild…there is now a vehicle that creates a tangible, replicable model to create a web of love and support for those in need (Mosiah 18:8-10). How unbelievable!

Because of the use of modern technology (which I never thought I would admit to) the word has spread and we have been the recipients of some incredible experiences; experiences that are far bigger than this one incident alone. For instance, an entire gym full of Junior High aged kids wore pink in support of this situation. Some knew me very well, but the majority were people that had never met me. What an exceptionally rich experience! I loved complete strangers and found myself praying for their well-being and goodness. Our hearts had been linked through this experience.

There has already been one Organizers meeting and there is another planned for this Saturday (1:00pm, 2555 N. 2450 E. in Layton. You are all invited!). I was able to attend the first meeting and couldn’t hold back the tears as I watched people from every era of my life walk into the room. That meeting alone healed a lot of the hurt in my heart and I felt comforted. Thank you for giving of your time and resources.

My heart will be forever modified through this experience and the outpouring of love—big and small—treadmills and laptops—loaves of bread, kind letters, and anonymous boxes full of hats! I am humbled by your goodness and I thank God for your light every day.

LONG LIVE, ‘Anything For a Friend’!

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