Carried by a Blog

Nate didn’t follow my blog. It wasn’t that he didn’t have an interest. Even before we learned of his cancer, I’d written specifically about him and thought he’d want to know what was going out onto the World Wide Web with his name on it. So one day in August, after I’d been posting blogs for a couple of months, I said, “Would you like to read a few of my blogs? Sometimes you’re the star of the show.”

We went to the family computer, and I brought up the post about him bringing me flowers (8/14/09), knowing he’d enjoy the compliment.

“In this one I’m bragging about you being a good husband,” I told him, but he had speed-read it and was on to the next entry. He read three and then got called away.

A week later I offered to print out a few more posts to read in his nightly relaxing time in the tub. He accepted the pages, but I’m not sure he ever read them. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal held more interest.

After cancer barged into our lives, the two of us spent every evening on our king size bed. Nate was desperate to get the pressure off his painful back and was exhausted from radiation. I sat with a laptop, reading emails and every blog comment out loud, many written directly to him. About then he asked about the blog again.

“People are commenting about it. Can you read me what you’re writing?”

Before I got to the end, he was asleep. I felt almost like I was reading a bedtime story to one of the children. Several more times he asked me to read the day’s blog, which I always did, but each time he’d be in dreamland before I got to the end. And so the days ticked off, and blog posts increased in intensity.

Sometimes as I wrote, I wondered if the words were too descriptive or the messages too frank. What if Nate asked me to read this one to him? Or that one? Would it be too much for him to bear? But as his physical challenges escalated, his interest in the blog waned, which was just as well.

The blog became a lifeline between our family and compassionate readers who had an interest in Nate’s plight. Without that avenue of communication, we couldn’t have kept up with phone calls, emails and visitors. Blogging streamlined contact with others while letting us spend time with Nate, and although distance separated most of us, the blog knit us together in a tight “small group.”

The blog would never have come to be if it hadn’t been for Adam and Linnea. When I expressed frustration in trying to market articles to publishers, she said, “Why don’t you start a blog, Mom? Just write and put it out there for God to use in whatever way he wants.”

I didn’t know the first thing about it, but when they visited during the summer, Linnea was already blogging (www.KissYourMiracle.com) and Adam offered to set one up for me. I remember the three of us sitting at the dining table talking about a name. I wanted the site to encourage anyone who was going through a difficult time and was delighted that “GettingThroughThis.com” was still available.

Looking back, I see how God was working. He planted the idea, named the site and put it all in place before Nate’s cancer hit. The best surprise, though, was the communication that traveled backwards from readers to writer. An avalanche of support, care, love and prayer left me shaking my head in surprise and wonder, feeling upheld by others throughout our ordeal.

In his planning, God even knew blogging would turn into a two way street. Faithful readers willingly turned into encouraging writers the Lord then used to help us “GetThroughThis.”

Thank you, beyond what any blog-words could ever say.

“Praise the Lord. Praise God our Savior! For each day He carries us in His arms.” (Psalm 68:19)

”Even to your old age I [the Lord] will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you, and I will bear you, and I will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

8 thoughts on “Carried by a Blog

  1. I remember I was at Shorewood for an afternoon at the beach the day you, Ad, and Linnea were setting up the blog. Thank you for pointing me to God’s faithfulness, time and time again. I know in the seaons when life’s waves come crashing down on me, I will come back to your blogs and cherish your words even more than I do now.

  2. It was through the very descriptiveness and frankness of your blogs that your readers were hooked. We’ve had enough of sanitized niceties. I appreciated the honesty which made your family’s experiences an “every man” encounter with the living God, which we could enter without intruding. You made it possible for anyone to feel included without having to know the secret hand shake…the inside jokes, the long history. Your blatant faith glimmering through the sad decline gave hope and strength to every eager reader. We may not have read what we expected, but we were never bored, and surely never disappointed! Seems like we owe you the bold type THANKS….because in the wonder of technology being used for God’s glory, you took us daily to His throne room, to weep, to rejoice, to grieve, to pray, and to worship.

  3. To me, your blog has been such a blessing! Not only a way to keep in touch with you and keep up with what was happening with Nate & your family, but also now it continues to bring you closer even though you’re in Michigan. It is also teaching me many lessons about building a good marriage and relating to adult children, among other things. God is really using your blog — probably in more ways than you ever imagined!!

  4. A dear friend introduced me to your blog. It has been an inspiration. It has let all of us see God’s hand at work, His faithfullness to all generations, His stength, His tenderness, His love, His foresight, His grace given in abundance. Through your willingness to share, you shared Jesus. Jesus’ brightness shone out like a beacon from a lighthouse,though the fog of grief and daily trials. The scripture you have posted has been nourishing to so many of us. Margaret, thank you for sharing your heart and your family’s journey. I don’t think you will know the full impact of this blog until you reach eternity.

  5. The daily encouragement has been a welcome part of my computer time in an age when all I get is urgent news messages and jokes. I look forward to being “lifted up” as the song says.

  6. Reading your blog is one of the first things I do each day. I especially appreciate the pictures you post. God bless you, Margaret, for opening your heart and being willing to be vulnerable and transparent.

    M.

  7. I look forward to reading yours and Linnea’s blogs. They help me to keep in touch with what is going on in your lives and know what to specifically pray for. The blogs are are beyond information. They are inspiration to all of us who read them

  8. Well, Margaret, it seems like the response so far has shown that you have met and exceeded the necessary two or three consensus on earth for heaven to agree that frank writing from the heart has been a very powerful ministry. The Lord is all for it as He opens and lays it bare, contextually not as a Judge, but High Priest (Hebrews 4:13). People are responding to your words, for much the same reason the middle of most of our Bible’s are most worn. David’s Psalms, in the belly of God’s Book, humanizes the expected obediences and failures to obey to its right and left, and gives permission to groan deeply with the rest of creation. The Scriptures have long been completed, but He is still raising up “God-breathed” writers. You are one of them. The Lord is very present in your words- one almost feels they should remove their shoes before clicking to this site.
    You have been posting blogs before August? I need to do a better job of searching the Archives. I was trying to piece together my own timeline when I first became aware of your site. I was horrified to think the different years I had some of your children in class might have been concurrent with your financial crisis and I did not know of it. I thought it was a perfect title given your circumstances, and then was confounded to understand the title was chosen BEFORE Nate’s illness and death. God knew an even greater wave was rolling in and He built you an ark before the deepest waters hit- an amazing testimony to the Lord going before you, and using the talents and experience of Linnea and Adam to help you set this up. You are a quick learn- technology has to drag me by force before I concede it’s benefits. This has been an extraordinary tool to help you grieve and remember and worship, to widen the circle of people engulfing you in prayer and encouragement, and to invest your mina for kingdom work. You are casting your bread upon the waters, and you have only begun to have some of it come back to you. Who knows what the Lord has in mind, but He is blessing your faithfulness.
    I will be going back to that school schedule dictatorship soon, but reading and responding to your blog will be one of my main expressions of revolt!
    Terry

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