Sunday, April 25, 2010

Your Support System

When the hospice staff first came to our house, they told us of all the people in their network to whom we would have access whenever we needed support. I think I shocked them when I told them that all we would need would be the nurses and aides because we already had a significant support system in place. It saddened me when they told me that not everyone has that though. Apparently there are some who are practically alone in their suffering. It makes me think that each of us needs to be more aware of those around us who are hurting.

Our support system consisted of God (the Bible and prayer) first, each other, immediate family, extended family, fellow Christians, other friends and medical personnel. Each one provided something unique that held us up through our ordeal. There was not a single day that we ever felt we were alone in our battle. True, no one could take Shannon's illness on themselves and no one could bear my pain, but in their own way, every person who prayed for us, sent us cards and emails, called us, came by to see us or did something "hands on" to help us contributed to the strength that we were able to maintain through it all. No gesture was insignificant in our minds.

You will need a support system in order to battle cancer. You probably already have one in place but don't realize it. If you don't know how to build one, let me tell you how I watched Shannon's grow over the 31+ years that I knew her. She was a servant who gave of herself, expecting nothing in return. Even when she needed the support, she expressed that she felt unworthy of all the attention. Jesus told His apostles, "but whosever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." (Matthew 20:26-27). I myself benefited from Shannon's understanding of that principle as I enjoyed the overflow of the support that was being extended to her.