Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its works so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Many times over the past few days I have meditated on the power of suffering. Thankfully I was raised to always offer up sufferings to our Lord and join them to the cross. Mom and dad were always reminding us to offer up our pain or discomfort since we were little. Now, I have dear friends and family who continue to remind me that suffering is an honor and an amazing tool in our faith journey.

Christ himself suffered on the way to the cross. Even when he felt agony, he knew that it had a purpose and that he needed to follow God's will through the suffering. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta shared that she often suffered in darkness and would join her suffering to the cross for the benefit of souls. I am certainly not placing myself in their company when it comes to faith, but just wanting to illustrate that even those who have an amazing faith, will still suffer but turned suffering into an asset in their faith journey.

I have grown up with a beautiful story about my paternal grandmother, Josephina Garcia-Carreras. She had to suffer through ovarian cancer in her early 60s when not much was known about how to cure or treat cancer. She died in 1974. My aunts and my dad talk about how toward the end of her life she was in a lot of pain but she would refuse to take pain killers in order to be able to offer up her suffering for the souls purgatory. Her suffering had a much higher purpose. She was able to find joy in her suffering because she joined it to the cross with Christ. Thanks to her example and that of many other family members and friends, I know that I can endure any suffering for a higher purpose.

Here is a link to a beautiful reflection from Pope Francis about suffering and it's place in the family:

Please pray especially for those suffering who don't have anyone to pray for them. God knows who they are, but we must pray for them. I also ask you to pray in a special way for Fr. Joseph Peek (brother of my sister-in-law, Christina Peek Garcia-Carreras) who has endured much suffering and continues to suffer through Leukemia. Please keep his family in your prayers as they rally around him to comfort him in his final days on earth.


The port installation went well on Monday morning. Mom took me to the hospital at 7am. I was thankful for the anesthesiologist who sensed my anxiety about being only sedated for the procedure and decided I should be put fully under. Phew! Recovery went much better than any other time I have been under anesthesia. I usually become very nauseous, but this time I didn't even feel dizzy. Praise God! The pain has been manageable with ice and my fabulous essential oils, not to mention the power of prayer.

Tuesday was spent going through the PET scan and the brain MRI. We will know results of those tests Thursday morning when I report for my first round of chemo at Gwinnett Medical Center. We are nervous but have faith in God's plan.

Today, I get to go to work! I will hopefully work a full day at the office catching up and assisting our team with our ongoing projects. I'm looking forward to the professional exercise and the beautiful collegiality of our team and other colleagues!

Tomorrow I will be receiving chemo for 8 hours with my loving husband by my side and possibly a welcomed visit from my brother Mike as he completes duties at Gwinnett Medical. He is completing his studies to become a Gwinnett County fireman. I will have many beautiful things with me that remind me of so many of you and your generosity. I am well taken care of and even feel quite spoiled! Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Cristina - I'll be saying prayers for you all day tomorrow. Specifically praying for good news from the PET scan and the MRI - and for an easy day tomorrow with the chemo. I hope you feel covered in prayer for the entire 8 hours that you are there.