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The Finish Line

Waiting to be Expecting – A devotional to draw you near to God, expanding your joy as you wait to be expecting. Utilizing a creative way to search your soul by using the acronyms from infertility (IF) medical terms.  So grab a Bible, pen and paper and follow along on the Devotional!
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This is a picture of my sister-in-law and friend, Dana at our in-law’s 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Last October I was asked to join a team for the Race for Cure for Breast Cancer, an annual race presented in Houston by the Susan B. Komen Foundation. The team consisited of a group of gals who were friends of my late sister-in-law, Dana. It was their way of honoring her memory. She had recently left her earthly home for her heavenly home after a year long, intense battle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).

Through this infertility process, within my immediate family, besides my husband, Dana was my confidant. She was one I could easily talk to. With any treatment we were going through I could have her trust and with her quiet faith she was encouraging and non-judgmental.

I miss her so.

Now, returning to my story of the race.

I wasn’t alone in this Race for the Cure, I had my team as well as 35,000 other ‘racers’ slowly walking to the finish line. No one was moving very quickly. Since you couldn’t move quickly, you would notice on the backs of t-shirts or on little children’s wagons; pictures. Pictures of loved ones, their names, “In Memory of Mom or Grandma….”.

Oh, the grief! The race to me was like a slow funeral procession.

It was VERY HARD!

My thought was, infertility and it’s party is enough, NOW THIS?

I remember walking with my brother-in-law, Wes, her husband saying, “I don’t like this, all this grief.”

He put his arms around me and said, “Well, you know my mantra?”

I said “No, what?” He said, “I don’t care”. I know it’s a shock for some to hear “I don’t care”, but it was his brotherly way of caring for me and protecting my fragile emotions.

As we were nearing the finish line, amongst the sea of people, I could see someone holding up a sign. All it said was “IBC”. I knew what it meant, it stands for Inflammatory Breast Cancer, the same cancer that invaded Dana’s body.

My immediate thoughts were, ‘Is that my sister-in-law going ahead of me telling me she beat me? How dare her!’ Or was she inadvertently saying to me, “Keep going Lesli, you can beat infertility, don’t give up?” I can’t begin to explain the raging feelings on the inside of me.

As we came upon the actual finish line I kept hearing this loud voice, a lot of cheering and clapping, even though I couldn’t see what was going on. When we approached the line, there was a beautiful pink arch for the “Survivors” to go under, to be applauded and to announce the cancer they beat over a VERY LOUD P.A. system.

I saw the IBC sign go through it. I thought of Dana again and I wish she were going underneath the survivor’s arch.

I just stopped and stared at the women and men who were running through the arch. It was like time stood still. For weeks after the race I couldn’t get that picture out of my mind. It was if it was embedded on my brain for some reason.

I thought of these cancer survivors as a parallel or relational to infertility. As the survivors were running under the arch announcing the cancer they beat, it reminded me of the expectant ones announcing “I’m pregnant!” or “It’s Twins”, or “It’s a boy, It’s a girl!” over a VERY LOUD P.A. system!

While we watch from a distance.

Yet, when we watch from a distance, we stop. We aren’t moving. God wants us to keep moving forward. For our focus to be on Him, our feet directed toward the finish line.

In memory and honor of Dana today…I share these scriptures with you.

“Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Keep the faith, run this race…the finish line is nearer than you think! I pray you are encouraged today!

With Christ’s love,

Lesli

P.S. Dana, I miss you. Can’t wait to see and embrace you in your Little House on the Prairie in heaven.

Leave a comment

Heather

Beautiful Les, just beautiful
H

Lesli Westfall

To my #1 fan, supporter and friend, thanks 'H'!

Susie Q

Beautiful. Hard to realize that it's been over a year….

Daniel

great post, thanks for sharing