A meeting

Apr 06

A meeting

I found out I had cancer.  At four in the morning, I started writing because I just needed to get it out.  And, at four in the morning, with a husband and two beauties sleeping upstairs, there are not a lot of options for out.  For each of the next several nights, I would write in the dark, quiet night.  On the third night, I decided someone should read it, and I sent it to my Dad with this message:

Dad, 

I have been writing as a sort of therapy.  I’m not sure whether to share it or not, and if I should share, whether it will bamboozle people.
 
I have such a great life and I am so happy.  I will fight for it.
 
Love,
Jen

In my opinion, my dad was the perfect source to determine whether the information in the blog was worth the bamboozlement that was sure to follow for many of the loved ones who would potentially read it.  Dad wrote back that I should share it with everyone.  And I did.  I sent it in batches to groups of people  in my present and past.  My parents sent it to everyone they know.  Baby Sister Facebooked it.  Brad’s family sent it to everyone they know.  I began getting lots of comments and emails and love right away.  My favorite thing was the love that came back to me.  Blogging, and wearing my cancer on my sleeve, so to speak, meant that everyone knew how I was doing.  Everyone knew the latest update.  There was no need for that, “So how are you doing?” question in the awful tone of voice.  Not only was it incredibly therapeutic to me to put words to the events of last year, but it was healing to receive the love that people poured out in response.

Last January, my friend sent me an essay written on a blog she read.  The essay was about two sisters, and I found it to be inspiring.  I was drawn to the connection between the sisters; I found myself wanting to be like the Sister.  After I sent my writing, my blog, to everyone I knew, I alos sent it to Glennon, the author of that sisters essay, and the Momastery blog.  It was another four in the morning whim, without a lot of thought behind it.  To my amazement, Glennon wrote back, and she linked to me on her blog.  In that action, she love-mobbed me, and I got over 18,000 hits on my blog that day from the kind, generous, brave community who shows up when things are hard.  Hundreds?  Thousands?  Of her readers became my readers and they cheered me on throughout my cancer treatment.  Many of the strangers and much of the Stranger Love that I speak about comes from this connection.

Glennon wrote a book this year, and her book tour non-coincidentally brought her to Cincinnati.  And this happened on Thursday night: (picture)

photo-1

We had a moment.  She knew me right away when I told her who I was, “Jen, the cancer mom you linked to last year.”  I got to look her in the eye thank her for love-mobbing me.  The prayers and the positive energy that she pointed at me were difference makers in my mental battle this year.  After I got the name of her book agent (score!), I watched her have a moment with a couple of hundred other Monkees.  I saw Sister, the one featured in that first Momastery essay I read, and I went to greet her saying, “I started reading Glennon because of you.”  Then we had a moment, and I wish I’d gotten a picture with her too.

I love so many of the words that Glennon tries to live by.  Tries being the operative word, because that’s how Glennon is.

Truth Tellers

Hope Spreaders

Love Wins

We belong to each other

We can do hard things

There are good people everywhere who are creating beauty from ashes and finding hope in despair and seeking light in the darkness.  I hope to be one of those people and inspire others to do the same.

Thanks for being my beauty, my hope, and my light, people.  You know who you are.

28 comments

  1. Jackie /

    Sister, On.

    <3

  2. Christina /

    I’ve been following your journey and praying for you after clicking the link on Momastery. :)

  3. suenitz /

    I love the journey God is taking you on Jen. We are the blessed ones that know you. You have not only been strengthened but you have strengthened. The grace that God has given you because of your faith in Him through it all will help you to discern all the wonderful things He has in store for you. I love the way He orchestrated your meeting with Glennon. What a gift to you, to her and to the millions of others that are touched by the two of you. Have a beautiful weekend!! Much love coming your way!

  4. suenitz /

    I love the journey God is taking you on Jen. We are the blessed ones that know you. You have not only been strengthened but you have strengthened. The grace that God has given you because of your faith in Him through it all will help you to discern all the wonderful things He has in store for you. I love the way He orchestrated your meeting with Glennon. What a gift to you, to her and to the millions of others that are touched by the two of you. Have a beautiful weekend!! Much love coming your way!

  5. You are most definitely “one of those people!” Sending a heap of love your way…

  6. Patty /

    As I have told you…you are wise beyond your years…

  7. I was someone who found your blog through Glennon. What an amazing moment it must have been to meet her! But I just have to say, I am so glad I was pointed here. Your story and life inspires me just as much as Glennon’s writing. If you wrote a book, I would read it. Keep on keepin’ on. :)

  8. Karen /

    Amazing. I just posted this link on the Momastery facebook page. I am one of the ones that found you through Glennon and have been a religious follower ever since. Love you!

  9. Glennon is amazing and so inspirational in her truth telling. Love does win and it wins through the hard things we do in life. I too found you through the Momastery page as well. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story.

  10. You and Glennon are my favorite people to read. Her book is next to my bed, yours will be too someday. Sister on!

  11. Kelly /

    I just love everything about all of this!!!!

  12. Rebecca /

    I am so blessed to be a Monkee sister. I have prayed and prayed for you and your beautiful family. I’m so glad you got to meet Glennon. I wish she would come to my neck of the woods. Carry on, Warrior! xoxoxo

  13. Heather /

    I too started reading your blog because of Glennon! The funny thing is, I was reading it BEFORE I found out I had breast cancer. Once I found out I had cancer, I RE-READ your words and was thankful that I was brought to you! I’m thankful for your words that brought me peace and hope and thankful to Glennon for showing me the way to you! I was fortunate enough to experience a “Glennon love mob” myself…clap clap clapclapclap!

  14. Katie /

    Yep, that’s how I found you! And I’ve been following your journey, taking inspiration from your words, and praying for you since then.

  15. I don’t remember how I got linked to your blog…or Glennon’s…or your mom’s…and it wasn’t because you all were linked in one spot. It happened in different months and for different reasons…but I know now that it was for one Reason. I just want to share how blessed I am to follow all of these blogs. You make the world a better place and remind us of what is important. Your blog is a place of encouragement during a time of trial. Bless you and your family. You are in my thoughts always and THANK YOU for sharing yourself and making my life better in the process!!! **LOVE**

  16. What a wonderful moment. I also follow the Momastery blog and obviously you so this picture is simply inspiring. Thank you for sharing. And how cool for you to actually meet Glennon and her sister. I SO wanted to be there, but reading this post I feel like I was there. Thank you. I got to see Glennon on the Today show thanks to my DVR, but that doesn’t even compare to YOU getting to meet her. God Bless.

  17. Pat Powell /

    Just read this Jen. and I can see the glow from you with the wonderful response you felt – have followed with pride all you are doing – have done – will do !!!With love Ma XXXX

  18. Peggy /

    I wonder if you really, really know what an incredible inspiration you are to so many? Although I haven’t been in your day to day life in many years, I feel fortunate to have known your family even before you were part of it! You have done so much for so many…thank you ♥

  19. Tara /

    Oh my gosh! I drove from Columbus to meet Glennon, and I saw you. In line, wearing your backpack, and I thought “oh! I think that’s her! [meaning you]” But you were way up in line and talking and wasn’t sure so I said nothing. But I’m so, so very glad we are Monkee sisters. Carry on!

  20. Melissa /

    Thats how I got here and I have stayed and prayed the whole time. Much love to you.

  21. Bonnie J /

    So excited that you got to meet Glennon. .. what a treat indeed :-) Your testimony still delights and resonates with so many Jen. I thank the Lord for your testimony of Faith, Perservance and Trust. Only the Lord knows the future of your Writing Journey !! Have a wonderful day.

  22. I found you through Glennon and I am SO GLAD you got to meet her! That picture filled me with such joy! We can do the hard things. You did this last year! Brava!

  23. Ditto exactly what momma holmes says above ^^

  24. Ingrid /

    I also found you through Momastery … you’re one of a handful of blogs that I have pinned in my favourites and check (almost) daily (weekends are a little insane around my house — sometimes I let you guys wait ’til Monday 😉 ). I’ve greatly enjoyed your blog over this past year — you’re an inspiration to us all!

  25. Maureen /

    Yay! I found you through Momastery too and have to agree with these other ladies: I have loved coming here daily ever since. Glennon gave US a gift with that link. I’m looking forward to having a whole shelf devoted to books from these overlapping communities!

  26. I know I’m late to finally leave a comment on this one. I, too, started reading your blog thanks to Glennon, and I am thrilled that you two got to meet! I introduced myself sometime last spring when I left my first comment on your blog, but I wanted to say ‘hello’ and let you know that I’m still reading and cheering you on. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  27. I too came here from Momastery and have stayed. :) Yours is one of five blogs that I check regularly. I love your heart and your ‘normalness’ and your love for your family and your life. Keep writing, ’cause we’re reading!!