While we were on our way home from Oklahoma, we came across a package of Kleenexes someone had so thoughtfully packed for us for our trip. On the Kleenexes was a verse: "When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself."
It seems like over the last few weeks, we've been climbing a steep, rocky hill, but we've had many, many people - friends, family, and even people we've never met helping us up the hill. We are overwhelmed, humbled, and grateful for the outpouring of support, thoughtfulness, and kindness that that has been shown to us since - well, since Kol was initially diagnosed with cancer - but especially since January 7th. I keep saying that, but it's honestly how we feel. It amazes me, really, what people have done for us. We are constantly being carried, supported. Every day it seems, we hear of new efforts, or get an e-mail or letter that encourages us in some way (I'll be sharing more about some of them soon - I promise). We really don't deserve the kindness that has been shown to us any more than anyone else does. We're just dealing with the challenges we've been given, in the way that seems right to us. Just like everyone else faces their own challenges. Yet at the same time, I'm awed, proud, and incredibly impressed to see the way so many people have pulled together for a common purpose and goal. I thank God for our friends and family. I'm proud of our town and the people here, and I'm incredibly thankful that we get to call Outlook home.
God is good. I see Him working in the people of Outlook, in the way that this town is being strengthened as the people come together for a common goal and as their pride in the community grows. I see Him working in and through those in the wider community - in our acquaintances and friends scattered throughout the world. And I see God at work in the lives of strangers who have somehow heard about Kol's story and are doing what they can. It's obvious, from the joy and pride that I see in people's faces, and hear in their voices when they are sharing about their fundraising efforts, or about how they are praying for Kol, that they too are benefiting from helping us. And I think that's a very cool thing. God is working through our family's difficulties, and good things are happening because of it. It's wonderful to see others getting closer to the top on the hill.