Invisible smiles. To unmask the secret workings of April’s cancer, she and I had to cover our faces with blue, three-ply fabric bound together by elastic string seemingly designed to afflict one’s ears. Though the masks hid our smiles, they could not damper the gleam of hope in our eyes.
While the Coronavirus crisis has been a season of death, hardship, and unrest for many, April and I have found these last months to be a fruitful time of hope. April has been able to disciple and educate our children and manage a majority of the day-to-day tasks of our home. She still battles fatigue and muscle pain as she fulfills her goals for her life and for our family. Though few have been able to peak behind the outside mask of our house, April and I can both affirm it has been filled with smiles both small and big.
God has been faithful and kind to us. We have found the words of Psalm 118:5 to be true:
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
Though we have been weak, frail, unbelieving, confused, and depressed at times, God has been faithful. He has heard our sad souls and has sustained us by his mercy these past few months. When the coronavirus restrictions landed, we could have been laid bare. Instead, we have been infused with hope and faith as God has done more in April’s body and in our souls than we could ever imagine. Our hearts echoed the words of Psalm 118:1,
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Though our souls have been often hidden from public view these last few months, they abound with hopeful smiles.
We arrived at the Mayo clinic somewhat nervous to be at Mayo (after all no one truly likes hospitals). But, our disposition was still decidedly more hopeful than not. As we moved about the elevators decorated with yellow tape and sat in chairs spaced six feet apart that reduced the chances sharing either germs or causal conversations, the faint smiles on our faces grew. When the doctor unmasked the latest, findings, we smiled with joy.
According to April’s Mayo team, the treatment is working. All of her tumors have either stabilized or shrunk since her last scan. Most of the cancer spots have also decreased in either size or intensity. Though our faces were rendered invisible by masks, we could not help by secretly smile because we know God has heard our prayers and your prayers!
Most likely, our smiles will remain hidden for the foreseeable future since the Coronavirus refuses to surrender to the assaults of modern medicine. April and I will continue to follow social distancing and mask protocols. Because of her cancer and treatments, April remains susceptible to the Coronavirus which has claimed more than 120,000 lives this year. We long for the return to normal. But we know that day is not here yet.
We ask you to join us in praying for that day, for April’s medication to keep working, for us to have wisdom as we seek to live out the gospel in this COVID19 world while balancing love and safety, for us to have opportunities to share Christ, and for our kids to be drawn to Christ through this ordeal.
Though our smiles remain hidden because of the masks of space and time, they remain full of hope. Thank you for praying with us and for smiling with us today!
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach us via snail-mail at : P.O. Box 637/ Amissville, VA 20106
You are also welcome call Amissville Baptist Church at: 540-937-6159.
We will posting updates here at witkowskiblog.com
Thank you for your love, prayers, and never-ending support.
Sustained By Grace Through Faith,
Peter and April