How to Handle Life’s Curve Balls

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What do you do when unexpected curve balls in life are thrown your way? Dawn and Chris Carr know how to handle curve balls. They have always been such a precious couple in my life. They met when they were 19 years old at college and were inseparable. We as Dawn’s best friends knew they would marry.  They married right after college, in September 1997.  They epitomize–then and today– a Christ-centered marriage.

For their whole marriage of 18 years, Chris awakens daily at 6am to have his quiet time and Bible reading, eats breakfast with his family, then he leaves for work.  They pray together, laugh together, work hard together, and have fun together as a family. Life often seems so perfect in the calm before the curve ball.

Their curve ball came in 2003, when Dawn was 30 years old. While enjoying their two-year-old son Carson and pregnant with their second child,  Dawn was diagnosed with colon cancer. Just typing those words brings tears to my eyes, recalling the shock. How could someone so young have to hear the “C” word, especially Dawn who was pregnant? For that matter, why does anyone need to hear the dreaded “C” word?

A prayerful decision was made to operate. When the growing baby in her womb was five months along, anointed doctors made an incision from her breasts down to her pelvis. The nurses held that baby outside of her body while 13 cancerous inches of her colon were removed. They then gently placed the baby miraculously back into her body. Miracles never cease.

The surgery was not the worst of the battle. Her incision down the front of her body had a difficult time healing because, as the baby grew inside of her, her skin and stitches stretched tautly. Dawn could hardly stand up straight because it hurt too much to stretch her healing incision. Not only could she not stand up straight, she also was not supposed to pick up her beautiful two-year-old son Carson. Her incision healed, and Dawn, in her hilarious humor, calls her scar her “front butt.”

How did we respond as Dawn’s friends? What did we do? We prayed and rallied around her. We showed up. We all came to Charlotte, took Dawn out for a spa day with a manicure/pedicure, then rented a hotel suite to have a slumber party. She was real in telling us all the details. We were real to listen. To cry with her. To laugh with her (although it hurt her incision to laugh, she loved and still loves to laugh). To hug her. To hear her. To let her know we love her and value her and are praying for her.

Dawn, Chris, and Carson came to Charleston to visit and stay with me two months later. By this time she was seven months pregnant. I remember us going to Fort Sumter and Dawn trying to push Carson in his baby stroller, and she couldn’t stand up straight. We heard the ferry boat whistle indicating that we needed to get on the boat. Dawn ran like “ET” with baby stroller while Chris ran ahead with our tickets. We laughed so hard. We had so much fun. Dawn laughed through her pain. She is the life of the party.

Dawn delivered baby Zackary on Mother’s Day 2004, the miracle boy. We say he was “born again” on the day he was birthed. Dawn began chemo two weeks after he was born and couldn’t breast feed.  Both Zackary and big brother Carson have hearts of gold. They are good boys, good students, are good role models. I love them as I would my own children.

Dawn and Chris  go on date nights often, and go on “Celebration of Life” cruises each year on the anniversary of her cancer surgery. They just enjoyed their 2015 cruise last month. They savor every moment. Dawn and Chris are such an inspiration, and their marriage is one of dying to self and living for God, each other, their two sons and others. Those are the keys, my friends, to handling life’s curve balls.

Happy 18th Anniversary, Dawn and Chris!

Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” featured Dawn and Chris’s story in December 2012. Enjoy their poignant feature video clip now by clicking on the link below.

 The 700 Club–Baby Born Again, featuring Dawn, Chris and Zackary

Reflect:

–Why does it seem sometimes that bad things happen to us? Please comment.

Renew with One of Dawn’s favorite verses:

–“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9

–“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Recharge:

–What can you learn from the testimony Dawn, Chris, Carson and Zackary? Please comment.

Resource:

— http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/Carrs121206.asp

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How to Handle Life’s Curve Balls, Post #48

What do you do when life throws you a curve ball? Dawn and Chris Carr know how to handle curve balls. They have always been such a precious couple in my life. They met when they were 19 years old at college and were inseparable. We as Dawn’s best college friends knew they would marry.  They married right after college, in 1995.  They epitomize–then and today– a Christ-centered marriage.

For their whole marriage of almost 20 years, Chris awakens daily at 6am to have his quiet time and Bible reading, eats breakfast with his family, then he leaves for work.  They pray together, laugh together, work hard together, and have fun together as a family. Life often seems so perfect in the calm before the curve ball.

Their curve ball came in 2003, when Dawn was 30 years old. While enjoying their two-year-old son Carson and pregnant with their second child,  Dawn was diagnosed with colon cancer. Just typing those words brings tears to my eyes, recalling the shock. How could someone our age have colon cancer, especially Dawn who was pregnant?

A prayerful decision was made to operate. When the growing baby in her womb was five months along, anointed doctors made an incision from her breasts down to her pelvis. The nurses held that baby outside of her body while 13 cancerous inches of her colon was removed, then gently placed the baby miraculously back into her body. Miracles never cease.

The surgery was not the worst of the battle. Her incision down the front of her body had a difficult time healing because, as the baby grew inside of her, her skin and stitches stretched tautly. Dawn could hardly stand up straight because it hurt too much to stretch her healing incision. Not only could she not stand up straight, she also was not supposed to pick up her beautiful two-year-old son Carson.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” became my breath prayer for Dawn, one of my favorite life verses–Philippians 4:13

How did we respond as Dawn’s friends? What did we do? We prayed and rallied around her. We all came to Charlotte, took Dawn out for a spa day with a manicure/pedicure, then rented a hotel suite to have a slumber party. She was real in telling us all the details. We were real to listen. To cry with her. To laugh with her (although it hurt to laugh, she loves to laugh). To hug her. To hear her. To let her know we love her and value her. 

Dawn, Chris, and Carson came to Charleston to visit and stay with me two months later. By this time she was seven months pregnant. I remember us going to Fort Sumter and Dawn trying to push Carson in his baby stroller, and she couldn’t stand up straight. We heard the ferry boat whistle indicating that we needed to get on the boat. Dawn ran like “ET” with baby stroller while Chris ran ahead with our tickets. We laughed so hard. We had so much fun. Dawn laughed through her pain. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.

Dawn delivered baby Zackary on Mother’s Day 2004, the miracle boy. We say he was “born again” on the day he was birthed. Dawn began chemo two weeks after he was born and couldn’t breast feed.  Both Zackary and big brother Carson have hearts of gold. They are good boys, good students, are good role models. I love them as I would my own children.

Dawn and Chris  go on date nights often, and go on “Celebration of Life” cruises each year on the anniversary of her cancer surgery.  They savor every moment. Dawn and Chris are such an inspiration, and their marriage is one of dying to self and living for God, each other, their two sons and others–even when life throws you curve balls.

I had the pleasure of staying at their peaceful home this past Saturday night. They had just come in from son Carson’s 13th fun birthday party held on their local football field. After the boys took showers and got ready for bed, I had the blessing of helping tuck Zackary in bed. So hard to believe he is now 10 years old. I kissed him on the cheek goodnight, told him I loved him and how I thanked God for him.  Miracles, love and prayers never cease, even when life throws curve balls.  The Carr family is living proof.

Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” featured Dawn and Chris’s story in December 2012. Enjoy their poignant feature video clip now by clicking on the link below.

 The 700 Club–Baby Born Again, featuring Dawn, Chris and Zackary

Reflect:

–Why does it seem sometimes that bad things happen to us? To draw us closer to God?

–Please comment below.

Renew with One of Dawn’s favorite verses:

–“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9

Recharge:

–What can you learn from Dawn, Chris, Carson and Zackary?

Resource:

— http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/Carrs121206.aspx

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