Take Up Your Cross


Monday was the day…the day I had been anticipating since after my first chemo treatment.  The day I was, in some ways, dreading the most.

My hair started falling out in handfuls. Something I knew was going to happen and knew I couldn’t control. I heard from some that they didn’t lose all their hair, so I was holding on to a little hope, yet I couldn’t stop the progression of what I was facing.

By Tuesday when I showered I thought I was going to look in the mirror and see myself with hair in some places and not in others. As I gained some courage and looked in the mirror, I drew a sigh of relief that I still had hair on my head!

I carefully finished getting ready for a meeting and hated the way I looked. As my wonderful husband gave me words of encouragement, told me how beautiful I looked to him and hugged me through my tears, I knew it was time to just pull the bandaid from the soar. I needed to shave off the hair I had left.

It was Tuesday morning, I began reading my email, and there was a Lenten verse from Matthew 16:24.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If any of you want to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me.”    Matthew 16:24

If I want to be His follower, I must turn from my selfish ways… I must take up my cross and follow Him. I knew that being so focused on my looks was part of that selfishness that I needed to turn from. I needed to take up this cross and follow Him.

As my daughter went through the typical hurts that girls go through in high school, I made her a wall hanging of  1 Peter 3:3-4

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

So, as I prayed that I could see myself with eyes that God sees me, I drove to a dear friends house and she helped me walk through this next step on the journey. She helped me take off the hair I had left and fixed me up with a new look. The look that I am sporting today as I continue down this breast cancer journey.

As I drove home, my tears turned from sorrow to joy. I am so grateful for the community of family, friends and support that I have walking with me. Each step I take, even when the cross feels too heavy to bear, is always lighter when you are surrounded with love.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    I’m so sorry for the losses that you are experiencing, Laura. But it seems like you are growing even more beautiful on this journey. I thank God for showing you the Way through each and every trial with the help of your friends and family and Faith. Know that we keep you tucked gently in our daily prayers.

    1. gitznjo says:

      Love you, kate! Thanks for your love and prayers!

  2. Janella Frankl Reicks says:

    Oh, Laura Jo, I love you so much! Thanks for sharing your journey and the downs and ups that are the Paschal Mystery of life. This, however, is your life, your letting go and your rising to new levels of faith which bless you with the Joy of knowing that Your God is holding you, loving you and transforming you in some ways. I am so proud of you that you could share as you did with us. I am lifting you up to the Lord so often and as I do I pray that you be blessed with the strength and energy needed. Take it easy and be good to yourself. Your body needs more love and care than ever to get past the chemo. Healing prayers for you. I ❤️ you!

    1. gitznjo says:

      Thanks Aunt Janella! I trust Him and know He is with me each step of the way, just as so many others. Love you.

  3. Mary Carver says:

    Oh, friend. I am praying for you. I wish I had more words than that, but I think those are good ones to start with. Praying for you…and sending love your way! <3

    1. gitznjo says:

      Thanks you, Mary! I appreciate your love and prayers more than you know.

  4. Shawn Frankl says:

    Those are the actions of choosing joy. Not just a saying or a quote.. That is living the meaning of CHOOSING joy! You are in our prayers an admire you Laura. God is in control !!!

    1. gitznjo says:

      Yes He is, Shawn! Thanks for your words of love and encouragement. It means more than you could ever imagine.

  5. Rachel Lundy says:

    I’m so glad you have a community of friends and family around you to support you. You are beautiful, dear friend, and you are loved! Happy Easter.

    1. gitznjo says:

      Love you, Rachel. Please know how much I appreciate your cards and notes. I am grateful for you.

  6. Jane Frankl says:

    So proud of my sweet daughter. I love you and have great confidence that all will be well. God is good alli the time all the time God is good!!!!

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