MY BITTERSWEET SEPTEMBER

Our first family picture with Landry. We were definitely missing Bennett.

A few weeks ago, I was reading a devotional that talked about how we all have a life song. It’s the idea that life is like a piano: the white keys are the joys and the black keys are the sorrows. Here’s an excerpt that I read…

All of life works together to create the masterpiece that each of us are so brilliantly offered every single day…

You can’t only take the good in life and reject the bad because both are tremendous shaping tools…one is the sandpaper of life and the other is the buffer to make it brilliantly shine…both have the powerful ability to refine you. Without BOTH, the melody of life is incomplete…the song isn’t as powerfully sung or played…

Think of the song your life is playing. It most likely is a rich combination of both black and white keys.

The flats and sharps (black keys) are the notes in life that threaten and attempt to discourage you, pierce you, and make you ineffective in living life to the fullest.

The white keys are the notes that encourage you and show you just how incredible and amazing life is and how great life can be.

You may not have the ability to choose what keys are playing right now…you may have many black keys that are bringing intense pain. Realize this though: every key that is playing in your life melody today has incredible value. You need both.

And even on our worst days…we all are so blessed.

(Excerpt from GriefBites, YouVersion.com)

Today I have to remember that the black keys make music too. They are a part of my journey, my song.

And they are now a part of my September.

September is a month my oldest son Davis absolutely loves because it means his birthday is almost here. It’s a month my husband is crazy busy at church as fall activities begin. It’s a month we are adjusting to school, homework and new friends. But it’s also so much more for our family now…it’s childhood cancer awareness month. It’s now a month always filled with white AND black keys…my bittersweet September.

For those of you that know our story, you already understand the bitter part of September for me. Because it’s a month focused on childhood cancer, I am constantly reminded of our son Bennett who fought cancer courageously earlier last year. I think about him every day, but this month it’s associated with the very thing that took him from my arms…cancer. If you’ve witnessed cancer firsthand, you know too how evil it is. How devastating it is. How heartbreaking it is.

But cancer is not the end of our story. That’s why September isn’t just bitter. It is completely devoured by sweetness, and making a beautiful melody in my song.

This is now a month we get to make people aware of how to kick cancers butt! St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital gave us four more months with our Bennett. Four amazing months of loving him, serving him, comforting him and holding him as a family. And St. Jude is tirelessly working to save the lives of every child that walks through their doors desperate for healing. Desperate for life.

And this September is even more sweet because we have a little addition in our family to love…Landry Joy Coleman! She was just shy of 9 pounds and 10 days late (I think she was trying to get as close to her brother Bennett’s birthday as possible…only four days apart!). And the verse we picked for her life…

Always be full of joy in the Lord. (Philippians 4:4)

And she is bringing our family great joy! The kids favorite nickname for her right now is poopie monster. She truly poops more than any baby I’ve ever seen. We change one diaper only to change it again minutes later. It’s impressive how many diapers we are going through. In fact, we may need to take up a collection soon to pay for more diapers. Ha!

Here are a few pictures of the last six weeks with our Landry…

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Our life song is filled with many keys. Many ups and downs. Many joys and sorrows. The challenge is to appreciate the music from the sorrows too…cancer, death, grieving. But all of it is a journey the Lord uses to draw us closer to Him every day. And I have to constantly remind myself that even on the worst days…we all are so blessed!

So what can you sing about today…the joys, the sorrows or both? I would love for you to comment and share with us your song.

Today I sing about St. Jude! #ShowYourGold

12 Comments

  1. Beautiful post, Megan. Your family continues to be an inspiration to all of us. You have been through so much, but you show us what true faith is all about. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  2. This is so beautifully written, Megan. You and Ben have been an inspiration to us since we met you at our New Members class. I never would have thought we would follow a similar path leading to St. Jude. Your journey and faithful outlook have helped light the way for us. I love the excerpt your shared from your devotional. It reminds me that even on my worst “black key” days, I am surrounded by blessings/”white keys.” September has been a bittersweet month for me for 9 years now. It is the month our second baby was born and, shortly after, passed away. Thinking of you and keeping your family in my prayers!

  3. Megan, How wonderful to hear and see how our Faithful, Loving Heavenly Father has/is sustaining your dear family. Joy is restored even if we don’t have all the answers but trust the Sovereignty of God. Landry Joy’ verse reminds me of our granddaughter ‘s verse that was used by a composer to create a full band piece. William Oats used Psalms 30:4-5 to write “Then Comes Joy” in memory of Rebekah. Her 6th grade band played her song during a concert at her church in Plano, TX. I really miss seeing you, Ben, Davis , Reid and I need to meet and hold Landry Joy. I am singing of God’s grace and mercy. 💟

  4. Megan, what a beautiful writer you are–with an even more beautiful heart…made to love deeper and cherish more and see God more clearly by indescribable grief. One simple phrase stood out to me: “but cancer is not the end of our story.” Never a truer statement made. It isn’t the end here…and it isn’t the final word in eternity. We have prayed over you guys many times before, but your post has reminded me to lift you up as you live victoriously this September. And, oh beautiful baby girl! Congratulations! May her sweet presence just deepen the love of your family of 6. Waiting with you to see Bennet again. I hope Audrey is giving him a big hug while we wait.

  5. Thank you for the post, Sweet Friend. My kids remember Bennett. Even though they have never met before, for Pavel & Iliya heavens is a place where Baby Bennett lives…and brave David…and lions play with lambs…and where Pavel one day will come up to the Apostel Paul & say, ‘ Hi! I am Pavel! Which is Paul in Russian. ‘
    Love you, Megan!

  6. Megan, I am just seeing your post. I am amazed and humbled by the depth of your faith in Our Lord. It touches my heart so deeply that you and Ben have endured so much and are still so overtly stong in your testimony to God. Your family is in my prayers often. I believe that you will show your children here on earth how to honor God, and because of your deep belief and faith in him, they will. And Bennett is in Jesus’ arms as you hold your other three here. You and Ben have brought many people to Jesus, Megan.

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