Life is like a box of chocolates

In my mind’s eye, I can vividly see Forrest Gump sitting on the park bench saying to his unsuspecting bench-mate:  “My mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'”

Just as this year’s harsh winter storms were finally subsiding and spring loomed on the horizon, just as our house in Massachusetts finally sold ending eight long months of living in separate states, just as we were finally settling into the Hobbit Hole in Pennsylvania and I was finally getting ready to hunker down and finish my next book … Frank and I were blindsided when doctors diagnosed me with Stage 1 lung cancer.

Forrest Gump was right. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”

I’m scheduled for major surgery this Friday, April 11, to remove the cancer. I’ll be in the hospital for four days and sidelined for four to six weeks. By God’s grace, we caught it early and so the prognosis is good. And I’m so thankful to be here with Frank, my cousin Karen, superb doctors, a wonderfully supportive seminary community, and for so many incredible friends who are pulling for me long distance. You’ll never know how much your words of encouragement and prayer support mean to me.

Please pray for both of us and that the ezer in me will be strong as we engage this battle. As one of my close ezer-friends reminded me, “You have to be what you’ve been telling all of us we are.”

My good friend, Amy Lauger, will post updates here while I’m away.  I’m already looking forward to coming back!

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24 Responses to Life is like a box of chocolates

  1. I'm sure I'm only one of many, many people praying for you from here in Central Florida. Since I just returned from choir practice, I'll quote from John Rutter's This Is the Day. (See It doesn't feel like a day to “rejoice and be glad,” but the lines that struck me tonight were these: “Be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.”


  2. Kelley says:

    Carolyn, your Dallas friends will be lifting you up in prayer this week and beyond. Praying for successful, “uneventful” surgery, complete healing, and the peace of Christ in the meantime. (For you AND Frank).



  3. H.G. Scott says:

    Carolyn, I'll remember you and your family in prayer. May The Lord bless you with wise physicians and swift recovery.


  4. H.G. Scott says:

    Carolyn, I will remember you and your family in prayer. May The Lord bless you with wise physicians and swift recovery.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Praying for you and the family, Carolyn. – Amy L.


  6. Unknown says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  7. Kathy Gathro says:

    Praying for you and asking God for healing and for you to know and feel His tender presence and peace as you undergo this surgery and in the weeks following. We love you guys. Kath & Rich


  8. Carolyn,
    I'm sad to hear you have this going on and I will be so in prayer for you from the F.F.W. on 4/11. This is my dad's birthday and from that standpoint a very good day to have surgery. May the Lord bless you with his healing presence through Holy Week and beyond! I can't wait for your next book.
    God Bless you!


  9. Plattmom says:

    Praying for your healing, courage and peace.


  10. Carolyn, I am praying for you so often. This prayer, too: “You set my feet in a spacious place; you rescued me because you delighted in me.” Ps. 18:19


  11. NO!!! Brought When Life and Beliefs Collide with me on the way to FFW hoping I'd get to see you and say “Thank you!” face to face. I am so sorry to learn of the diagnosis and I certainly will be praying.


  12. Jackie Roese says:

    My heart sank at the news. No words other than to say I'm praying for you and Frank.


  13. Cheryl Biehl says:

    Praying dear Carolyn. May God in His mercy heal you speedily.


  14. Anonymous says:


    We'll be keeping you in prayer up here on the North Shore and at Christ Church. So grateful for you and Frank.

    Megan DeFranza


  15. Diane Snelling says:

    Our family is praying for you Carolyn; for strength for you Frank, for wisdom for the doctors and a peace that passes all understanding! Rest in His love, Rob and Diane Snelling


  16. Stephanie says:

    Carolyn, We will be lifting you up to our loving Father!! I pray for His peace to envelope you.
    LOve, Steph


  17. Pam Smith says:

    Carolyn, the seminary is covering you and Frank with much prayer…we look forward to hearing that all went well. What a privilege to know that God called BTS to travel with you on this unexpected part of the journey.

    Pam Smith


  18. Bev Hislop says:

    Dear Carolyn,
    I was so sorry to hear this news–after celebrating the answers to prayer regarding your house, and re-uniting with Frank.
    Please know we will be praying for you during this time–and for Frank (waiting and attending can be very challenging as well!)!
    May you feel God's everlasting arms holding you up as you rest in his care.
    Love, Bev


  19. believer333 says:

    praying for you. It's just like the dark side to try to wipe out one of our front warriors. But God's warriors are more powerful. Praying for God's army to fight for you for a clean surgery and a quick recovery.

    blessings IN Jesus.


  20. Anonymous says:

    Love and prayers for you,
    Trish Miceli


  21. Carolyn,

    When I have a box of chocolates, if I bite into one I don't like, I put it back and take another. Wish you could do that!

    I was so disappointed to read your blog last night before heading to bed. I thought, she was just our retreat speaker less than 3 months ago and seemed fine! I know, things can change quickly and I'm so sorry. I'm guessing the past month must have been a tough one with questions and tests. Your Cupertino ezer-sisters will be praying for you and watching for updates.

    We're having a women's event May 3rd to try to follow up on the retreat. We're calling it “Ezering On in the Life God has Given You.” Women are still talking about the impact the retreat had on their lives and we want to keep the conversation going. The Lord uses you in mighty ways, Carolyn, and as His story unfolds in you, that will surely continue.

    Hold on tight my friend. You are loved,
    Sharon Coleman


  22. You are loved and respected by so many around the world. Prayers for strength.


  23. Kyuboem Lee says:

    Praying for you and Dr. James through this trial.


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