"As you move forward the pain moves deeper, off your skin and into your bones..."

I'm not done catching up on months of blogging, but wanted to pause tonight and share something personal and close to my heart.

My life has been a lot of "ME, ME, ME" lately with nothing good to show for it. God has been whispering "Be still, and know that I am God" to me a lot lately and I have been politely (and if I'm honest, not so politely) telling Him to SHUSH!!

I have ranted and raved, and yelled at my family, caught up in the anger and hurt of being unappreciated, and how hard life is at times. I might even screamed "I'm tired of being the bigger person" and "Its my turn to be pushed in the wheelbarrow" (Robinson family inside joke) :)

You see, its all about me. I'm turning 40 next year, I have 5 kids that don't know where the garbage can is, (or the toilet bowl for that matter, at least the boys), my Mom died of cancer and I don't understand why, I've never been on a Honeymoon, never had a wedding, (yes I let that fester a bit), having iron treatments that leave me with migraines, nauseous, hot/cold, (my back hurts, my belts too tight, my hips hurt from left to right.. you know how it goes)

There is never enough money, time, or anything for ME!! And like I said earlier, "It is all about me!"

But slowly with patience God has been teaching me, and I am finally awake enough to listen. Its been heartbreaking and eye-opening getting my iron infusions. I have to sit in a room with chemotherapy patients. I feel guilty mentioning any discomforts as I know a bit (from watching my mom) of what they are going through. As I sit I wonder about their kids, their loved ones, do they know God?, how did they find out they had cancer, and like my mom, did they find out with no time left?

But every one of these people are kind...asking about everyone in the room... caring for each other... and made me feel completely welcome. I think they were relieved for ME that I did not have cancer like them. It hurts... The title of this blog post ""As you move forward the pain moves deeper, off your skin and into your bones..." is stolen from here. The Matthew's Story. The blog of little Ezra's parents. You can meet him in my blog post here. I met Ezra for a fleeting moment, but he will forever hold a place in my heart. Anyway, Robyn's words above moved me. That's the pain I feel.. and I am angry. I miss my mother everyday. She was good. She was kind. She was loving. She was my mom. There are so many evil people on this earth. But she is gone.

The people in my chemo room all had love for others even with what they were facing. How can God call me to any less?

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Move into this week, and I receive a challenge from a fellow photog, to use my gifts and my pain to help another. I have a fellow photographer, Jen Thompson,who is fighting cancer. At 36 years old, Jen Thompson was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on August 30, 2011. This woman is younger than me. This woman has 2 small boys who need their mommy. Two small boys that I want to help spare the agony and pain of losing their mother. And do you know what her blog post this week is about? She is begging God to "Use Her!" What a selfless woman.. I wonder if I could be such a pillar of selfless grace if I were in her shoes. I can tell you that for the last week or so, I don't have one tenth of the trials and tribulations she has and I haven't been the woman God has called me to be.

A quote from her blog post

"Pleading. Begging. God, use me, show me, make me an implementor, an instrument. Bring good here. Show light here where it’s dark. Use this tiny little story of mine and make it seriously significant………………

……….USE ME!"

God is using her!! He used her in my life and I am sure there are many more!

Why the blog post you ask? I want to help Jen, and to do that I need your help.

Right now Jennifer 's cancer is winning. She had some test results that were not good. She is hoping to pursue a clinical trial in Minnesota. She hasn't asked for help, but she needs to come up with $63,000 for this clinical trial. In order to fundraise for this trial, she is offering her clients mini-sessions for $250 which includes about a 20 minute portrait session, 10 stunning images of the family/kids and a small collection of prints.

I want to help her reach her goal. I would like to offer the same thing. My goal is to shoot at least 10 within the next month which would bring in $2,500 toward her $63,000. That will barely make a dent, but its a start! And I challenge my photog friends to do the same.

If you would like to help Jen and book a session, (please no newborns or weddings) please contact me and be a part of a miracle! Let God USE YOU! email me: melissa@contemporarycaptures.com

Please read more about Jen's journey here: http://www.amistillagirl.com/

Donations can also be mad directly to Jen: http://www.amistillagirl.com/make-a-donation/

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails

Photo Credit: Benjamin Edwards Photography