Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Cow Man

April 8, 2004
12:33 PM

Hi everyone. I hope you week has gone well! Happy Easter to everyone...

Just wanted to pass along a quick update. Chad has completed 3 of 20 of the high dose interferon treatments. He'll go today, again with Mom, and I'll take him tomorrow for his final treatment this week...I think they need a break from one another. ;) Monday night he did really well, but Tuesday was rough...

So that's that so far. I'll pass along another update next week. Pray that he'll be able to make it to church Easter Sunday! And of course for spiritual and physical healing, strength, and peace. Pray that the interferon will be effective. And, again, pray that blessings will be realized through our suffering. God continues to lead me to amazing Scriptures I believe shed a little light on what He is trying to accomplish here, so I ask you not only to pray for life...but abundant life that can only be found in Him.

Once again, thanks for all the support, concern food, cards, calls, emails, hugs and love, but most of all...for your prayers. All I can say is God has surrounded us with truly amazing people. My dad always says that one way God loves us is through others. Count yourselves among them.


Easter. I love it. It's so bight and warm (hopefully) and open-toe shoe friendly. And the only time of year you can go crazy with pastels and it's completely okay. My kinda time of year! Oh...and Cadbury eggs. Praise the Lord for those babies! I'm 33 and still get an Easter basket by they way. If you think that's pathetic, talk to my mother...

I also, of course, mostly love Easter because of it's life-altering significance, not only to all Christians, but to my family. In Easter of 2006, 2 years after this email was written, my entire family would vacation together in Charleston...just before Chad's brain tumor showed itself on Easter Monday. It was the last time that the Sullivan 5 was...well, just the Sullivan 5. It was the last time I saw Chad get to just be himself on this Earth. Can I tell you a quick story? It's just a funny...

The day Chad and Brooke left Charleston was Easter Monday 2006. It had been an amazing family weekend. We ate oysters and played on the beach and stayed up way too late. Easter morning we went to to church at FBC Charleston which is just about as Old South as it gets. There was more seersucker than you could shake a stick at, and I'm proud to tell you our boys were among them! The next morning we woke up and went down to King St. for some shopping and lunch before Chad and Brooke hit the road. I remember that lunch so clearly because we spotted Andie McDowell, the actress, as we were sitting down to eat. (She's a beautiful women, but not nearly as perfect as those Loreal commercials would have us believe. I'm just saying. Not to belittle her, but just to let the rest of us girls know we look pretty good, too! Airbrushing. It's a bad thing.) Anywho...I remember the quirkiest little thing Chad said that day that just makes me smile and sigh every time I think on it. Brooke, we call her Princess Two-Legs, she will only eat fish or animals that walk on 2, poultry...but no four-legged animals at all. She, because of this, opted for a turkey burger. An excellent choice paired with some sweet potato fries. Chad, on the other hand, an all-American type of guy, doesn't discriminate against the number of legs his food originally had. A "cow man," if you will. And that's exactly what he told the waitress he wanted. "A COW burger, please." (dramatic pause) "Moo."

It was a moment. Chad Sullivan, ladies and gentleman.

Anyway...back to my original points...

Easter, to me, is the anniversary of the death of not just my Savior, but of my family as I had always known it. As I've shared with you before, I miss the Sullivan 5 that died that Easter Monday night. I now, however, have the opportunity to embrace the new life that has come out of that death. In all death in Christ there comes new life, and I celebrate that today and in this season. I see the prayer request in the above entry...and I'm moved. They were all answered, every single one over time, in one way or another. It wasn't always the manner in which I envisioned...but He was showing off all along. I have this bad habit (if you can imagine) of trying to envision and figure out what God is doing and "help Him along," if you will. Just to call a spade a spade, I manipulate and get in His way. I have had such a conviction on my heart about this the last few years. God does not need my help...He simply wants me to trust and obey 24 hours at a time. There, I find the peace and the wonder of my God.

"...again, pray that blessings will be realized through our suffering."

That line, written 6 years ago, is the prayer that birthed my life's passion. And I manipulated nothing to realize it. It formed right before my eyes as I trusted my Savior and waited patiently. And you know what else? I really love that it all went down for the Sullivan 5 on Easter. Ours truly is a story of life out of death...

Yes He did...Ephraim.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Challenge...for Me...

It's been a while. I know, I know.

It's been a little over 3 years since Chad died, and in those 3 years my life has changed in many ways. There's very little, aside from my home, that has stayed the same. I have now found what I call a "new normal," and have moved ahead with my life. I don't like to say "moving on." That makes it sound as though I'm leaving Chad behind...I'm not. I take him with me wherever I go...but life has to move forward. So...on that far as the blog goes, I've done some soul-searching. Here is what I've come up with:

First, I feel this pressure to say something really profound each time I write on the blog. It's exhausting, and makes me dread the blog instead of enjoy it. Ridonkulous. This one is easily fixed: "Lighten up, Marti. Give it a're not the poet laureate of NC." Done. All better. Next...

This one is a little more complicated.

I found out a lot about myself in my brother's death. It was, truly, both a blessing and a suffering all in one.'s what it's all about. My love of speaking and writing and serving for the glory of God all came from the fruit that I gleaned, the abundance I found, in Chad's sickness and death. I LOVE what I do. I found my passion not in spite of but because of my suffering. It's a beautiful thing. The problem has arisen for me, however, that every time I write or speak...I have to go to that place. I have to remember that face, sit at his bedside, have those conversations with him, read those emails...over and over and over. I have to keep it all alive in me in order to that hopefully our suffering can inspire you to find the blessing in the trial as well.

I want to do it.

But, I will admit, that it has worn on me. As I have prayed and pondered over this, it really comes down to discipline and obedience. If this is what He has called me to do, then I must go there...because it what He has asked me to do. And every time I do...Chad's suffering matters more and more and more...

But not in MY strength. It has to come from God.

Would you pray for me? Would you pray I can learn to exercise His strength in this endeavor? Otherwise, I'm wasting your time and mine. It's futile.

I commit to you that I will post once a may not be life-changing, but it will be His work, and not mine.

Will you hold me accountable?

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." -2 Corinthians 12:9