Life. It’s often hard, always a gift, sometimes quite unpredictable. Yet in the middle of our life situations God is with us. As we follow Him, the journey of life, whether good or bad, becomes a sacred one–set apart for His will and His glory. If we could “get” the truth that our lives are about a much bigger picture than just the circumstances we see, we would embrace the gift in the hard places, knowing that He has us and is working.
I began a new chapter of this sacred journey of life a week ago. One call changed my circumstances, but that call did not change the truth that God is with me…
These days I cry every morning. It’s not that I want to, it just comes from out of nowhere. Fresh hot tears as sure as my fresh hot coffee.This morning I actually was so angry that I slugged the pillows on the sofa, not a pretty sight. Certainly out of character for me. The moment I heard the Dr. say the words, it’s malignant, my heart sank, tears came despite my best attempt to hold myself together. I paced about the kitchen trying to find a scrap of paper to write down what she was saying, and everything from that point began to blur.
The pathology report showed ductal carcinoma in situ, intermediate grade—DCIS for short. The good news: it’s not invasive and I have a great prognosis. The bad news: It’s cancer and I still have to go through surgery and treatments. A few hours later I was called by the oncology nurse asking if I could come in the next day to see her and have things explained to me. I made that appointment followed by making an appointment a few days later to meet with the team of doctors assigned to my case. The week has been spent vacillating between acceptance and denial; reading and crying; optimism and fear.One call put me into the front of the line for this roller coaster ride called cancer. With one word my immediate schedule has changed and within one week I have been up and down the tracks of this roller coaster ride…quite a few times.
Who knew? Who knew I would be here one day? I happen to be a woman that never once thought of breast cancer in relation to my own breasts. I didn’t do monthly breast exams, but I did get my obligatory yearly mammogram. Thankfully this early form of cancer was caught on my routine mammogram and for that I am grateful. Girls get your mammogram!
But it’s funny how gratefulness can be stolen from us the moment we have to dive into decisions, details and paths that we do not want to travel down. Still, in the middle of this journey it is my personal goal to find the joy in the day, to find the grace in the moment and to find as Ann Voskamp says, the truth that Eucharisteo precedes the miracle.
The giving of thanks opens our hearts to receive from a God who is always love.
So back to, Who Knew? That is the question that has a reassuring answer . God knew. He is the God who sees, the God who knows me, the God who holds me in his hand. He is the God who promised that all things are working together for good in my life because I love him. He is the God who says he can be trusted through the storms in life because He has overcome the world. He is the God who inspired the Apostle Paul to pen the words, “ though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are renewed day by day.”
Going forward it’s one day a time for me. Today started with tears and then some pretty intense pillow hitting. That’s ok. Life isn’t a paint by number piece. It’s messy and the color blurs lines. People like you and me have wrestled with emotions, the human process in hard times and other such things for as long as life has been recorded.
David, the great Psalmist, recorded lament and discouragement in the same breath that he records joy and praise to the Most High God. For you and me, the most important thing is to learn to follow in the good, the bad and the ugly. The most important thing is to pay attention to the truth in Scripture and the promises of God’s tender care and faithfulness.
Wherever you are, whatever you face today…God is with you…of this I am sure. And, He is with me too. What joy it is to be taken care of. What joy it is to look trouble in the face, shed a few tears, slug a few pillows and still come out trusting God. What joy it is to know Jesus. We get to choose. We can live UP, under the promise of God’s love for us….or we can choose to live buried under the pain of our problems. The choice is ours.
How can I pray for you?