A sweet friend emailed me the other day with some questions. She was wondering how she might respond if she were in my situation, wondering how she would handle the spiritual side of the struggle and wondering how that has been for me. For whatever it's worth, I thought I would share with you my response to her. So here it is:
"I think we always wonder how we would respond when faced with adifficult situation like cancer. Hoping that we would be strongwarriors of faith, but afraid that maybe we wouldn't.All I know isthat from the moment the doctor said, "You have cancer" I had asupernatural peace just flood over me, like everything was going tobe OK. Not easy, not fun, maybe not even turning out like we wouldhope, but that it was going to be OK because God is here. That peacehasn't left me. Now, I have had many moments of crying, screaming(scaring the dog!), grief, deep fear, anguish for my kids and myhusband, but every time He meets me there and scoops me up and sayslet's just take the next step. For some reason I've never eventhought "Why me?". I have had such a profound sense of His presencelike never before in my life that it's been kind of awesome just tosit back and watch as He has orchestrated every little detail - evendown to having my radiation nurse walking into the hospital at thesame time I was walking out from day surgery last week! She has beenone of my cheerleaders from the beginning and I just had to smilewhen I saw her, knowing that God had her there at that exact moment.
The week of the first IV treatment was rough. I cried all dayThursday, about everything, good things and bad things, couldn'tstop. I told Mark that I felt like I'd lost my testimony, like Iwasn't really trusting God!! But he just encouraged me and told me tokeep going. There are days I feel like I can't do this anymore, and Icertainly don't want to, but then I see what He's doing - in my life,in our church, through the blog, etc. - and I know that it's Him,He's going to carry me through, whatever that means.
I have found that it is very much a mental battle for me now.Fighting to keep my focus fixed on Jesus and on His word and Histruth no matter what. That is work for me! I was watching Grey'sAnatomy the other night and one of the characters has been battlingcancer. In that episode her husband screamed the line, "What am Iscared of? I'm scared of everything!" And I thought, that's it! WhenI don't keep my focus on Jesus, I'm scared of everything. But when itis laser focused on Him, everything is OK. That is my daily work."
My parents have always remained calm with a positive attitude in the face of whatever was going on in their lives. When I was younger I thought, "Can't they see what's really going on here??!! How can they be so calm??" Now I know. They did see what was really going on - God was in control and they could choose to trust and have peace. Thanks, mom and dad, for showing me how to walk by faith!
Whatever is going on in your life today, I hope you'll remember that God is there. He won't leave you, not even for a second.
"The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you." Psalm 110:5