Monday, May 23, 2011

Give me Faith

When I was in high school we lived in southern California. One of the tourist attractions of the area was Disneyland. I made several trips to "the happiest place on earth" over the course of those years, enjoying all the rides, shows, and shops. The ride I remember best was called Space Mountain. It was a brand new roller coaster and the line to ride was hours long. After you finally boarded the ride and strapped yourself in, the roller coaster took off and you were plunged into pitch blackness! The whole ride took place in the dark. There were invisible twists, turns, and drops. The blackness was pierced by screams and laughter. And when you came to the end, most people jumped off and ran to get in line to ride again. I was one of those people who loved roller coasters.

I guess maybe in some way those experiences helped prepare me for the whole cancer experience. Even after finishing treatment, having consistently good PET scan results, and going on to live my life, it still feels like I am on a roller coaster.

Roller coaster going up...
Click, click, click, click... big smiles... appointment with the surgeon... "Everything looks normal!"

Roller coaster drops...
AAAAaaahhhhh!!!!! ... shock... a family member is diagnosed with stage four breast cancer...

Roller coaster going up...
Click, click, click, click... laughter, smiles, hands in the air... a close friend is declared "cancer free!" Thank you Lord!

Roller coaster drops...
AAAAaaahhhhh!!!!! ... anger... my friend, Darla, is facing surgery #3 as a result of side effects from radiation... Why, God, when everything was going so well?!!!! 

Roller coaster going up...
Click, click, click, click... big smiles... another friend's wife gives me a big hug and says that her husband is doing well! Thank you Lord!

Roller coaster twists upside down...
AAAaaahhh!!! ... grief... my friend, John, continues to struggle in his fight against colon cancer. God please give him more time...

And on and on it goes.

Anger rears its ugly head again. I hate cancer. I hate that my family and friends have to deal with the grief, fear, pain, and complications of this disease.  But even as I struggle with these emotions, God meets me there. I am sitting in worship at Community of Faith and we begin to sing:

Give Me Faith
by Mack Brock

I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need you to open my eyes
To see that You’re shaping my life
All I am, I surrender

Give me faith to trust what you say
That you’re good and your love is great
I’m broken inside, I give you my life

I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need you pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me

I may be weak
But your Spirit’s strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God you never will

Tears come. God whispers to my heart:  "Why are you so angry?  You trusted me in your own battle with cancer.  Can you not  trust that I am working in the life of your friends the same way?"

Will I trust you still? 

"Give me faith to trust what you say, that you're good and your love is great."


  1. Oh, sweet friend. I am right there with you. I have so many friends whose little ones are going through serious illnesses or other medical condidtions. We pray in faith. Then a praise comes and we rejoice! Praying for you as you minister to them.
    By the way...Brea LOVES space mountain. She rode 4 times in a row on our last trip to Orlando!

  2. Funny... I do my post a day in advance. That song is on my post too. Guess it ministered to you in church like it did me. :-)

  3. Needed this today...and you so aptly described every person that has a ticket for the "cancer roller coaster" ride.

    Love you and thanks for praying always!

    To God be the glory!

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I am a good friend of Darla's and I know she was encouraged by your post.

  5. Super impressed with how brave you are to ride a roller coaster like Space Mountain. Being brave sure helps to face cancer too. Roller coasters make me shiver in my boots just looking at them or thinking about them. I'm impressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!