God is huge… really huge; so huge that it would be impossible for me to shrink him down and cram him into my pint-sized capacity for understanding. Still and yet, there are days when he breaks himself down for me so that my “pint-sized brain” can experience a measure of what it is to know him more fully, more intimately. These past few days have been some of those days for me.
God has tenderly knelt beside me, met me eye-level, and cradled me close to his beating heart. There has been more laughter than tears, more joy than sadness, more hope than despair, more faith than unbelief. I am grateful for my “more” that has anchored in sacred soil rather than in the tainted, diminished earthen sod that cradles my temporal steps. I’ve also been surprised by it… been overwhelmed by the gracious, sustaining hand of my Father who has not only made this cancer diagnosis bearable for me, but even more so, understandable.
I cannot explain the rational, reasonable response of my heart; whereas even a month ago I would have told you that I couldn’t possibly “do cancer,” I’m doing it today. I’m living with my diagnosis, with the stresses and strains of having to make some difficult decisions because of that diagnosis, and with the reality that I’m still a mom and wife with laundry to fold, bills to pay, and homework to be managed. That kind of “living with” can only be filtered through the lens of peace.
God’s peace—Jesus Christ. Not as the world gives (thank you God), but as he so determines. The world’s offering of peace is limited, is budgeted according to fleshly understanding and carnal appetites. God’s peace, however, is limitless and is budgeted according to kingdom standards and based on holier appetites—soul cravings that issue forth from a deep hunger to get more of our huge God crammed into our pint-sized understanding.
I’ve been living in kingdom peace these past weeks, and the cravings of my soul have been amply fed by the hand of the King who bends low to listen to the heart cries of his children… who stoops low to “raise the poor from the dust and lift the needy from the ash heap” (Ps. 113:6-7). I am exceedingly grateful for the gift of his sustaining presence and his willingness to be heavily invested in the story of my cancer.
God is so very willing to be part of all of our stories, friends. All he is waiting on is our invitation to him to start writing his memoir through us. You may not think your life particularly fantastic or worthy of print, but when you hand our Father the pen, he scripts authenticity into your story—every chapter, every line, every word, every letter. Every year, every month, every day, every hour. When God is given the publishing rights to our manuscripts, he promises to make everything count—the good, the bad, and all the mess that resides in between these extremes.
I’m taking him at his word; I’m believing him to make my cancer count—not for my sake, but for his. To get to the end of it all, regardless of where that “end” resides, and to have lived it selfishly and without regard to God’s greater understanding is to waste this precious time. I choose not to “live” there. I choose to live better. By doing so, I pray I learn more about my Father… about an intimacy, perhaps, that might have never been shared between us had I not been allowed this road.
I don’t want to waste my cancer. I want to embrace it, and in doing so, become more of the woman that God desires for me to be. If that can be said of me down the road—that in fact I’m further along in my faith journey because of my cancer—then it will have been worth it. If not—if I become a lesser woman of faith because of my cancer—then it will have been wasted.
Pray it’s not wasted. Pray, instead, that it will be my continuing perfection. I love you all and will be thinking of you in this next week as I will be off-line in order to take the next step in this journey.
After consulting with my oncologist yesterday regarding my MRI, we’ve decided to proceed with a mastectomy of both breasts. The surgery will be tomorrow at 1:00 PM. After a time of healing, a chemo/radiation plan will be put into place. Thankfully, those treatments will happen very close to home. I will have an overnight stay at the Surgery Center (can you believe that a mastectomy is considered out-patient surgery… I’m not kidding?!) before coming home. This was an unexpected “gift” to me and has gone a long way to relieve my initial concerns about learning how to care for myself before going home. Post-surgery, I am limited in the use of my arms, and my husband has vowed to make sure that I comply. Accordingly, I won’t be posting, but I’ll make sure that my husband updates you regarding my progress.
Through it all, I am humbled by the overwhelming support you’ve given to all of us, and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve not been granted some extra favor from God because of your prayers. I don’t think God and his angels have ever heard my name more clearly than in the past week. I like to think of your prayers simmering there before God’s throne. You, good friends, make me want to be a better intercessor for others. You’re living a good faith on my behalf, and I am blessed by your generosity.
Take good care of your heart in this season. Tend to it; till it, and plant some good seed. The harvest will be good—God’s kind of good—and we will all share in the feasting together! As always…
Peace for the journey,