Hey, y’all. It’s almost D-Day…what we call the anniversary of the day of diagnosis. February 26, 2019 was the day our world changed. I cannot believe it’s been an entire year since this all started! So much has happened, so many changes, so many challenges, so many beautiful moments, as well. Today’s blog will be a little different, if you don’t mind. I’m gonna go a little deeper than usual and share something on my heart.
You may have noticed I end all of my posts referring to Proverbs 31:25. The verse says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.” However, in my bible, I actually have highlighted another verse further down in the passage, as well. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” In my heart, I’m a Proverbs 31:30 girl, while outwardly I’m a Proverbs 31:25 girl. Both really resonate with me.
I’ve been really positive during this entire process…trusting fully in my Lord. I understand that while this was a surprise to me and my family, it was not a surprise to Him. This was defined as part of my journey the day he formed me. And I fully believe in His will. But I have to be honest with you…a few months ago I had some tough moments to get through. When I saw my surgeon in my first post-op follow up, I was expecting her to come in singing and dancing “You’re cancer-free…congratulations!!!” But that didn’t happen. She came in and was sharing the pathology results like she was talking with colleagues in a meeting. At one point I literally stopped her and said, “I don’t understand what you’re saying…is this good news or bad news???” She immediately changed tone and said it was all good news. (Well…you think you could try a smile with your delivery there, doc???) We had a similar experience with my oncologist the following week…again a very clinical delivery and update on what’s next…no congratulations or excitement. This, Clint and I both feel, was one of the biggest let-downs of this entire process. We never got to feel that level of excitement that I am currently cancer free. My doctors really failed us in this…such a disappointment. As disappointed as I was, I try to remember that their delivery isn’t what’s important…the fact that I am cancer free is!
I was in the shower one Sunday, getting ready for church, and I was chatting with God. And in that moment, I literally prayed…”Thank you Lord for this opportunity.” And I just froze…where on earth did that come from??? Why did I just pray that??? This “opportunity“??? And then I just thought on that word for a few moments, and my disappointment and frustration started to fade away. This experience has taught me so many things about patience, and delivery, and family, and friends, and co-workers, and Him. It has brought me closer to God than I ever thought I could get. (Don’t get me wrong, I still have room to grow in my walk with Him, but it opened my eyes to a wider path.) Clint and I became more involved in our church. Sara chose to be baptized. We’ve spent more time as a family just being together over the past year. I’ve made new friends that have helped me along this journey. This really has been an opportunity. Later that same day, our amazing pastor delivered our Sunday message, and he mentioned that the giants we face in life are opportunities presented by God. (Coincidence??? God’s timing is always perfect.)
There is no other way to say it but to say that He has sustained me through this. This was part of my life before I was born. Over the past 40 years, He has been putting people in my life that I needed for this particular journey today. Almost 23 years ago, he put a freckle-faced boy in my life that has been the greatest provider for me all these years, and I’m lucky enough to call him my husband. 20 years ago, he led me to work at McKesson, where I am surrounded by people that support me, love me and help me every day. He has physically moved us, where we have forged great relationships with neighbors that have become friends. He has provided financially, spiritually and emotionally for us. And these are only a few examples of why I am so grateful. This is why I call my God my provider. This is why I find my salvation in Jesus. Because He has continued to provide for us even on our toughest days. And while there could be tougher days ahead, I will rest in knowing that God is with me.
God presents us all with challenges in our lives…no one is guaranteed an easy life. When I was diagnosed, I paused for a moment and had a short breakdown that evening with my husband, but the next day I was ready to face this thing head on. I had no idea what we would go through, but I knew that I wasn’t going in to battle alone. We are currently in a series at church called Set Apart. The key message in this series is “accepting that we are set apart for the good of others and for the glory of God”. For me, it’s easy to apply this theme to our situation.
Now, I’m not saying that I believe God gave me cancer for the good of others and for His glory. I’m a firm believer, but that’s just crazy talk right there. 🙂 However, He did set me apart and has been developing me to handle this journey with a grateful heart and with focus on His love for me. He set me apart and gave me the gift of optimism and a little bit of wit. He set me apart and created in me me the willingness to share and connect with others on this.
There are tons of people that go through this (or another equally as hard or even harder) journey every day, and it’s easy to blame God or to ask “why me”. There are just as many people that love and care for those suffering, and it’s easy for them to blame God or to ask “why my spouse, why my child, why my friend, etc”. I pray that others will see that we can find laughter in any situation, and that not all days are hard. I pray that in my sharing, others will see perspective from a grateful heart, put their hope and trust in Him, and lean on His strength. For He sustains us.
I will also add that I am thankful for you. We personally know (most of) the people reading this. Your words of encouragement, covering us in prayer, food you’ve fed us with, treats you send to the house, time you give us…all of it has made this journey bearable. I’m not one that easily accepts help or takes time to slow down, so this has been an opportunity for me to learn and appreciate. Thank you for being there for us. God put you in our lives for a reason, and I thank Him for you.