I am going to do my best to share my heart, with upmost respect.
Sometimes life takes a turn, comes crashing down, and speeds 100mph toward a stone wall. I remember coming home from school my senior year of high school to a note on the counter and a message on the answering machine of our house phone… the start of a frightening turn in life. Within a week my mom sat me down and spoke words to me that must have been agonizingly difficult. Cancer. My dad. Stage 4. Terminal. 6 months. Every bone. Nothing doctors could do.
The pain, the grief, the confusion, the fear took over. Now, they are a faint memory most days for me, the stronger memories revolve around the time I spent by my Dad’s bedside, our conversations, the day I heard his last breath, the family who surrounded us in those weeks, my friends who held me up when I couldn’t hold myself up. Those are the memories I tend to think about.
Until life takes another turn.
When the word cancer is said again and it brings up all the fear, the pain, and the agony of 15 years ago, its shocking how when you think you have healed and moved on, it can still come rushing back in an instant.
Only the last time I felt those things, I was not a Christian… I didn’t have the Lord to fall back on for comfort. This time I do. And this time, while those things are still real and normal feelings, I can see how God is navigating through the confusion, using the pain, and erasing the fear.
Its been a summer of seeing God’s hand upon our family. I can look back and see the big breath of grace that we took before we knew officially ‘its cancer’. I can see how we needed that big breath, how it prepared our hearts to stand firm, to hug strongly, to love deeply, and to fight like we have never fought before. Grief can rip people apart, tear families away from each other, and strip people of their joy. It can. But I can see how this summer, it mended us, it brought people closer, and it gave us a reason to run towards joy.
Its been two months exactly since this turn began. I have cried most days. I warn people now, “I might cry, so be ready”. Sometimes I have cried out of anguish or concern, but other times I have cried tears of thankfulness, or relief. The tears are literally the Holy Spirit speaking as they fall down my face, washing away my pain, or ushering in gratefulness.
God is moving. His goodness toward our family has been overwhelmingly and incredible. From people’s prayers, their generosity, their kindness, servanthood, their grace, and love, our family has felt cared for, and we have not been alone in this. I have seen Mom rise up and be able to stand, and fight because she is lifted up by all this love shown to her, God has given her a peace that transcends all understanding, and given strength to her soul. This time, this turn, its on Christ we have set our hope.
Now begins something beautiful.