It's been a year. Hard to believe, but true.
A year ago today, I was sitting in the doctor's office hearing some words that were unbelievably hard to hear.
"You're taking this really well," he said as he looked into my eyes with a mixture of sadness and uncertainty after he told me that I had metastatic lesions on my bones. I'm sure part of him wondered if I really understood what it was he was really saying.
Oh, I got it. I understood what he was telling me.
I understood that I was just delivered news that meant my life would never be the same again. News that meant any security I had in planning life beyond the confines of today was gone. News that meant everything I had believed about my God would be tested and challenged to see if He was truly big enough, truly loving enough, truly real enough to - not just help me make it through this, but to - truly live an abundant life through this.
If I didn't fully process it all sitting in his office, I certainly got it as, the next morning, I held it together while getting Emilie and Daniel ready for school and out for the bus. I got it when I just sobbed watching them get on the bus and wondering what hurts may lie ahead for them, for me, for Chad. I got it as I called Laura and just kept saying, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe. When will I be able to breathe again?"
Oh, I got it alright. However, 365 days later I'm still learning how to live with it.
Some days it's easy. Truly. But sometimes it's still hard. Sometimes it's a battle to keep my eyes focused on the many things I have to be thankful for. Sometimes it's a battle to not let my eyes only see the scary size of the waves surrounding me rather than see the firm ground upon which my feet stand. Sometimes it's a battle to constantly lay down my natural desire to get security from the things of this world (my house, my family, my bank account, my upcoming vacation plans), and be - not just okay with - but satisfied with the security that God promises me as I trust in Him. Sometimes it's hard to rest in the promises of God.
Oh my goodness...so many things to share (after all, I haven't been in touch in over 6 weeks with you all!)...
I guess what strikes me most this morning as I sit at my PC listening to some pretty cool music (like this one from Kari Job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_1YliutzA), is that, above all, this past year has just caused me to see the reality of life. It - cancer - has stripped bare any pretense that I control my life. And, although I may have more doctor's appointments on my calendar than you do, we both have this common truth: the path our lives will take is unknown to us. Despite our best efforts, we just don't fully know the twists, turns, ups, and downs that the road we're on will take.
Are you okay with that?
Does it bother you?
Does it cause you so much fear in your stomach that you just want to stop reading right this second so that you don't have to think about it and pretend that it isn't true?
Me to. All of those options at one time or another.
This past weekend, my women's bible study group went on a little retreat. In honor of the Royal Wedding, the theme of our weekend was "Living the Dream. Leaving a Legacy." It was just fabulous. (If you're interested in getting more info about it, let me know.) And we talked a lot about the things about our life that are unknown to us today and how we respond to that. Although I won't take time now to walk through all of what we studied and discussed, here's the number one thing that I realized this weekend:
How I will be remembered is a result of what I choose today.
I won't be remembered as someone who believed God, unless I believe Him today.
I won't be remembered as someone who loved her husband, unless I love him today.
I won't be remembered as someone who is generous, if I'm not generous today.
I won't be...You get the picture.
It is powerful to me. It keeps me fully engaged in the present and asking, "What am I going to do with what you've given me today, Lord?" And, it keeps me fully focused on trusting Him to walk with me and provide for me through all the uncertainties, through all the things that I cannot control.
365 days ago (almost to the minute) I sent out an email to many of you letting you know of my diagnosis. In it I wrote, "...This isn't taking Him by surprise. This isn't something that denies who He is. He is the Rock. The God Eternal. The Unchanging One. Nothing - no diagnosis, no painful treatment, no statement of what lies ahead of me - changes that. No matter how hard it is to think of those things."
It's cool to know that I would say the same thing again today.
He is the Rock.
He is the God Eternal.
The Unchanging One.
Nothing changes that.