Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Update #42 Somewhere In Between

Yesterday I found out that my tumor markers had increased and were now outside the normal range. Today when I went to Roswell, this is the news I heard...

I graduated with a B.S. in Marketing Management & French from Grove City College.
I graduated with an MBA in Marketing and Organizational Strategy from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.
But I cannot seem to get my graduation papers that say I've completed a "Wait and See" (W&S) degree that's so expertly offered by the School of Cancer.
And so today, once again,  I entered that classroom in this all-demanding school.  And I heard familiar words from my trusted doctor: "Let's wait another month and see what your tumor markers are at that point. If they're still higher than normal, I'll order some scans and we'll make the determination based on those results." do I feel about this? 
Hmmm...better than if the recommendation was to start more aggressive chemo (you know, the no-more-hair, you'll-be-bald-as-a-cue-ball kind of chemo) tomorrow.  Worse than if she said, "Oh my goodness, we made a mistake. The nurse is dyslexic and your markers aren't 41, but 14!"  Somewhere in between is where you'd find me on this. 
Somewhere in between.  
Yes, now that I've typed that, I realize that's exactly where I was when I left that place this morning.  
Somewhere in between being relieved and being on guard.
Between being happy and being sad.
Between smiles and tears.
Between "Thank You, God" and  "I don't understand, God."
It's not a terrible place to be. But its not a great place either.
It's an honest place to be, but it's not a restful place. 
How I am thankful, then, that this isn't a place we were meant to stay.   
On Monday, I was cleaning out a set of drawers that contains the things I'm using when I have my daily time with God; you know, devotional books, my bible, some bible studies, some papers.  (Lots of papers, actually!). And as I was sorting through this stack of papers, I came across an index card I had typed up. 
Although I can't tell you when exactly I typed it, I know that it was in the months before Laura died, when it seemed like everything I thought I knew and believed was being tested.   When I was wrestling with Him about what to do with the seeming disconnect between our circumstances and the bold promises and statements He makes about who He is and what He does.
Promises and statements that are easy to believe when things aren't hard. 
But, promises and statements that are hard to believe when things aren't easy. 
Has it ever happened to you that, during easy times, the promises and statements God makes seem so awesome and cool? And, yet when life is hard, those very same promises can quickly turn into things that we need to wrestle with in order to come down on the side of believing Him? 
Have you ever found yourself not making it all the way to believing Him?  
I know I have. I've found myself staying in the somewhere in between.
Somewhere in between being "all in" and being "cautiously removed."
Somewhere in between being completely dependent and holding back and keeping control.
Somewhere in between being encouraged by The Truth and questioning of The Truth.
Somewhere in between amazed by Him and frustrated by Him.
Oh yes.  I can relate to this today. 
Apparently, I could also relate to this a year ago as Laura's life was getting harder and harder. 
Thus the index card.
You see, I'm a girl who sometimes needs to see things in black & white instead of in shades of gray. I'm a girl who sometimes has to be tough with herself so that she can honestly get to the point of resting in what she knows. I'm a girl who has to clear out all the niceties, who has to strip away all the "I should believes" so that she can see, with starkness, what she's really is believing. 
This index card was my way of doing that. Of asking myself with clarifying harshness in my voice, "Do you or don't you, Kristie? Do You believe God or don't you?"
Is He who He says He is? Or is He not?
Does He do what He says He can? Or does He not?
Is He trustworthy and true? Or is He not?
I needed a gut check then. And I need one today.
I needed to be reminded that somewhere in between - where my emotions may be tempting me to stay - isn't my home.  It isn't the best He has to offer. It's not the best I can do.
No; it's not.  Why?
Because He is
Because He can
Because he does.
So, despite how hard this is, I will not fix my eyes on anything or anyone but Him. can try, but you won't win. 
You may take my life, but you will not take my hope.
You may hurt me, make me cry, make me - just for a moment - question my God, 
but you don't own me.
I don't have to listen to you.
I don't have to say somewhere in between.
That is not my destiny.
Oh Lord, You know. You know how my heart gets weary from this road. How I long to be relieved from this burden, how I long to be running free from this encumbrance.  You know this because, God, I've told you this a million and a half times.  You know all this and You consider it and You lovingly respond that I must trust You - no matter where the journey You've marked out for me takes me.  Thanks for reminding me of the truth that following You doesn't lead to the "less-than existence" of staying somewhere in between.  No, Lord, it leads to one place and one place only: You.  A deeper trust in You, a bolder love for You, a stronger desire for You and the joy of participating in the unfolding of something far greater than I.  May that be more than enough for me today.   In Jesus' Name.  Amen. 

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