*****Update: We just found out we can move into our new house starting Friday. Please pray that decisions would come easy and plans would start falling into place.*****
A couple of weeks ago, the Lord made it clear to me that it was okay to grieve. There are feelings I have been holding back. I want to be strong for my children. I want to be strong for those who are helping me through this.
I have set feelings of deep sadness and grief aside because above all I want the Lord to know I am grateful. The miracles of this journey are not lost on me. I am thankful. I truly believe with all my heart I had my surgery because you were praying and I was spared chemo because you were praying. I know I will get moved with everything I need because you are praying.
The great big good in all of this doesn’t negate the dumbness of cancer. Receiving a cancer diagnosis of any type is devastating. Learning to live with a constant reminder that life is very, very fragile is hard. Watching your children struggle with their own fear that their mommy may not always be with them is even harder. Cancer stinks!
There are just some super deep (and some very shallow) feelings of grief and sadness in all of this. For awhile the battle was so fierce. The bad news would come, a hard blow. Then in the very next minute something so good and so big and so awesome would happen, the sad stuff got knocked under the table for a bit. Then the reality of waiting for a doctor’s appointment set in. I no longer had the insurance battle demanding my attention. I no longer had the pressing need for surgery. My body was healing just fine. Life was advancing. The wait was long and my emotions were raw.
When this whole moving thing was piled on top of an already precarious emotional situation, I caved. I needed some days to cry. I'm going to miss this place I've called home for the last twenty years. I've got girlfriends and an incredible church family here. Saying goodbye to all that when I feel I most need it is hard. I needed some minutes to yell, sob and ask questions. Sometimes just getting it all out is as therapeutic as figuring it all out. And mercy, I know I won’t figure all this out this side of heaven!
So I spent some days in solitude. Just thinking. Processing. Praying. I got it out. It felt good. I finally started sleeping well again. Rest can dramatically change a perspective!
Today I’m ready for today. I still can’t think about tomorrow. But then again, we’re not supposed to do that too much are we? Today is my packing day. Some friends are on their way to help me box it up. Sort, sift, share, take, toss.
The Lord is reminding me about my heart as I empty my stuff into boxes, the Lord is talking to me about emptying my heart. Sorting, sifting, keeping, tossing, sharing what's in my heart. Last week He led me to Lamentations. I was just singing the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness over and over so I decided to look it up and see if God was trying to tell me something more.
He led me to Lamentations 2:19: “Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord.” I thought of the many days of holding back I’d had. I was pouring my heart out more like a bottle of sticky syrup than a pitcher of water. I knew that God was telling me in that moment that He was big enough to take it. I could let Him have all my emotions, all my requests and even my questions along with all my prayers and praises. My biggest prayer is still this, "Lord, don't let me waste it."
I will praise Him because He is good. Cancer or no cancer, chemo or not chemo, radiation or no radiation, He is good! He is good! He is good! As I said, His miracles haven’t been lost on me. But the effects of an emotionally draining few months have also taken their toll on my weary body.
Something amazing happens when we pour out our hearts like water. We go from fainting to fulfilled. We go from battle-weary to believing. We got from desperate to dependant on God. Even when we daily remind ourselves of deep truths, we must make time to nurture intimacy with Jesus in order to live in those truths.
Then our pouring out turns back to praise.
“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:19:20-23