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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wasting Normal

These are the verses I read this morning from Psalm 118. “Thank God because He’s good, His love never quits…I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation… Hear the shouts… The hand of God has turned the tide! I didn’t die; I lived! And now I’m telling the world what God did. God tested me, he pushed me hard, but he didn’t hand me over to Death… Thank you for responding to me; you’ve truly become my salvation! Thank God – He’s so good. His love never quits!”

All day long I’ve been thinking not only about how God has rescued and delivered me but praising Him because He did it so quickly. I may never know why my cancer story has started (and hopefully ended) this way but I am well aware there are many who have different stories. Harder stories. Stories of how God has and is testing them. Some even who are handed over to death.

Today I spent a great deal of time in the waiting room due to a scheduling error. There were lots of new faces in the room today. Many who bear cancer’s mark. I realize I am fortunate that there are no visible symptoms of disease on my body. When I am fully clothed no scars are even visible. Today I waited with those who could not talk because they were writhing in pain. I waited with those who could only sit and cry. I waited with those who bore not only bald heads and surgical scars, I waited with those who had lost body functions and limbs to cancer. I waited with those left ravaged, disfigured and misshapen by cancer. I saw things today. Horrible things.

The air was thick in the waiting room today. It’s hard to feel the surge of thankfulness you feel when you see others who have it worse than you do. It stinks. Cancer stinks.

Today I saw up close and personal how this terrible disease leaves some chewed up and spit out. Today I saw once again how it can leave a mother unable to care for her own children or worse. I saw how it can leave a mother childless. I hate cancer. Today I couldn’t wait to get inside my car. And cry. Big, giant weepy tears of sadness and gratitude and anger and grief all mixed together. I cried because today was a big giant reminder of this broken world in which we live.

As I talked with a close friend today trying to flesh out some of these crazy feelings, I told her how I felt guilty for not appreciating how “good” I have it. Her wise response was, “There’s nothing good about cancer.” I have to remind myself of this over and over again because I feel I should be more thankful for my circumstance. And I am very thankful that my treatment worked and that there is no visible disease in my body and in just a few weeks I will be able to resume “life as normal.” I can do all the things I could do before I had cancer. I've lost virtually nothing but a few months of time and even that, in cancer, is not much. I will be free to have a routine that doesn’t include cancer and that, is something for which to be eternally grateful.

And, I wonder. Will it be any different? Will I be any different? And today I begged the Lord just as I did when facing a cancer diagnosis, “Lord, don’t let me waste it.”

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory…I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done…Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 118:14,17 29


Andrea said...

I agree with your wise friend!! You my dear are already different...Your honesty in the midst of this struggle strengthens me and many others. You are a living, breathing blessing to far more people than you know!

A little earlier I posted a new article on arise 2 write requesting prayer for you and several others with links attached. GOD is bigger than all these pains...struggles...and even the confusion of it all.

Storming the heavens for you and many others!


Loren said...

Oh Lisa....I can so relate to this post. Having sat day after day at Mayo Clinic with my dad and seeing these people ~ their scars, listening to their conversations wondering what life held for them or if they would ever desire to eat again, or for some it was just obvious how little time they did have. It breaks your heart. I wasn't the one with the sickness yet it left me broken, angry, and like you I HATE CANCER!

I know without a doubt you have never nor will ever waste a moment of this journey! I praise God for all HE has done and will continue to do! You are so inspiring to everyone....those with cancer and those without.

I love you my friend and pray for you always

Sonja said...

You will not, you have not wasted this. Your life will be forever changed. The way you do ministry and relate to yur family, all of it takes on a deeper meaning. Just as Melanie will be forever changed without Andrew in her life on this earth, her ministry and ability to comfort others will bring the added depth of one who knows.

Pain and loss changes us, and God wastes none of that, but uses it in our lives.

Keep chuggin' little engine!!



Susan said...


This was beautiful. I can't tell you how much you encourage me, and countless others by your awesome testimony.

You have glorified the Lord through every single step of your journey.

Our lives have been ravaged by cancer too.

My son was treated at St. Jude, another whole world of cancer, but with children.

I hate it too.

Please keep my son in prayer. We were about to finish up with our 6 month scans until they noted some change. A real curve ball.

Relapse, the greatest dread after treatment.

But God was not taken by surprise. He's in control. He's got a plan.

Thanks so much!

Denise said...

Sweet sis, you are not wasting a minute. You are such a beautiful inspiration to many, including me. I love you, and thank you.

Deb said...

Just wondering, have your seen my blog "Nothing's Wasted"? If you have time, take a look and if you have more time, be sure to check out the Easter video my church did. It will be in the entry right before the current one.
Bless you today and everyday,

Lori said...

Andrea at Arise 2 Write requested prayer for you and I hopped over and am now a follower. My father-in-law is in remission from multiple myeloma and we are so thankful. God has truly blessed him and my mother-in-law. We have seen a lot of people that were a lot worse than he was and it makes you realize just how blessed you are and makes you want to reach out and help those that are not as fortunate as we are. God bless and have a great holiday weekend.

Debbie said...

This post had me in tears...I can so relate to soo many of these feelings. We lost our first young dil to this HORRIBLE NASTY disease. Watched her waste away to nothing at the young age of 26! I took her to many of her treatments and experienced soo many of those emotions you speak of. I do rejoice that she dances whole and healthy in the streets of heaven today, but it is an experience that changed me forever. You have changed the lives of many through your personal experience. You are such an inspiration. Rejoicing for you that you have completed over half of your treatments...still praying...Debbie

Jen said...

I will never understand why God gives one person cancer and leaves another untouched by it.
I do know, however, that He has made you an eloquent and grace-filled example of how He has made us to live. To praise Him in good and bad. To put others first. To lean on Him. Only on Him.

Bernie said...

I have sat in those chairs Lisa felt sad for those who hurt more than I did.....thankful for God sitting beside me each day and I prayed for those who suffered beside me. We can only do our best and no one knows our heart as God does...we are never alone. Love you and have a wonderful weekend with your family......:-) Hugs

Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

I am so relieved for you. Perhaps this experience was meant for you to understand others. Maybe you are meant to minister in a cancer ward? Maybe you are meant for speaking on this? We are all broken in our own ways. I know that while you wrote/write about cancer, I see my son's Tourette Syndrome. I know it is a gift, it is mild, and it is manageable. But there is no cure. And it BUGS me. But.. but... it's a lesson for me from God: To look beyond the winks and vocals... to see the soul beneath my beautiful boy. And on days when I can't take it anymore and simply need to be alone and feel sorry for myself, God is there with me, reminding me to be strong. God has a plan for me. For you. For everyone. We just need to let HIM guide us. (Now I just need to remember this today!)

Gigi said...

No...there is not one good thing about cancer. It robbed me of my husband - the love of my life...my everything. It robbed my children of their father - he was their champion. It robbed my grandsons of their Grandaddy - he was their buddy.

Cancer is a thief.

Do not let it steal one more precious second of your life or who you are! Live, live, live!

Gretchen said...

I'm beside myself with joy and gratitude that God has connected. If only on-line. That we became SAFARI sisters is such a gift. And your tears are not unnoticed by a God who loves you so much. You're amazing, Lisa.

Angie Love said...

I have been "catching up" on your blog posts and I'm just sitting in the quiet of my living rom crying. Tears of joy, pain, sadness...tears of longing to be with you during radiation, tears of needing to hug your neck hard while we cry, tears of loving you.
Miss you friend, love you friend.