The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
Like layers of an onion so is moving forward through a diagnoses of breast cancer, seeing girlfriends battle cancer and treatment, stages of my own grief and grief of others, watching someone so close to you cling to God through the loss of a child and watching yet another friend war on her sons behalf petitioning God for another miracle healing, one of which He is completely capable of. More layers unfold when comforting another close friend who quickly lost both parents in less than two months and another dear friend who recently lost her father.
Whispering ever so gently God reminds me that He has gone before me in my pain, anguish, and loss just as He has gone before my friends.
Just as He has gone before us He also calls us to go before others so that we may help them. It is important to feel the pain of emotions that can ambush and overtake us if left shoved in the attic crawl space. Receive and acknowledge them. Release them with tears of joy, groans of sorrow and cries for deliverance.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
When I feel hurt or brokenhearted God binds up my wounds and cures my pain and sorrow. Psalm 147:3
Praise Him for every experience, every moment. Willingly lay the crown of thorns at His feet allowing Him to lovingly carry you forward. Where you are is exactly where He has called you to be. Your experience is unique to you. Do not look to the left or to the right as others grieve differently.
“Trust in The Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The layers have been unfolding in me as well. In a humble and vulnerable examination of my own life I have shoved some emotions in the attic so tightly I could barely close the door. You see, I was diagnosed a week before Christmas 2014. A single mom to three amazing boys/young men, I prayerfully chose my medical team and made my decisions. By February 2015 I had my bilateral masectomy and began reconstruction. In 59 days I went from having a cancer diagnosis to mastectomy. The events that followed seemed fast and furious. It was one thing after the next from infection to multiple surgeries combined with the fear of completely losing any chance at reconstruction. I clung tightly to Him making sure to not look down even for a brief moment. I was scared. I was too afraid to entertain the thoughts and magnitude of where I was and what I was walking though. I felt comfort and control in making the next necessary decision.
Fast forward to today I am only 10 months in from being diagnosed. By the grace of God I am cancer free and although I would love to breathe a sigh of relief there’s always that thought that cancer could return. Sadly, we hear it happening often in others. Will mine come back? How will it come back? Where will it be this time? Will I catch it early? Will this be the way that I go home to Jesus? Will it be painful? What about my boys?
The biggest and most vulnerable question in my heart that I try so desperately to NOT entertain is will there ever be a man in my life brave and courageous enough to love me and walk beside me forever until God calls us home?
While I try not to entertain those thoughts too often they do enter or sometimes flood and rush my mind at times. The gravity and weight of a “c” diagnosis does hit me at times. I shut down and cover the fear with scripture. Truth is not found in my wild thoughts. My truth is in Jesus! He is the same loving, delivering, healing Father today as He was yesterday and He will be tomorrow.
My journey through cancer has been quick for the most part but it’s not over. I don’t know, is it ever really over once you’ve been diagnosed? Side effects and symptoms from my treatment have developed. They weren’t the ones I was expecting and I was taken a bit off guard. The symptoms mean the medicine is working which makes my oncologist happy so I will be happy too.
I am rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined. 1 Peter 5:9
I have been though a lot. Those of you who know me know I do not like to focus on myself. In fact, I prefer no attention to be drawn to me whatsoever. If you don’t notice me, I’m happy.
I promised myself and God to acknowledge and receive each and every emotion that I experience. I will see each one for what it is and allow Him to move me forward through each one. I’m not perfect at it by any means. Often times I allow Him to scoop me up, dust off my knees and show me how to trust in Him again.
Christ is seated in heavenly places and I am seated in him. He is above all principalities and powers and all things are under His feet. Ephesians 1:20–22, 2:6
My prayer is that on the other side of this there will be no need to unpack my attic because I know that through my trust in a loving, sovereign, Almighty Savior and by His grace he will deliver me. He already has. All the experiences in my life are for His glory. I am eternally grateful that He loves and trusts me this much. He is my King Jesus. What an honor it is to call Him my Father.
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