I imagine if I proclaim, declare, or out rightly profess there is a hope unshakeable, a truth undeniable, and a power unquenchable, a few eyebrows would rise and the scribble from the pen on the paper to remind the oncologist how foolish I am later that night as he reflects back on his hum drum day, where one report after the next is negative and where one ounce of hope is snuffed out with fact, and one miraculous word is coughed over with a big old fashioned hogwash that I be the wife full of mullock. But I am saying, it is happening day by day, hour by hour and one long minute after the next. My head has pounded the wall more than I would like for it to have. My fists are bloody from pounding the ground and my knees…absolutely seized. I am not as agile as in my youth. Oh my youth. Again, and again, I am looked down on as a foolish youth, but my youth like faith is just how I want it to remain: unshakeable, undeniable, and unquenchable. I can be hot headed, arrogant, and rather crazy, but I refuse to be moved by man’s word. I want only to be moved by His word.
A simple, uneducated, little word slipped out of my mouth when the results of Sean’s biopsy read cancer. My flesh person heard what my human ears heard. For me, this was the worst possible news to receive. As my heart bursting through my chest began to temper down and I could no longer feel the pressure of unbelief beating between my ears, my spirit person softly spoke, “But Jesus.” The results said defeat; my ears heard defeat, but I don’t do defeat and all I could say now was, “But Jesus!”
This is the standing at the edge of the wilderness, knowing we have to and understanding we must go through this. Going around is not an option. Running from it is not possible; the only way through it is through it. But Jesus. I feel scared, but Jesus says, “Do not fret, nor be dismayed.” I am confused, but His word says, “The enemy brings confusion, but He comes to bring peace.” I feel in absolute need, but Jesus says, “I am the good Shepherd, in me you shall not be in lack of any good thing.” I shake uncontrollably, my mind races endlessly, and I cry unintentionally, but Jesus says, “Come to me all who are heavy burdened, for my yolk is easy and my burden is light.” He has shown me to be faithful. I don’t know Him not to be. The results of recent don’t make sense. In my head, I figured it out, only to figure out that I haven’t actually figured it out at all. There is a bigger picture. We proclaim it, declare it, and confess it. There is always a bigger picture and I am thankful to be in it. One of the greatest illustrations of a bigger story is when the Israelites stood at the edge of the wilderness. There was a promise, though. There always is. The Lord said, “I will be with you.” Not only was He with them, but He demonstrated unthinkable miracles. He provided light when there was no light. He provided food when there was no food. He provided shelter when there was no shelter. Shoes for forty years did not wear out! How? Because He can, He does, and He will! Before the reaching of the wilderness, Moses and the people of God first stood before the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army heading towards them in full force, showing no mercy, full on attack, charging, and what did God do? He parted the waters and they walked through it. There was no going around it, no running from it. The body of water formed two walls and the children walked on through. There was a wall of water on their left and a wall of water on their right, and to top it off, the ground was dry. Their feet didn’t even get wet or soggy!
Jesus will be and is with us, no doubt in my heart. He will be in the panel room filled with specialist and cancer doctors discussing the strategies and the best treatment options for Sean. I don’t doubt it. I also don’t doubt the vision I saw at our last homegroup as we gathered around Sean laying our hands on his body and the fifteen spots on his lungs shriveling up and dying, falling off one by one. I don’t doubt the vision of Christ’s hands on his liver, touching the lesions and causing the mass to shrink. I don’t doubt the mass in his colon is shrinking. Cancer has no business in this temple. Cancer has no grounds, no rights. Cancer is not welcomed in our home. Cancer must bow down to the name of Jesus and get lost. Why? Because I don’t do cancer.
If betrayal was a compass, leading me to a place in which freedom of heartbreak would greet me, I would walk through knee high deep snows, rugged steep- life threatening- mountains, sloshy gripping mud, and cross the most rapid of streams to get to that place. However, I am in need of solitude. I am in need of a security that can only be brought by the divine. I have rested in the arms of man, but they are not the arms of the absolute. They are the arms of the maybe’s. They are the arms of the could be’s and the think so’s. To rest in and assurance, obedience, and omnipotence. It is beyond my control. Secrets and lies. Lies and secrets covering me like a parcel to be shipped away with a no return address, to be lost forever. To be missed by no one. Is this my fate, my date, my undesirable actuality? No, it is the average life of the average woman, living in the average time of a broken world. Is there a hope? Of course there is. There always is. Truth must rise from the ashes and bring the darkness down into the lake of black things, like hatred, loneliness, shame, bitterness, and death.
Image Credit: The song of the Lark, by Jules Breton
Today I found out Steve has stage 4 cancer. Leukaemia. How and why? No one knows, but we all puzzle over the inevitable. He is a young husband and dad. I know him not well, though we did spend a year together in a special internship in which he would tell me at the year’s completion, that ‘I wasn’t so bad after all, and that I could actually be nice and fun to be around’. It may have come across to some as an insult, but I laughed. I still laugh today, thinking about it. The poor group of young adults, some fresh out of high-school, and there was I, a twenty three year old prideful know-it- all, barging through the small classroom’s door of conservative likeness and shake things up with my impatient aggressions and authoritative repulsiveness. Steve I really fancied, though. Not romantically, but respectfully. Young, apprehensive, honest, and genuine, he wanted God in a real, non-churchy kind of way. I remember the compassion he portrayed to his siblings, both old and young. His family was large and loved largely. I pray Jesus you rescue this young man and uphold his wife and young daughter. You give and take away. I pray you give and take away. Give life, health,love, joy, peace, comfort, direction, wisdom, and focus. Take away hopelessness, fear, pain, despair, loneliness, destruction, torment, and all doubts of Your power and glory in this mirror shattering invasion.
Image Credit: Jean Francois Millet
These last couple of weeks have been intense. Intense in the sense of heat from a fire that burns within me and from a fire that burns around me. It is life. It is truth. It is real. In the midst of refining, there comes a strength. It is here where breath is strained, eyes are bloodshot, and hair is a messy mess. Despite the agony of growing pains and the revelation of identity, this is what it is. A blueprint from those of the past, a map, a legend, or a compass of life, I have a need to be who God has called me to be. It is what it is. I feel in each season of life, there is a song that helps me in whatever it is I may be going through. I remember 7 years ago when a mass behind my left eye was found a month before our wedding day, I would listen to a song by Robin Mark over and over again, until the fear of the unknown finally subsided and the assurance of God’s love for me was all that could embrace me. I feel I am here again with a new song. It inspires me and humbles me. I sing it to 3 every night before I put him down to bed.