Saturday, June 30, 2012

While I don't know...

I have a hard time saying how I really feel, sometimes even to myself. That's why it never ceases to amaze me how I can start to write something and everything that's been in my heart pours out effortlessly. So I've learned to use the gift of writing to sort out my emotions. On Monday, June 25, 2012 I began to write as I waited for my name to be called for a biopsy to be done on my thyroid. People do it all the time, it's not a huge procedure. But when the results could say, "cancer," everything changes in your whole world and way of thinking. I only had a notepad and pencil that day, but now I have time to share my thoughts with you:
  I am writing this while I don't know. By the time you read it, I may have more information. But faith isn't about knowing. It's about trusting the One you cannot see, even in times of uncertain circumstances.
  Everyone is asking me if I am ok. I am. So they ask me if I'm sure. I am. I can smile when they ask, because it reminds me of how loved I am. But being ok doesn't mean I have no questions, or that I never consider that the worst could be coming. I have asked, "Is this the beginning of the end?" But still, I am ok. It's almost thrilling to discover that I have a deep peace, even now. This peace could only come from my heavenly Father. Peace that is there as I think about surgery. Peace as I talk to my children about why I have to go to the doctor again. Peace even as I tell my friends that there is a possibility of cancer in my body. It doesn't mean that I am sure everything is going to be "normal" after this test. It just means that I have peace that has conquered my ability to worry about it.
  Yesterday's message asked if we had a song in our hearts. "Yes!" my soul shouted, "Yes, I do!" Through it all, a song has stayed in my heart and in my mind, exuding peace, allowing me to be ok:
The LORD has promised good to me
His word I hold secure
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
  This lesser-known verse of Amazing Grace has always been my favorite, but never has it been so beautiful to me as now.
  The LORD had promised- God never lies. If He promises a thing, I can trust in it! What is it that my faithful Lord had promised? He has promised good to me. How can I worry when the One who gave Himself for me promises that He will provide good in my life? The joy that flows over me when I hear those words banishes fear. It brings tears of gratitude to my eyes. God owes me nothing, yet He has redeemed my soul. That alone is so much more than I deserve - yet He goes further and promises that He will bring good to my life.
  His word my hope secures; I don't have a frivolous hope, a vague grasping at what I would wish would happen. I have a hope that is secured by the word of God. It is a sure thing, so I can be truly hopeful; that is, full of hope. This hope assures me that whatever I go through, God will bring it to good in my life.
  He will my shield and portion be. Christ is my portion-my portion of strength, patience, endurance, courage, joy...more than just giving me these attributes so that I can walk through my trial, He is my peace, my strength - and He has overcome even death. If Christ in me is my ability to endure, than I surely can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He is also my shield. It could be easy to take my eyes off God, to forget His promises as I face the unknown. But even in the most difficult moments for my flesh, I have my Lord as a shield. He has endured pain, He has felt loss. He will walk before me and guard me from what I cannot bear.
  As long as life it possible that this is the beginning of the end? Yes, of course. It is just as likely that in a few moments, I will be called to the doctor's office to hear that I have had a miracle and everything abnormal is gone. But if this is as serious as cancer, what about the good that I have been promised? The good is in the strength and grace I am given to go through each unknown day. And this promise will last as long as life endures. I expect to live many more years, and those years could very well be illness-free. But no matter how God has numbered my days, His good will be with me every step of the way.
  Am I ok? Absolutely. What more could I ask for? I may have become a bit more sober as I face the fragility of my body. But sobriety is maturity. Perhaps all of this is simply to mature me. Whatever the reason, I have peace and joy in the knowledge that I am in the hands of my loving Father.

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