The past few days have been difficult for me. I have been easily irritated, very quiet, and often near tears. I can't even tell you exactly what I wrote the other day, and my emotions are too sensitive for me to want to re-read it. I already know the facts...I don't need to see them written out again.
Having said all of that, let me assure you that I have come to grips with my test results. I have had some very good emotions mixed into my days. An overpowering sense of love for my family, especially my husband. A determination to make my experiences count for something, to help others by sharing what I am learning. Knowledge of being surrounded by love and prayers, of so many people caring for me; it is amazing. And in the quiet moments, peace. Peace that has never left, even though I have wept. Even joy. Joy that God is taking me on this journey for His purposes.
Maybe you want to know how I know that God plans to use my cancer for His glory. I'll tell you how: I've seen the opportunities already. First and foremost, God has changed me. Changed me so totally; softened me, broken me, rooted out my pride and tempered my selfishness. God has changed my family. My mom tells me she prays more. My husband is more gentle. My daughter is more caring. And these are just a few of the many family members who have been affected. God is creating a ministry opportunity for myself, along with some Godly friends, to help others through life-changing events. And He also gives me appointment after appointment with random people who I would have never spoken to. These appointments happen at the bank, at the grocery store, at the gas station, at work, everywhere I go. I am able to speak of my cancer and the power my Lord has to carry me through it. Just last night, I had to stop at the store before coming home. I just wanted to be home. It's been a long week. I wanted to sit with my family and just enjoy being together. With nothing else on my mind, but weariness in my heart and body, I ran into another divine appointment. In the parking lot at Kroger, a conversation begun by a stray cart headed my way...
I am amazed and encouraged. I had no desire to talk to anyone. But this woman needed to talk to someone. She is headed to the doctor today, and she has issues that may be thyroid related. She is scared and doesn't know what to expect. Her daughter and grandchild were with her. I know that fear. The fear of leaving those you love. The fear of making them care for you when it's always been your job to care for them. The fear of pain that might come, the fear of overwhelming medical expenses. Fear so powerful that you will cry in front of a woman you've never met until just now in a grocery store parking lot.
So to that precious woman, who I hope is reading this now, I give you this comfort: You have today. Make the most of it. We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we have today. Sometimes that's all we have the strength to face. When the overwhelming news comes, I deal with one day.
Sometimes one hour.
And in that one breath, I find peace. That one breath is given to me by God Himself. As is the next. And the next. And the very last breath that I take will be the last one that He chooses to give me. For a child of God, that is an unending source of comfort.
Thank you, Lord, for this breath.