What is up with cancer???? So many of our dear friends and family members have been dealing with cancer, lately. I am amazed when I see the strength, faithfulness, humor and peace with which these folks are dealing with such tough cards. It has been 6 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I can still be catapulted back in time to the fear, anxiety, worry, and stress of that time. It was truly through prayer that the miracle of serenity would wash over me; that, and the hugs and love from Dave and all our friends and family who lifted us up. As I watch others go through their own journey, I am in awe of how we all just take one step forward, one at a time, because, in all honesty, what else can we do?
Today's sermon in church was on healing----how Jesus healed a 12 year old girl who had been proclaimed "dead". I kept hearing the words "Great is our faithfulness" as Father Brian spoke. That song wasn't even one of the songs we sang in church today, but I kept hearing it and feeling it. When my mother was dying in July of 2005, K.C. (our first Lab and on whose life I based my very first book called "Letting Go of K.C.") and I sat by her side as she slipped out of consciousness then to death. After the coroner had taken her body away (Dave helped so much with that, while Peaches, who was Mother's dog, and I went to a back room to wait), K.C. and I drove home while Dave drove the other car home. When I turned on the car, the Christian radio station was playing Natalie Grant's song "Held" . I had never heard that song before, but the words were so very perfect.
"Who told us we'd be rescued? What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares? We're asking why this happened to us who have died to live. It's unfair. This is what it means to be held; how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held."
Click on the title of the song if you want to hear Natalie sing it---it's pretty incredible. How did God know I needed to hear that song in that precise moment of losing my mom? Ummm....because He is God, and I am not? I have a sneaking suspicion that's probably the reason.
I have had some major disappointments in my life----needing to turn down an amazing job because the timing wasn't right; not getting a job for which I thought I was perfectly suited; dealing with adversity with work; having one of my students be disrespectful to me, etc. etc. But you know what? (you probably do, by the way) None of that matters in the whole scheme of things, and it pales in comparison to the gratitude I feel for life and for all those in my life whom I love so very dearly. Yes, in the heat of the moment, that bad news is not at all fun and does not feel "fair", but I have heard it said (and so I have stolen it and say it all the time) that if a bunch of us were sitting around a table and we all threw our troubles into the center of the table, I would take my own back without hesitation. Why? Because they make up who I am! I didn't miss out on the job because I didn't pray hard enough; Kelly and Lisa didn't get cancer because they weren't faithful enough; my brother-in-law didn't pass away two days before Christmas because we all didn't get down on our knees often enough. Life deals us some crummy cards, sometimes. But I know this much is true: if I am feeling like God has deserted me, it most certainly is not Him who did the moving---I'm the one who moved away from His healing hands that are always outstretched when I want to be "held".
Just for today, whatever you are going through, please know that I am praying for you (especially if you tell me what you are going through), but I am likely not going to pray for your ailment to go away or for your spouse to be resurrected, etc. I am going to be praying for your peace and serenity while you go through what you were going to go through anyway.
Now, if I could only teach L.C. to heel, I would be healed. :)