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Archive for October, 2010

Summer Lessons

So here we are, where we honestly never expected to be. We’ve gone from a more than 60% chance of incurable cancer that could have taken Mark in less than five years to a roughly 70% to 80% chance that he’s completely cured. The radiation oncologist says it’s not in Mark’s best interest to do radiation right now, and the risk involved in waiting until there’s a definite reason to radiate is minimal. Every three months we will get his blood drawn for a PSA check, pray, hold our breath, and wait. Waiting. In many ways that’s a word that very well describes a journey through cancer. You’re always waiting.

So what have I learned through this summer of cancer? I’d say it wasn’t so much new things as reminders and reinforcement of things the Lord has already taught me. First of all, regardless of what the doctors say, our future is determined by the Lord. Time and time again the odds were against a cure. Time and time again, Mark beat the odds. Just goes to show that while doctors can give you odds, it’s the Great Physician who gives the outcome. He may still choose to use prostate cancer to bring Mark home, but if so He isn’t going to do it anytime soon. For the time being anyway, it appears He wants Mark healthy.

He also reminded me that He meets us in the moment. He knew all along what was going to happen, but He also knew I didn’t know. When I was weak, He was my strength. When I grieved over the thought of losing my beloved husband, He was my comfort. What a blessing to cry out that I didn’t have the strength to get through the day, knowing that at the day’s end, He will have given me the strength and I would be OK. Tomorrow is in His hands. We live in the moment, and in the moment He gives us what we need. Not necessary what we think we need, but always what we really need. When the future looked dark and uncertain, what a blessing to know I could trust the One who has written out every day of my life before any of them came to be. I could rest in the moment knowing that whatever ‘moments’ might be ahead, He’d meet me in those as well.

I learned once again that there is joy even in the darkest of times. I watched Mark on the tractor, brush-hogging the grass in the pastures (cutting it down, for all you non-farmers out there). It was a beautiful sunny day with the warmth of Spring soaking into our winter-chilled skin. It was a moment of joy. I watched chicks break their way through their shells and blink in the light of a new life. It was a moment of joy. I took Akira down to the river, built myself a little altar of river rocks, and surrendered everything to the Lord once again. The depression that hung over me that day evaporated like mist, replaced by peace. It was a moment of joy. True joy doesn’t come from our circumstances, it comes from the Lord. And He is there regardless the circumstances.

For the believer, God has promised to work all things together for good. That oft-quoted passage in Romans (Romans 8:28) can sometimes seem trite. Believe me, in the trenches of life’s trials, there’s nothing trite about it. I can see already some good He’s worked in our lives through this summer of cancer. The future may show us more. I’m sure I won’t see it all until I’m actually with Him. For now, we go on, knowing as ever that we are in the Lord’s hands, regardless of what tomorrow brings. There’s no better place to be.

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