Three years and some odd days have passed since I last signed in here. Let's just be honest...I've avoided it. While part of me has missed pouring out my heart's words, a larger part has held them captive--purposefully. Upon signing in here, I read the very last post I made, to date. Ironically, it was my Katie post. The day of Katie's celebration of life, just three-ish years ago, I claimed that I'd been jolted enough to soften my heart to the Lord again. There is no way for me to recall all of the events since that day, but one thing I can say--for certain--is that I have not done so. While I haven't walked around with an angry, bitter expression on my face or *at least not purposefully* had some vendetta towards those around me--those who know me BEST know that cancer and the fears that come with it have been Satan's hold on me. He likes to daily prod me with them in all kinds of ways.
Something that I was forced to do early on in my walk with all of this nearly 6 years ago was Trust that the Lord was in control. When you are completely out of control inside of imminent circumstances, it's not as difficult to do so as one may think. In fact, what other options do you have?!
It is, however, when the facade that you are in control creeps back in--when you're given more time--that the selfish thought processes linger, again. Please don't get me wrong here. I don't think it selfish to DESIRE more life and time to live, but to EXPECT it in a different story. You see, our human nature IS greedy. We are allotted 'more' (no matter what it is) and we almost instantly decide that we deserved it. From that point forward, we are appalled and offended by the idea that the very circumstance at hand would be threatened..or even just taken away. Even young children do this with toys or privileges. Like I said, it's just, our nature. What then happens to our gratefulness? Our joy? It's impossible.
Sure, we can be 'happy' and we are GREAT (at least I am, outwardly) at 'playing the role'...but deep down inside, we are just screaming. Depression, disappointment, confusion, frustration, resentment...ALL of these poisons linger and multiply.
A week ago, I hit my limit. A week ago, for the first time in a LONG TIME, I turned to the Lord with a pleading heart. For the first time in a long time He didn't have to just endure my anger...my resentment...my 'yell fest.' Instead, He heard me cry. Sure, I have cried PLENTY while yelling at Him. But this cry was one of exhaustion. While standing in my laundry room (that long ago became my 'prayer room' for various reasons that I can expand on at another time), I BEGGED Him to help me to SEE Him, again. Help me learn to Love Him, again. Help me know that I can Trust Him, again.
All of these things have felt impossible to me.
Have you ever asked the Lord for something that way but even in asking NOT believed He would answer? That is where I've been, people. All of what 'has happened' to me..to us..to our lives...I've blamed Him. Here's the funny thing about that, though. It's EXHAUSTING. All I can see when I allow a moment of an outer-body visual is a robotic, upset ME...walking over and over and over into the same wall. It gets you NOWHERE yet it allows you to fall deeper and deeper into a state of being that is dark. Very, very dark. Seven days ago I begged for a change. I asked Him to, somehow, help me learn to see that He is still there.
So much has happened recently. Someone I cared for and had invested a lot of my days and heart into cut me out of their life. Almost simultaneously, someone absolutely INCREDIBLE came my way in what I felt, then, was His Perfect timing for 'my needs.' That same, perfect-for-me person had to break the news to me a week ago that they are moving across the country in less than two weeks. Upon receiving that news, I almost immediately fell back into my 'why me' state. Why, Lord?! Why do you keep teasing me...TAUNTING me. Prodding me.
Yesterday was Dr. Page day. I haven't seen him since last November and that appointment was like most others. Him spouting off stats and sticking me with more decision-making tasks. It really is the story of post-cancer life. Physically, things will never be the same for me. Emotionally and mentally they've been altered, too. But THAT is where the Lord made clear to me yesterday that He is trying to make a change.
The first difference to yesterday was that Aaron was able to come with. Dr. Page has had a recent change in his patient visit days and Tuesday is now an option. Seeing as Tuesday is Aaron's shorter day of the week to be at the clinic, it makes it possible for him to arrange to be with me. In the past, it's been various girlfriends, my mom and occasionally, just myself, making the trek. We've always tried to make it into a 'road trip' opportunity--find the positives--girl time! But as much as those have been nice memories, going with Aaron made dealing with cancer yesterday something that I'm not doing 'alone.' In other words, it reminded me that I have a teammate who has walked through every moment of this journey WITH me. I have spent so much of this walk assuming that there are things Aaron just doesn't understand..cause he's not me and it's not his body.
Again with the selfish.
Upon seeing Dr. Page, it was the same shoot-the-breeze start. Then, as it always does, it led into concerns, questions about management drugs--how long to take them, what to do in place of them if I don't--blah blah blah, same ol' sam ol.' But then our conversation led to the struggle. The fears. The woe is me's.The things that have plagued me for nearly 5 years now. And while Dr. Page normally just sensitively walks through those conversations, yesterday, he kind of kicked me in the behind. As he responded in a very unfiltered manner to my 'what if's', I sat there in a bit of a shock. (I think even he shocked himself a little bit based on his expression.) While he was cordial and semi-apologetic about how raw he was being immediately following his remarks, I could tell that he knew I needed to hear things that way so that fear can stop dictating every step of what is now my life.
How did he know? He is not a Christian--but as I listened and later that day really pondered--it was like God had spoken through the donkey.
After my appointment, Aaron and I went and got dinner--not only to avoid rush hour, but also to try to take advantage of the Portland opportunity outside of why we were really there. It was nice.
But shaking off that particular appointment was a battle I wasn't winning.
I was quiet for most of our drive home. Aaron had me drive until Eugene and even fell asleep which gave me private time to weep over my feelings. I wanted to yell, but I couldn't as I wanted Aaron to get some much-needed shut eye. But my heart yelled. And then it wept. And eventually, all it did was...plead. Again.
'Lord, I am AT MY KNEES. I don't understand. You deal so harshly with me. How could you be so brash through a man who doesn't even know you but then claim that you love me. Why must I continue to suffer like this?'
After Eugene, Aaron took over driving our last stretch home. I checked into my phone texts as a few of my closest girlfriends were biting at the bit to hear about my appointment. I'd gone there with concerns--spots in my neck and pain throughout my right shoulder and arm. That, of course, had been eradicated by our appointment, but they didn't know that. So, I began responding, one after the other, to reassure that things had 'gone well.' Then, I signed into social media to post what was resonating in my heart and just as I pressed 'post,' Aaron hit a huge, metal object with our car, sending us to the shoulder of the freeway with a completely blown out tire. After many more texts back and forth about our circumstances as well as a call to Geico, we finally arranged for roadside assistance to come rescue us. Unfortunately, they could only get us as far as Costco (where we will deal with the tire being fixed, today) which left us in need of a ride home. My parents, always ready and willing to do whatever is needed, were ready to drive in. As was one of my dearest Sister-friends who lives way too far out of town for me to even rationalize it. But it was another friend who is also a neighbor whom, in her bedtime sweatsuit, threw a hat on her head and came to our rescue at midnight!
Talk about an act of love!!!
So, what is the point of this particular rambling?
Amy (our neighbor who rescued) text me something so profound that I am 100% sure God used her fingers to say. She shared with me what the Lord has been telling her lately. Three words:
I. Got. This.
You see, on our way up to Portland, my fears had become so rampantly out of control that I had actually prepared myself for Dr. Page to say, yep, that needs to be scanned cause it's back. What I was NOT prepared for was, listen lady, this comes back and it's all over your f-ing body (translation: my time has come.) On our way home, I was NOT prepared to be stuck on the side of the road in the pitch dark for nearly an hour with hubby, waiting for a tow truck. I was NOT prepared to receive such immediate, love-filled 'threats' of 'I'm getting in my car as soon as you say so' responses from so many different short phone conversations had right after we found ourselves there. And I definitely was NOT prepared for Him to say 'I got this.'
I thought about that while quietly sitting in the tow truck, waiting for the car to be loaded--Aaron standing outside shooting a video of it for his boys, knowing they'd love it. I wrestled in my heart with the Lord, silently, but loudly. 'You don't 'have' ANYTHING, Lord?! You've let me be out in this pasture with all these wolves in every direction, it seems. And I don't even know why?! What did I do to DESERVE this?!!!'
Firstly, I deserve DEATH. So do you. If you think otherwise...read your Bible, again. I 'deserve' nothing.
I've said this soon many times before, too. I really do know this. But why don't I KNOW it?!!
Right before we arrived to the parking lot where Amy sat, waiting for us in her car, the Lord said to me, once more...I Got This. But this time, I HEARD it.
ALL of this time, since being told 'congratulations, you get to live longer' I've started trying to control my life again. I've NEEDED to have that control. I've wanted to so badly that I've desperately hoarded everything I can find that I might be able to make go my way. It's like, if I can just do that...I'll be fine.
But I haven't been. I've been MISERABLE. I HATE being 'in control' because, you know why? It's a FACADE. It's a big. fat. LIE.
You see, not only does God ALONE 'got this'...but we actually NEED Him to have it. Having it ourselves creates depression, disappointment, confusion, frustration, resentment...recognize those?
ALL OF THIS TIME, while I have been desperate to blame Him for these feelings, it is MYSELF who is to blame. Why?! Because I keep trying to take what IS NOT MINE TO TAKE. My plans are not His plans because I am NOT HIM! My taking it is my trying to BE God. And WHY ON EARTH would I ever want THAT kind of pressure?!?!?!?!?
Not only does He Got This, He IS the only one QUALIFIED to have it.
He is the only one QUALIFIED to end my life at the very moment He set the clock for it to end. He is the only one QUALIFIED to give us a flat tire so that we may very well of avoided whatever caused the torched car that we saw not just two miles past where the tow truck picked us up. He in the only one QUALIFIED to provide us countless amounts of human vessels to help, love and uplift our lives in the way that He designed His children to do so for one another. He is the only one QUALIFIED to be in control. So I think it's just about time that I remove that burden off of myself and let Him HAVE IT.