I'm sure many of you are gasping in horror at the title to this blog...but admittedly, it's pretty accurate to my feelings of the impending and fast-approaching surgery day. I've run through the emotions of it all... and then back through... ... and then through again, once more! At moments, I feel like a dog, chasing it's tail... desperate to just get a chomp of that thing, yet too uncoordinated to even catch it. Trainers will tell you that this behavior in dog's is actually a form of 'insanity'... something you should never encourage (as funny as it is to watch!), and I definitely feel that my emotions about this whole leg of the journey could make a serious mess of my sanity right now, if I let them.
Just like a good dog owner would discourage their dog to run crazy circles toward their hind-end, I am making the concerted effort to discourage my self from dwelling on my emotions and feelings about all of this and, instead, look to my spirit... and look away to Him in every single moment that fear, anxiety, depression, animosity, or just plain melancholy try to rear their ugly heads. (And believe me, that literally is a moment-to-moment battle right now!)
Last week, we made a very good decision--though initially stressful to carry out--to come up to Portland a little early and attend a Christian conference with my parents. As seems to always be the case when you are actively seeking God's Life, the message we received was right on the money with this concept and something so perfect for my ears and heart to hear in these final hours of 'preparation.'
I found it too befitting that one of the first topics of our study was 'true joy'--seeing how much I've wanted to talk about that over the course of this past few months--and how (as you all know) my perspective on what TRUE joy is has taken a total 'about face.' The fact that the Lord IS the only true joy we have and how, as much as we know that, we continue to desperately seek out other joys that will satisfy to the extent that He can and does, was shared during our initial meeting. I couldn't help but sit there and feel so exempt from this tendency now that my rug is literally ripped out from underneath and wrinkled up out of place, that I found myself inwardly praising Him for His Joy and Realness and the hope that this fact provides us, especially during trials.
The second part of our study dove into circumstances and discussing how we may look for joy in our circumstances--but, as I've said time and again--that God is beyond FAR ABOVE circumstances and His is the only source of joy that the spirit yearns for, daily.
Perhaps the true nugget of truth I gained this weekend, however, was the understanding that God gave me (and each of us) a will to make decisions. Especially in the midst of circumstances like mine right now, it's easiest to retreat into self and feelings and let them dictate our response. This is not to say that I don't have the ability or 'reason' to feel fear, or anxiety or sadness...God, Himself gave me that ability. But I'm beginning to understand more deeply now than ever before that God gave me a free will so that I would WILLINGLY turn away from myself and seek His will--making my will, His will--and through this 'oneness,' placing Him in the position of being my ONLY, true joy in life! How awesome is that?! Just think about that for a second... by granting that His will be my will...I am returned JOY in the midst of this current, veeeery human situation!
When I ask God to 'Abide in Me'--I forget that God first asked ME to abide in Him. God allowed my current situation for reasons I trust, in faith, will unfold for years to come. I truly believe that and I find myself embracing it, more and more, everyday. As the elder who spoke said: You have to accept God's 'arrangements' in your life. I liked that term--arrangements. No, I cannot do this alone. I NEED God's Grace right now to cover me cause cancer is just far to horrid for me to 'accept' on my own.
But, with the Lord's covering and Grace, I can.. and I do accept this arrangement.
Because WHEN I do, mine and God's will's for this circumstance are unified, and therefore, our enjoyment of each other, increases!!! Why would I NOT want that?!
So tonight, I am willing God to come in and spring up so that my enjoyment may absolutely overcome me and my human emotional response to my current circumstances. With the Lord's Grace to cover all that I am, I will this surgery because it is, physically, going to remove this horrible disease from my body. I pray for my deceiving heart--that it be caused to LOOK TO HIM for the next 48 hrs, and then some, even.
...and though heading off 'to the butcher' may threaten to issue in all those aforementioned feelings and emotions, I'm holding God accountable to His promise and desire, that if I am truly seeking His face--calling on Him and ABIDING in Him--He will bring me through every part of this chapter, Joyfully!~