This has been eating at me since Sunday. It was the first church service we have attended since the Sunday before surgery. I know that I have been on many prayer lists and chains and for that I am very thankful. I truly believe that there are times in your life that if you are open to it, a message will be there trying to get through. I’ve talked to God daily. Some days cursing his name and feeling very much like Job did.
“Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest. In his great power God becomes like clothing to me; he binds me like the neck of my garment. He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes. I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me…I know you will bring me down to death, the place appointed for all the living.” – Job 30:17 – 23.
Other days, I pray for strength and I get it – sometimes too much so that I am unable to wind down and go to sleep at night. I’ll admit that there are many Sundays that I have sat in the pew, listening to the service but not really “listening”. This last Sunday was different. The message seemed to be all about me, and I have been humbled by it and continue to be haunted by the words. The first lesson was about Job 38:1-11, the second was 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 and the third was Mark 4:35-41.
The story of Jesus, calming the storm was the focus of the sermon. “Jesus, asleep at the stern did not wake when a furious squall came up and broke over the boat. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and in great awe asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”” – Mark 4:35-41
Faith in Jesus does not eliminate the storms from our lives. Those storms strengthen us. I’ve always known this but I needed to hear it.
God does not make people sick. He does not create chaos for us. Cancer has been my storm for years. When my aunt was diagnosed, then my mom and then when I had my first surgery in 2001, I prayed that I would never get cancer. I prayed that my needle biopsy on April 30, would again be benign. I’m young with two daughters still in school. God surely wouldn’t allow for me to have cancer now, maybe later – years from now, but not now. God does not eliminate storms.
The biggest storm of my life began on May 3, when I received my diagnosis. I’ve prayed for the strength to get me through. I’ve prayed for the best doctors and surgical team who would cut out all the cancer. I’ve prayed for peace and silence in my brain to stop asking “What if?” regarding my cancer. I’ve prayed for my own healing. It has been hell, but I know that my faith must not waiver. I will have good days and bad days with and without pain. He will help see me through this. I pray now that I can get through the reconstruction process and that I can live a long life free of cancer. I pray that the OncoType DX test will show that chemo will be of little value to me and I will not have to be injected with poison. This stage is difficult. I continue to pray for strength to get me through the day. It is a lot of waiting and wondering “What if?” Whatever the result, whatever course of treatment I must endure, I will get through it remembering “Peace! Be still!”
Sunday, I got the message. I now know that that set of footprints in the sand was not my own. I was/am being carried.