In this journey called life we experience great joy and pain. Life can sometimes feel like a roller coaster with all the twists, turn, loops, climbing and stopping. What an amazing adventure!
My adventure brought an unexpected turn into my life. On December 23, 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. What a crazy day that was for me, Matt and the girls. We were getting ready for our first presentation of the Christmas Program “Perfect Christmas” that night. I had tried to have my consult appointment on the 22nd, but nothing was available. The earliest appointment I could get was 11:00 am on Tuesday. As Matt and I were waiting in the room, our minds were going and the nervousness of wondering what the doctor was going to say was setting in. It felt like hours of waiting, but it was only a few minutes. The doctor came in with the nurse and told us that my biopsy showed I had breast cancer. I just began to cry along with Matt. We were speechless. The news sinking in to our hearts and minds. They were so kind and patient as we processed and asked a few questions.
What do we do when we are faced with the unexpected twist in our life journey? These twists and turns can be financial difficulty, illness, loss of a relationship, or job loss. The difficulties we face do not have to overtake us. Jesus did on the cross so we would have like and have an abundant full life. (John 10:10) This is not what our mind and heart naturally lean to in moments like this. We have to choose to overcome the difficulty and not allow it to overtake us. It is possible to live in Joy, peace and hope in the midst of a situation that is hopeless. God keeps in perfect peace those who’s mind is stayed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3) We have to choose and resolve with all our being to keep our shouts and focus on God. When the thoughts and feelings come like a raging storm to overwhelm us God is the one to calm the storm.
I have days of crying of and on from simply trying to manage the feelings of having cancer. Some days it was all I could do just to make it through physically. The days of being sick in bed, hospitalized and not being capable of living my “normal” life gets overwhelming. These feelings are normal to feel. God understands and lovingly draws us to Himself during these times. During these times I had to choose to give in to these feelings or lean into God with my pain. We cannot ignore the feelings and thoughts. We have to acknowledge them and take them to God. He created us and knows our struggles and died so we do not have to stay in these negative thoughts and feelings.
There are a few practical things that I do when I am faced with these moments that bring me peace.
Journal: I have journaled for years. Mainly they have been prayer journals, dreams I have, and things God has spoken to me. During this specific journey I have a journal for my cancer journey. I write each day. I write down my thoughts, feelings, physical donation, what I did, test results. Anything that is on my mind. This helps me come to terms with how I am feeling about my treatment, and my physical challenges that keep me form doing the things I love.
Say It Out Loud: I spend a lot of time talking to God. I say out loud to Him how I am feeling. I talk to Him lie He is sitting in the chair next to me. I know He already knows how I am feeling and what I am thinking, but it is so beneficial for me to verbally tell Him. He can handle being told the hard stuff. He has experienced everything we will ever deal with in life. As I am communicating with God I feel His love breaking into my circumstance and calming my current storm of feelings.
Have a Thankful Heart: I continue with thanks and prayer. I thank God for the strength, victories, prayer and support of friends and family to name a few. I pray and declare God’s Word over my life. His Word literally brings life to my being.
Be Quiet: I sit quiet and allow God to cover me with His presence. I give time for Him to speak to me. Isaiah 30:15 says, ” In repentance and rest is your salvation; In quietness and trust is your strength.” As we quiet ourselves before God and lean into Him in trust He gives us strength to make it through.
I am forever thankful for God’s relentless, amazing love for me. His perfect love casts out ALL fear (1 John 4:18). Every day, every moment I call to Him and He answers. He is truly caring for me every moment of every day. He is there of you too. No matter what twist you are facing in your life journey. Lean into God int he pain and uncertainty. He will meet you there and uphold you with His right hand. (Psalm 63:8)