This is the first time I’ve sat down to write without a title or purpose in mind. So many thoughts and emotions have been on my heart the past 6 days.
First, I have to say that I have peace. Overwhelming peace. Last Wednesday, I sat in my closet and cried and cried (and then cried some more). I said “God where are you? Why aren’t you stopping this? Why does Layla have to endure more?” I closed my eyes and felt my Father’s arms around me. He said, “I’m right here. I will never leave you. I’m not done yet” And while I sat there I had a movie playing in my head. Bryan and I were sitting in the little clinic room with our oncologist and he turned the screen to show us her scan and it was beautifully clear and free from cancer. And again, I felt peace. God was showing me that HE needed to do this. Not chemo, not radiation, not drugs. There are too many people in our lives, heck in our own families, who would never believe that anything but medicine had healed her. So as we sit here for 4 weeks with no treatment, I have peace that God is still working. That way we can point to Him and say “Look what HE did”.
But I am still human. Each day I fight off grief. Why should I grieve?? Layla is here today. If the most unimaginable thing happens, I have an entire lifetime to grieve. There’s no need to start now. If we give into the grief today, we’ve given up and allowed satan to take over. That jerk wins and I won’t have it.
The second thing that’s been swirling around my mind this week is about change. Maybe it’s the impending change from summer to fall or the fact that we’re coming up on one year of living this nightmare, but it’s hard to ignore the change that is happening all around us. I know I’ve changed – significantly. Bryan has changed. Our friendships have changed (some good, some not so much). Neither of us look at the world the same way or the “first world problems” we all joke about. Where I once saw need, I now see waste. My desire for control has been shattered and replaced with trust in a God that, frankly, I don’t think I really knew all that well before now. I have been humbled by the thousands of people who pray for our family and who have given so generously to support us so we can spend time together.
The short end of the straw there is it’s difficult to tolerate all the unnecessary parts of life anymore. Not everyone understands that or can imagine that sort of mind shift (and let’s face it, who really wants to go through something that life altering?) But there is no turning back. Regardless of the outcome we will never be the same people we were before. I can’t help but think that’s what God wants for us. To be so radically altered that we cannot possibly view the world from the same perspective. He wants us to see it from His perspective. We were meant to experience suffering in a broken world, not to sweep it under the rug and pretend it’s not there. Not to keep scrolling through Facebook past the hurt and broken. If we come out of this unchanged, we have failed. I truly believe that.
Lastly, in this mess of thoughts, I often wonder Is God Enough? The answer is always YES! There is no situation where He is not enough. Even in those moments where I’m begging Him to show me where He is, I am reminded of everything that has happened in the past 11 months. He has brought droves of people to take care of our earthly needs and to lift us up in prayer. Most importantly, He has been with Layla for every test. Every port access. Every scan. Every surgery. She will tell you that, too. It’s amazing and beautiful to see how easily children sense the Holy Spirit. The prayers He has answered for our family far outnumber the ones He hasn’t answered yet. It’s the “yet” that is the test of faith. James 1 tells us that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Some days I feel like saying “Ok God….we’ve persevered…can we stop now??” But every day our strength is new and each day is an amazing gift to see that beautiful, bald girl walk down the stairs with a smile on her face. It reminds us that He is always here and He is always good. This is far from over. Amen.