There have been many moments in my life when it has felt as if time has stood still and God, for whatever reason, has gifted a rare moment of reflection. For me, when recalling these moments they unfold in beautiful slow motion allowing me to examine every small detail. They flow like a kaleidoscope, moving in and out of focus. There are six of these moments that are my most precious. I treasure them and guard them intentionally.
The first is when my father took my arm and walked me down the asile of the Twin Spires Cathedral in St. Joseph, Missouri and I saw Adam standing at the end of that long walk. I remember thinking how handsome he looked, but in truth, we were so young and he most likely looked as petrified as I felt! The other five are the very first moments that I laid eyes upon each of my children. Skyler was the most beautiful little boy that I had ever seen. His eyes were so large, and his smile so tender. Jacquelyn had the brightest blond hair and bounced as she walked. I remember thinking..... "these are MY children"! Gabriel smelled of baby lotion, and my mother and I sat at the kitchen table undressing him and counting 10 little fingers, and 10 little toes! He grew to have one of the most contagious giggles ever! It doesn't matter how rough your day is, when you hear him giggle you are instantly filled with genuine and pure happiness! Noah was absolutely perfect...and absolutely tiny! His eyes were filled with such wonder as he gazed up at you. Lastly, Isaiah. All swaddled up in white from head to toe. White little onesie, white little booties, white little cap, and a white little blanket. My life completely changed when these six people came into my life and I will always remember the precious moment when I entered into a sacred covenant with each of them. It wasn't when a legal document said so, it was the moment that my heart saw them and called them mine.
But there have been other moments throughout my life. Moments that are significant to me, not because of how precious they are, but because of how impactful they were in regards to shaping who I am. I was a cheerleader in High School and I thought it wouldn't be ethical to vote for myself for the varsity squad. I lost by one vote. I learned that it was vital to learn to advocate for yourself. The moments that each of my parents passed away. Where I was, who I was with, and how my heart broke....and lastly, when I was told that I have cancer (I was sitting in my office, the day after Memorial Day, and it was 9:45am).
It has been roughly a month since this moment impacted my life. I have preached many times on "peace that transcends all understanding" (Phillipians 4:7), and the words "It Is Well With My Soul" have washed over me....but I have never experienced it personally in my life until this moment unfolded before me. Yes, I have had all the normal feelings that come with cancer; anger, frustration, denial, and a sense of loss of identity. But I have also had peace. Amazing and gracious peace. Peace that shouldn't be present in the middle fo this moment. Peace that has filled my cup and has dashed all fears in the dark of the night. Peace that quiets the soul and stills the mind.
This peace does not come from an assurance of healing. At my very core, I am a realist. I am full aware that on Thursday the doctor might open me up and then inform me that the cancer has spread. I know this because I sat next to my mother and heard them say that. I have sat next to friends and have heard them say that, and I have sat next to congregation members and have heard them say that. I have had to spend a month preparing spiritually, emotionally, and mentally for hearing that. No, my peace does not come from an assurance of healing, but instead it comes from the knowledge that God is with me during each and every moment. You see, God is faithful and God is dependable. He will never void His Word or His promises. Regardless to what unfolds on Thursday morning, He will turn it into something absoltuely amazing for His glory. It might not be on Thursday morning, it might not be next week, or next month or even next year....but I am assured that He will and this is where my peace is anchored.
As Christians, we ought not be praying that the storms cease to exist. Instead, we ought to pray for the strength to be obedient and faithful in the midst of every storm. Please know, I am incredibly human. I have sat in the dark of the night and have prayed that this cup would be passed from me. I prayed that a call would come at the last minute and inform me that the labs messed up the results. I prayed that the oncologist would dispell the news. I prayed that somehow I would be the rare person with uterine cancer that could keep her uterus, get pregnant, and not enter into early menopause....but at all times ending "if it be Your will". The next morning I awoke and no phone call came, and the oncologist affirmed the diagnosis.
I know not where this journey will take me, but I can say; "Let The Storm Rage!" Why? Because I am confident in THE ONE that is in the boat with me! He can calm the storm, part the water, and yes...even make cancer a blessing! He is my alpha and my omega....the beginning and the end of all that is precious to me. How do I know this? Because not only did He create those six precious moments that I treasure....but He created those six precious people that I treasure even more!
Thank you greatly for all of your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement for not only me but also my family. God has greatly blessed me!