So it is cancer again. Just three weeks after surgery, the cancer came back, visible and angry and spreading fast.
I think we both knew. At the post-surgery appointment when they announced she was cancer-free, it didn’t feel like truth. Somehow the aggressiveness of this enemy–the way it grew even while on chemo and the close margins on the pathology report–somehow we knew we were not safe, that the battle was not over.
And this is hard. Stomach-punch, can’t-catch-your-breath hard. I’m sure that I have never felt so afraid or so vulnerable. It feels even harder than the first diagnosis, probably because she is already tired and worn. She was just beginning to gain strength and grow hair and look ahead, just cresting the last hill before the finish line, just holding on to the end.
Now she’s being asked to run another race, an even longer race, on tired legs with no rest and no fuel.
How I want to run it for her.
In the first days following her surgery, I encouraged Marissa not to be afraid of the pain. I guess all of my childbirth experience taught me that. Lean in. Accept it. Move through. Breathe. And I thought of that again this week. Don’t be afraid of the pain. Let the tears fall. Let the grief do its work. Lean into truth. Accept what God is doing. Do the next thing. Trust.
It all comes back to trust. “We don’t trust in what God is doing because we don’t know what He is doing. We trust in Who God is.” This quote is written in the front of my Bible, and I’m not sure who said it, but I am sure of it.
We trust in God. We trust in Who He is. Yes, we are afraid of this road and where it is taking us, but we are not afraid of God. We know Him.
This shadow is very dark and our hearts are sometimes faltering. But we are sheltered and we are safe.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1,2)