One year ago on September 24, 2015, our lives were changed by a cancer diagnosis. One year ago we learned that fear is a physical thing, a hot searing pain that can twist inside you and then burn like a flickering candle that never quite goes out. One year ago sorrow and grief sat down beside us and decided to stay awhile.
We began a journey we did not want to travel to a place we did not want to go.
Acknowledging and accepting the pain is part of the journey. But there is so much more to remember and so much more to say.
We have learned to slow our walk and deepen our breathing. We have been awakened in a new way to the beauty of life, and we have tasted and seen that God is good. We have opened our hearts to eternity, both to our idea of it and the truth of it.
We have learned that this pain is temporary. This world is temporary. This mortal life is temporary. But there is so much that is not, so much that lasts forever. God and the truth of His words, the peace that we can have with Him through Christ, His covenant love and the thousands of joys it brings.
Marissa’s soul is eternal. And so is mine and yours.
This hard year has taught us much about truth and what matters. It has reminded us of our failures and comforted us with a risen Savior who intercedes for us, who binds our wounds and carries our sorrows. It has helped us know God, the creator and the master of the storm.
One of my favorite quotes is from Amy Carmichael. “But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed.”
The overwhelming has not overwhelmed. How is it we have walked through this year with all of its difficulty? How have we held on to faith and hope? How have we laughed and loved through pain? Deliverance came. God came. We have proved it again and again.
We have been fighting for a full year, and the battle is far from over. Marissa is weary, and the storm feels so very dangerous. We can’t see what lies ahead. The waves are cold and dark and we feel them washing over us. Some days we are trembling. Some days we are barely holding on.
But He is holding us. These waves are still His.
The overwhelming will not overwhelm.