Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Mingled Yarn

I found out at work. 

It was just before closing on a Friday afternoon, my husband was outside to pick me up  and my primary doctor called with the test results.

He apologized over and over for calling just before the weekend, but he said he did not think I would want to spend the weekend not knowing.

I was glad he called.

It does not matter what issues you are facing in your life-
the time where you find yourself waiting is the hardest.

While I would rather not have known that weekend that I did indeed have cancer, it wouldn't have changed anything.  What I would have done was spend the weekend wondering.

I would have done what I had done all week.

I would tell myself it can’t be cancer.
Then I would tell myself that it had to be cancer.
I would say to myself , “Self, you are going to be just fine”.
Then I would say,, “What if you’re not ?”.

While he talked, I fidgeted – on paper.  I did the only thing I know to do when I am trying to remember what someone is saying.  I wrote notes to myself.  I had to do something or I would have lost my slight resemblance to composure.  So I wrote. I wrote words. I wrote numbers.  I scribbled.

He read the written words from the report, and those words unfeelingly sent my world spinning, All I could think of was getting outside to my husband. I kept wondering what we were going to do.

The report said they did not know the location of the primary tumor.  While that is something I can understand today, at the time the words seemed like a foreign language.  He explained to me that the cancer cells that formed this tumor did not start in my lymph node where the cancer was found.  It had come from somewhere else, and they did not know where the somewhere else was.

So while we knew it was cancer, we did not know what kind of cancer it was.

When I hung up the phone, I was immediately surrounded and hugged by coworkers, and as soon as I could get the words out of my mouth, they started praying.

When I did get outside, I saw my grandchildren in the back seat of the car.  I tried to hold back tears, but my husband knew anyway.  I said, "What are we going to do?".  He said, "We are going to trust God."

God had arranged even the smallest details of the way I found out I had cancer long before the start of this whole chapter in my that  I knew I was enveloped in His care right from the start.

I like using the word chapter to describe an event in my life.  It is a story after all.  And that helps me keep things in perspective. The things happening to us are not just random things, but our lives and the details of our lives have an author.

What is most comforting about the author of our lives, is that the author is not me.

The author is God.  And He is good.  He is good, good, good, good!  Not just some trite phrase, "God is good", kind of good.  But deep in the trenches of fighting the battles that happen in our lives kind of good.

I have learned a lot from the stories of those who have been in those trenches.  People who knew great pain and hardships, and did not keep silent about it, but shared their stories. People like Corrie Ten Boom, Joni Eareckson Tada and Elizabeth Elliot.  People who knew their lives were not just a story in itself, but part of a much larger story of what God was doing in the lives of people.  Things that could not be illustrated with rainbows and butterflies.

We are all the main characters in our own story, hoping for a good end.  Hoping for our own "happily ever after". But in any story, the finale that brings the greatest applause to the author is not always the story that seems kindest to the characters.

Too many times, I have wrestled with the Author for control of the pen. I want to write my own story, one with a safe journey.  If I am honest, I want to remove the hard parts and paint a pretty picture that pleases me. One that could be illustrated with rainbows and butterflies.

Through the years, I am learning that too much is lost when we are the ones controlling the pen.

And having walked some hard paths with the Author, I have come to know Him well.  His love for us is undeniable.  There is no hardship we could ever face that could come between His love for us and our frail weak and selfish beings.

So I trust Him with the pen, and with the end.

And every chapter in between.


"The web of our life is of a single yarn, good and ill together"
William Shakespeare

"Christianity offers the attractions, neither of optimism nor of pessimism. It represents the life of the universe as being very like the mortal life of men on this planet, 'of a mingled yarn, good and ill together'."
C.S. Lewis

Romans 8:38,39
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.  Neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.  No power in the sky above nor in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed
in Christ Jesus our Lord"

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