Friday, April 10, 2009

Where I

In March I wrote a Post titled "Where I am". I hate where I was then, but am so glad I put that "rough spot" into words. Actually, I am glad I wrote about the past 8 months because now it all seems like a dream. I am tempted to say "oh, it wasn't that bad". I am dangerously tempted to say "I was never closer to God than when I had cancer"...ooh! That is a dangerously prideful statement to make. Truth is, there were times that I was closer to My Father than I have ever been...but there were also times that I was painfully far from Him as well. There are sweet moments with my Father when I rested in his embrace and just waited for Him to heal me. There was also a time when I threw a temper tantrum that any 2 year old would be envious of. There were times when I felt God so close to me that I could hear His heart beat and feel the warmth of His breath...but there were also times when I felt completely and utterly devastatingly alone. In all those moments, the only thing that changed was "me". God never changed. His plan never changed. He never wavered in His love or support. HE remained constant and steadfast and sure the entire time. My feelings and emotions changed, God stayed the same. That is important to remember.

I am glad that I was prompted, pushed, and ordered by family and friends to "keep writing" through those dark times. It is a good reminder of what happens to my heart when I take my eyes off Christ. Looking back, I do not believe that God ever left my side. I truly believe He walked through those darkest times with me. It was when I took my eyes off of Him and brought the focus on myself that the darkness absolutely overwhelmed my soul. What grief I would have been spared and what burden would have been lifted if only I had stayed focused on HIM rather than myself! The circumstances would have been the same, but my experience would have been drastically different had I kept my eyes on my Savior. That is also something to remember!

Looking back on the past 8 months, they really don't seem that bad. Seems like they went by in a flash. SEEMS like that road was nothing more than a short detour. I am so thankful that my natural tendency to write overrode any desire to be a "good preacher's wife" and pretend like everything was always "fine". I never want to forget how My Father held me, pushed me, let me struggle, and then carried me through various legs of that journey. I never want to forget the complete peace and indescribable comfort I found in HIS embrace when I had cancer. I never want to forget the brokenness in my soul that was a result of me taking my eyes off of Him and focusing on myself.

I had hoped that, when this was all over, I would know "why" I had cancer. I had hoped that someone would come to know Christ because they walked this road with me. I had hoped that some one's faith would be renewed or restored by walking this road along side me. I had hoped for something amazing to happen in some one's life so that I could say "this is why I had cancer". In reality, it was me who needed to know Christ more intimately. In reality, it was me whose faith needed to be deepened and broadened and stretched. In reality, it was in ME that something amazing and wonderful happened. I have, over the past 8 months, walked hand in hand with my Creator through the darkest valleys of my life thus far...and He has proved faithful to His word. He never left me. He never forsook me. He never slept. He held me in the palm of His hand and sang songs over me. He comforted me and soothed me and drew me to Himself.

I wanted so much for my journey to impact some one's life "out there". I wanted so much to encourage someone, to help others through their dark times. Most of all I wanted to show Christ to someone. I wanted to show the "world" what a relationship with Christ can really be like. I wanted the "world" to see that to know Christ is not the same as doing all the right things and going to church every time the doors are open. Knowing Christ is walking with Him every day, through every battle, every victory, every defeat. I was sure that I had cancer so that God could speak to someone "out there" through me. How much more prideful could I possibly be? I needed sifting. There were some impurities in my soul that had to be sifted out....pride being the main one.

When I started this blog, it was before I knew I would be battling cancer. The "Battle" in the title actually refers to the Battle we all fight every day.
Ephesians 6:11-13 (New International Version) says...
11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.