God is teaching me patience, and I don’t like it!! Haha but seriously, I have no desire to be patient. I like my impatience. It’s a comfortable part of me that helps me worry more efficiently. I guess I can see why God would want to change that in me, but that doesn’t mean I have to be a willing participant, does it? There are certain fruits of the spirit that come more naturally to me, and others really are a conscious effort at times. The fruit are, if you don’t already know – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (And yes, I have to sing the children’s song in order to remember them all.) It’s frustrating that patience is on there. Not fair!! Currently, like as I type this, our insurance is reviewing whether or not I qualify for the proton therapy. Patience? I’ll have none of that! I really think by pacing, worrying, and fretting, I will get a more desirable outcome. Wait, that can’t be right. I guess I could see how futile impatience is but it’s definitely a hard habit to break. I wanna know exactly what treatments I’ll be getting, when they start, what time they’ll be at, what side effects I will have, when chemo will start, how long that will last, and of course, I wanna know that this cancer will be gone for good! I want to hear that that there is zero chance of recurrence and that I’m guaranteed a long healthy life post-chemo and that our kids won’t ever have to live with this. *Now interrupting this fantasy to bring you real life.* This is not how health care works. And this is certainly not how melanoma works. As someone who is classed as stage 3c, I am well aware that recurrence is highly possible and also that this ridiculousness is hereditary. So I gotta suck it up and…wait. But surely when this resolves, I will be waiting for something else (test results, doctor appointments, etc.) It’s never ending. It’s like a really condensed form of every day life. That’s totally how life is, right? We finish up one thing just to move onto the next thing to worry and fret about. That resolves, then it’s the next thing. God’s showing me that that is not really living. But, more than that, that is not trusting Him.
I want to be able to hold onto God’s promises. But I needed to figure out what exactly His promises were. I read my devotion for yesterday which put a lot of things that were swirling around in my head to rest. At the end it gave a few verses to look up, one of which was Psalm 32:8 which says, “The Lord says [the Lord says!!!], I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'” That’s amazing. And that’s a direct promise from our Lord. Then comes the hard part, His expectation of us (cringe!), “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” I think that’s what I’ve been doing. God has shown me that He is undeniably working in this situation, and here I am trying to plead with Him or, through my impatience, trying to control situations that I ultimately have no control over. Definitely being a mule in much of this process! But just because I’m aware of the problem doesn’t make it any easier to let go of. That’s where I need to submit to God working through me and the Spirit working in me to relax and let go of these things. It’s a fine line to walk between total obedience and trust, and a form of “when I feel like it” obedience with a misplaced trust in our own choices. I don’t have the answers either – sorry!- but I am learning more and more what complete surrender and trust looks like in life. I believe that when this is all over, God will have refined us and my hope is that we will have a full understanding of exactly what it looks like to completely surrender, obey, and trust God in today’s world. It’s definitely the harder road. It is easy to go along with the crowd (trust me, I know! I did it for most of my life) and chase temporary pleasures and only treat people how we percieve that they deserve to be treated. It may be easier, but that’s no way to live. There is more. So much more. And to live in His embrace is more rewarding than anything I have ever accomplished on my own.
There are probably people who will read this and say, “If you really trusted God, wouldn’t you just trust Him to heal you and not see any doctors?” Awesome question, but the answer is no, not really. God is showing me how important other people are for this journey. If I kept this all to myself and just asked God for healing, who is that helping? No one but myself. And that’s not God’s plan for us. By opening this situation up and allowing others in (doctors, family, friends) and allowing others to help us, we can all be made more like Jesus. Our friends and family have been overwhelmingly supportive and have shown us how it looks to be Jesus to someone. Our friends and family grieve with us and celebrate with us and are showing us that our lives are about relationships and other people. Doctors have knowledge and experience and a heart for helping and healing people like me. God is ultimately our great healer, but I get the sense that going through this whooole process as is is what I’m supposed to be doing. So here goes nothin! (: