It's more true of 2017 than 2016, but still.
I had not thought we had a rough year, but I heard Bry-D on the phone back in August with a friend. He had moved out of state for a couple of years and was back, so he had called to see what was up.
I don't think he was expecting the story Bry-D had to tell. Starting with cancer diagnosis and surgery in December 2016, & that was supposed to be it. But after surgery we found out I needed chemo and radiation as a sort of prevention. God was good in all that; so many blessings in the midst of such a horrific time.
About the time I started chemo treatments, our church merged with another church, however, it felt more like it dissolved rather than transferred. We'd been a part of that family for 17(or 16? since it's inception) years. Lizzie and Xander lost a huge part of the family they had grown up with, at a time when they needed them. The consistency and support of every Sunday seeing the Aunts and Uncles of our church family would have been so helpful. We did still have these wonderful people in our lives, but it wasn't like when someone marries into a family and you just have more. It was like a divorce, parts of us were missing and we couldn't get them back. But God was there, through it all; not sweeping in and turning our lives into a Fairy Tale, but He was present.
We made it through Chemo, reconstruction surgery, and went to Fair. I missed things this year that I've never missed. I had to sit and watch other people do the things I usually did. When my late Grandma got to the point that she could no longer take care of others and was the one needing the help, she became bitter and mean. I vowed then that whatever the reason, if I ever needed help, I would not only ask, but accept and be openly grateful. That ended up being harder than I thought it would be. It took grit and faith that it was temporary, that next time, next year, I'd be back at it. Next year, next year, I kept reminding myself.
And this too shall pass
I knew it to be true, but I would have punched anyone that said it to me. I started radiation in September 2017. At that time my instinct with Lizzie was that somethign was wrong with her health. I didn't know what, but by her birthday(middle of September) I was watching her like hard-nosed teacher during a pop quiz. The end of September we ended up in Riley because turns out she's Type 1 Diabetic. Not the worst thing as a child or parent, but certainly life changing.
I still had daily radiation treatments, and Eliz had to be in the hospital for at least 2-3 days. It was my last full week of radiation, and we really didn't want to prolong radiation any longer than we had to, so Bry-D stayed at the hospital while Lex and I commuted back and forth. Well, pretty sure Lex stayed with friends and then commuted with me, I'll be honest, I've blocked some of this past year for my mental health. We learned so much, left Riley with a bag of pharmicuetical supplies so big it felt suspicous. But God was there.
I posted on Facebook asking for prayers when we were at the pediatrician's office and then updated when we had the offical news that it was going to be fine, we just had to learn how to deal with it all. A friend commented on how I took all these things of 2017 in stride. This is the part where the ephiany happened. It was on one of the drives that I did in those 3 days Lizzie was in the hospital learning that she had to do math, literally in order to stay alive. Irony - give the dyscalculic kid an incurable disease that's treatable, but only with math. I was pondering my friend's comment, that I took it all in stride. It tickled a part of my brain. Something about it seemed off. Why was it surprising that I, or anyone would accept tough situations or circumstances. And then the light bulb lit up.
We expect life to be easy. We expect to get what we want. But that's not even remotely close to what Jesus promises. He says we'll have peace in trials, that we'll have an adundant life, joy in spite of circumstances, but He nevers says it will be easy. I know He never says we'll get whatever we want in life. My mouth hung open for a moment in shock as I thought,
We're buying into a lie
Satan whispers sweetly to us,
"It's supposed to turn out your way. You're meant to have everything you desire."
And we believe it.
We so completely forget that this life is NOT the best there is, that we're in a fallen world that's crumbling around us, we actually get mad a God when we don't get our way.
So, of course we get mad when any number of things aren't how we *think* they should be.
OF COURSE we're injured by God's indifference when the dryer breaks at the same time the car does. Maybe we're even more upset b/c that means we can't get the shiny new something we wanted. When someone gets sick and doesn't get better. When people are sinful and it affects us. I can take it deeper or more shallow, but the simple truth is, it's surprising someone doesn't curse God when bad things happen because Satan has conditioned us to think life is meant to be fair, and when it isn't, the only reason for it is because God isn't who He says He is.
We should work to change that. Trust me, I'm not saying rejoice in troubles. I struggled with that this year, and I'm not going to suggest anthing I can't do myself. But we need to stop letting Satan get to us with this lie. For me it comes to worshipping whether everything is awesome, or I can barely lift my head from dispair.
The last 4-5 years I've done the "One Word" for the year. Last year I didn't officially pick a One Word. Had I, it would have been Survive. I typically set several goals for the year, but for 2017, it was simple, 1. get through cancer, and 2. if at all possible, make Jesus proud while doing it.
It's 2018. In Novemeber 2017 God told me my One Word for 2018 - Hope.
He told me the verse for it too:
Yet I still dare to hope
My goals for this year? Take back anything I lost, heal with my family, and Move Forward. I won't be defined by cancer, I won't give it that kind of power. It's not going to steal any more from me or my family than it already has. I won't be wearing pink ribbons or wearing the badge of cancer survivor as though that's all I am. Yes, it happened, but that's just it. For me, it's in the past, and I agree with Edna.
There is far to much to do to be distracted with what has happened. Time to be in the moment, because they come and go so fast, after missing so many lately, I don't want to miss any of them if I can help it.