Good news first: Hubby has a job! There is a whole back story of an interview, a staffing recruiter who dropped the ball, a prayer time where the two of us petitioned the Lord and honestly poured out our hurting hearts, and then a whirlwind 24 hours of contacts and circumstances that only our good, never-lets-go God could have orchestrated. He starts on Monday. His first paycheck will come in at just about the time we expect that the "reserves" will run out.
Huh. Just in telling you that mini-story, there is light shining through the darkness that has been this day. I actually intended to pour out my sad, hurting heart again here to you this afternoon. I meant to tell you about pain that refuses to be managed and the gray, Eeyore-ish cloud that was above my head when I woke up this morning. I wanted to tell you that I cancelled a coffee date with a friend and I have let my phone go to voice mail because I simply couldn't get past myself. I intended to tell you that I haven't even changed out of my pajamas today, and if I were to be really honest, I would have confessed that I could not wait until the cowboys left for school this morning so I could get on with the business of feeling sorry for myself.
I flipped open my laptop to do just that, and Hubby said, "Oh--are you going to write about the job?"
I didn't tell him that his brand new, answer-to-many-prayers job wasn't even on my radar. I simply replied, "Of course!"...and I acted as if that had been my intention the entire time.
It's a weird thing about being diagnosed with a terminal illness...your perspective changes almost instantly. I'm not talking even about the initial diagnosis. For seven years now, I have had some treatment up my sleeve. There has been a "next thing," something else to try--some reason to believe that certainly, surely there was no way that God was going to let me die. No, it's the part where there is no more medicine or technology or earthly intervention that can fix it. The part where the doctor looks you straight in the eye and says, "I'm sorry. There is nothing else to do." I've always seen the world through pretty black-and-white lenses. It's one of the best things about me, and it can also be one of the worst things about me. But now, almost overnight, my perspective has been even more narrowed. I just want to get straight to the bottom line. Only a few things really matter, quite a lot of other things don't matter much at all.
People matter. Families matter. Time matters. Jesus matters.
It's also super-easy to forget the things that matter and to self-focus. It is, after all, ME who is sick. I am the one who has to deal with stuff no one my age should have to think about: hospice services, wills and other legal documents, funeral arrangements. Sometimes my pain can be managed, other times it is unbearable. Nearly everything I do requires hard work: showering, helping with 4th grade fractions, explaining my decisions/feelings to everyone. My life has been turned upside down by this wretched Sickness.
( Quick story: When Goliath was three, Seester and I had a garage sale at our parents' house. While we were working ourselves to death in the Houston
hellish inferno weather, Goliath and Abby Dog were watching us from a window. Thus, my small son witnessed the patrons who wheeled his tiny bicycle out of my parents' garage and tried to buy it from us. His comment to his Nana: "Those are wretched, wretched people!" That is how 'wretched' came to be one of my very favorite words of all time.)
"These are uphill, into-the-wind challenges you are facing. They are not easy. But neither are they random. God is not sometimes sovereign. He is not occasionally victorious. He does not occupy the throne one day and vacate it the next. "The Lord shall not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of His mind" (Jeremiah 30:24). This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it does not bewilder God. He can and will use it for his purpose." --Max Lucado, You'll Get Through This
It's not about me at all. Some days, like today, I need to breathe deeply and take a few steps back in order to get a clear picture. This Sickness--this life--is not at all what I thought it would be. I didn't plan on this or want this or even see it coming. But my uprooted plans and my changing circumstances do not change who God is. Not one little bit. He remains the same, whether I have a "good" day and I feel like my old self, or a bad day, and I barely manage to brush my teeth. (Hmmm...did I brush my teeth this morning?) He is sovereign. He is good. He intends great things for me, and he is determined to see them through to completion. There is comfort in that for me.
Truth be told, I've hated this day. It's dark out now, and I will be glad to go to sleep and put it behind me. Tomorrow, my new hospice nurse is making her first official visit. I'm not sure I'm exactly looking forward to that either, but I am certain that my Jesus has already gone ahead and paved the way. Just as he made provision for Hubby's new job, he will take care of this new chapter of the journey.
Don't you wonder how people who don't have Jesus get through life? I think about that all the time. My darkest days are still lined with victory. I hope that you know him, friend. I am so grateful that I can have hope to fall back on when the days are overwhelming. I'm so thankful that all the pieces of my life are in his hands. Tomorrow is a new day. Great is his faithfulness.