My parents named me Laurel, after the mountain laurel flower, but I've always gone by Laurie. I feel like I've spent my whole life trying to be what other people would find acceptable, and it hasn't been until recent years that I've thought more about how GOD would like me to be. He wants my heart to be seeking after HIM and not the approval of man. So, this is where I will be working out my thoughts, removing the masks (even my nickname!), being real, and making a FREAK of myself! ha ha Any other Jesus Freaks or just freaks in general or even non-freaky people are welcome to read, discuss, encourage, or be encouraged. Welcome to my brain . . . and my heart. :)
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
That Cancer Thing: A Year Later
That "C-word" is beyond frightening. To hear it applied to you feels like a dark force trying to drown you, and, for a moment, you feel like you can't breathe or think or move.
You don't want to have to say goodbye yet.
Then you look up. You have to. And you see it even in the darkness. Hope. Like a rescuing rope. And you grab onto it. Sometimes you feel your grip loosening, but you can't let go altogether.
Lots of faithful prayer warriors and a major surgery were my treatment plan. It was such a relief to have it gone. But then you hear the aftercare plan--quarterly re-checks for a year, then every six months for two years, then yearly--and every time that doctor appointment approaches, you start to wonder, just a bit . . .
Last week I had my last quarterly re-check exactly one day after the anniversary of my surgery. A year already!
I had it really easy compared to some, yet it wasn't easy. As always, though, the Lord used it for good in ways I could never have imagined it could. He touched lives besides mine in ways that never would have happened without the suffering. He touched my life in the lessons I learned, and I find that these principles are true in any difficult situation!
1. God is in control. This was solidified in my mind. I knew it before. I know it better now.
2. God uses the prayers of His people to affect lives. Again, I knew this, but experienced it in a way I hadn't before. I'm a worrier. I become easily uptight about things I can't control. I can't say that I was never afraid, but there was a peace in my soul that was so far beyond what I'm capable of on my own. There were so many people praying for me, and I knew it the whole time.
3. Take one day, one moment, at a time. Everything came at me so quickly--all kinds of tests and possible results and next-step tests based on results. . . oh, my word, it was an overwhelming onslaught of worrisome-sounding procedures. The only way I could find to cope was to not look beyond the next thing, whatever it was. I had to stop Googling, too! It was a matter of facing one thing at a time and not worrying about what came next.
4. Live in the moment. This kind of goes along with number three, I guess. Though it seemed like I was always going to some sort of medical facility for awhile there, and I was going a lot, there were many more moments that I was just living my normal life. I needed to force my mind and spirit to be present in the moment I was living, not dwelling on what was to come. If I was playing Monopoly with my son, I made sure to be focused on him (and how badly he was beating me!). If I was talking with my husband, I gave him my full attention. If I was doing laundry or dishes, I thanked the Lord that I was able to do them.
5. It's okay to be the recipient of help. Oooh, this was a hard one for me! I love to help people! But somehow over the years I've become so independently minded that I rarely asked for help with anything. There was no way, though, that I could be laid up for two months of recovery, not able to do much of anything, and not accept help. And several people told me that it was a blessing for them to help, which I understood because of how blessed I feel when I get to help someone. I realized that maybe I had been robbing people of potential blessings because of my hesitancy to ask for help. Not that I need to go looking for reasons to ask for assistance, but it's okay not to try to do everything on my own.
6. God is good, no matter how the outcome seems to us. Self-explanatory.
So, I couldn't let this anniversary go by without giving my Lord a shout-out. I could definitely be a better student, but I couldn't ask for a better teacher. :)