As many of you know, we are entering into new territory as my husband begins treatments for cancer. I hope that my emotional processing in this column will help you with your own story.
Cancer has come to our home. It’s a guest that has moved in uninvited and has changed everything in our life. Endless scans and tests. Familiarity with doctor’s offices. An assigned oncologist. An unknown future.
During a recent worship service, our new reality hung heavy like a plume of smoke. I saw the words flash across the screen that reminded me to trust in the Lord and count my blessings. I didn’t want to trust in the Lord and I definitely didn’t want to count my blessings. I just wanted to go home, put on my pajamas and hide from this terrible nightmare. I wanted to be sad and mourn what my life was supposed to look like. But instead, I was at a church conference and couldn’t stop the tears.
But then these words showed up on the screen and the old familiar tune filled my ears, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.”
The tears got heavier and I began to pray angrily under my breath, “God, I don’t want this story for my husband and I don’t want this to be the song over our life. I sure don’t feel like praising you right now, either. I want a new story, God. I want a new song.”
Once I finally uttered those pent up words, the heaving cries began. Slowly I lifted my head and through blurry eyes read the words again. I realized, in that moment, whether I liked it or not, this IS our story and this IS our song. And I had a choice. I could carry on in sadness, too distracted by my weighty emotions to see past the tears, or I could embrace this new reality with the calm assurance that none of this surprised God and he is ultimately good. Then I could make the choice to praise God for all of the blessings in our life. Even this journey through cancer.
So, with much hesitation and fear, I began singing the words to the song. Slowly, I let go and chose to believe that God is good, that He will always be good, no matter what. I chose to believe that God will never let us down, even in the face of cancer and all of the unknowns that come with that ugly word. I chose to plant the reality of His goodness deep in my soul even though I didn’t have all of the answers. In that moment, I chose victory and decided to let God get the glory in this hard season.
Cancer has come to our home. A guest that has moved in uninvited and changed everything in our life. But this IS our story. This IS our song. And even when it’s hard. Even when he’s sick. Even when we’re weary. Even when we lose hope. Even when we don’t know what is next. Even when we are sad and can’t stop the tears. We will trust our Savior. In the morning, in the night, and when it’s the hardest words to form on our lips-we will praise Him. If he has allowed cancer to be our story and our song, then He will also give us the strength to keep praising Him all the day long.
No matter what our story, no matter what the song, we always have a choice of how we will get through it. We can live in sadness and waste away in bitter tears or we can remember that God is good and is always good. I want to live in the goodness and count the blessings. How about you?