I received a notification yesterday that my friend Elliot’s Caring Bridge site had been updated. I decided to read it after small group so that I could focus, send a response and not be hurried.
I woke up this morning with the first thing on my mind being that I had not read the update. So I quietly went down the stairs, before dawn, opened my laptop and read the latest explaining the results of a CT scan done after she spent the night in the hospital due to feeling ill for several days.
As I read the words, “the cancer is back in the liver, lungs and abdominal wall, along with an embolism in the lungs” I felt fury and rage well up from my gut.
While sitting in the dark with only the glow of my laptop, I said out loud, “Lord, are you kidding me?! WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!”
This is when Faith and Fear are companions.
I used to believe that fear and faith could not coincide, however, I was wrong. What is faith for, if not to come alongside fear and banish it?
As I write this, tears stream down my face and onto my t-shirt. The anger and fear and lack of understanding now stain my cheeks in the form of black mascara. How appropriate as I don’t feel a lot of light right now. I feel heaviness…sadness…darkness.
This is when I truly know that I understand very little about the Creator and his ways.
An example that God does not operate from a place of fairness. And aren’t we glad he doesn’t? If he did, some of us would be done for (myself included.)
I am having a really difficult time with this one. I know that it is not mine to always understand, but a little clarity would be great. I don’t think that it angers God to know how I really feel about this? He sees my heart anyway. Not much hiding going on here.
I know that he is faithful. All I have to do is look in the rear view mirror to see proof of that. However, that doesn’t make it hurt any less. And for those of you who say, “I’ll pray for her.” Don’t let those be empty words. Pray. Pray every chance you get. Pray in the bathroom stall at work, when you’re saying the blessing before a meal, when you’re sitting at your desk, as you’re browsing Facebook, driving to the grocery store…Pray without ceasing.
For those who are thinking, “Well, God has a plan.” Yes, I know that God has a plan, but that doesn’t lessen the painful reality that my friend is fighting something that wants to take her life.
So please spare me the christianese statements. I know them all by heart. In fact, don’t say anything for the sake of speaking. Just pray. Even if you have never prayed before. Start now. It’s easy. Just have a conversation. Start with, God…
When you do, picture my beautiful friend in your mind. Burn her image on your brain so that when you storm the gates of heaven with petitions for healing, you will know exactly who you are bringing before the throne of grace.
This is not another name on a “prayer chain.”
This is a beloved friend, daughter, sister, wife and mother.
I don’t know what the future holds, but in these times when my souls screams out, I am grateful that I know who holds the future. And right now, he is the only one who makes any sense at all.
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Sending warm thoughts for healing for both of you. You can see her spirit in her face…
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today we lift up Elliot to You, Lord. we beg, we plead, we don’t understand, we hurt.
Lord, ‘why’ doesn’t encompass what we are feeling when our closest friends are looking at leaving us, leaving this world, going home to You. we are broken and do not like the pain, the sadness, the emptiness that these feelings bring to our heart. it’s awful, Lord, and there are no earthly words that will express the sorrow that is enveloping our being. with everything that is in us, Lord, we ask humbly that You restore life into Elliot, You remove all traces of cancer, take the root of this horrible disease away from her body, breath Your spirit into her and renew her life that she would be a testimony to Your faithfulness, Your healing, Your restoration, life in You. we know that You have laid out the number of our days and we plead that those days would be extended in Elliot’s life, that the doctors who number her days would be astounded at Your miracle in her life. we bring these things to You, humbly, as Your children, in awe of who You are, trusting in You completely.
I hurt with you. I hurt with your friend. I am pissed as hell with you at cancer and the way it ravages lives. I also know down to my toes that God is holding your friend in this. That He is holding you in this. I’m not a ‘God has a plan’ gal. But I am a ‘God doesn’t waste the tears of his children,’ one. Here… Even here, He is at work.
I’m praying for Elliot right now.
I too believe that he is at work in the midst of all of this. It just hurts and makes me angry and scared and sad.
Thank you for your thoughts. Thank you for your prayers. They really do work and I appreciate them more than you know.
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Friend… I am praying for you AND your friend… Seriously. The opposite of fear is faith– so praying that faith overwhelms you and banishes all fear! Love you!
Your thoughts and prayers mean so much.
I at times live in fear. I know God if faithful but it is me who I question. Will I faithfully accept what God decides? Will I cry out in anguish when God is silent. I do. I do not want fear to triumph over my faith or the faith of the ones I love. I hurt when they hurt and I fear for them. I at times desperately want God to show himself to the ones I love who are hurting; to build them up; to make them feel comfort under his wing….. I cry out to him to do so.
May God bless your friend Joy and you.
Thank you, Mark.
I love what you said about God being faithful but you are the one in question. I haven’t thought about it that way. What a great perspective. It always goes back to acceptance for me. I’m a work in progress 😉
Thanks so much for following along and sharing your heart.
Joy, I know so many right now that are fighting for their lives because of cancer, and it’s so very hard for every loved one and friend. Some are younger and some are much older but they are precious to each of us. Elliot and her family will be in my prayers along with the others every time I pray. I can tell from your post that Elliot has a special place in your heart and the hearts of those who know her. Yes! May God’s Will be done and may we all begin to understand a little more each day that this is not home. And the longer one is sick and struggles, the less it feels like home. Joy, I don’t know you but my heart breaks for you and all those who know Elliot up close and personal. I know it hurts, bad, and it’s very raw. I am praying for you, too, Joy.
Thank you so much for your comments, thoughts and prayers. They are greatly appreciated.
The hardest times in my marriage were when I experienced cancer almost 16 years ago. While I knew all the right things to do and say – it didn’t matter. Pain is real and we hurt when others hurt.
It feels very real right now. I have not been the friend that I should have been, but still consider her a life long friend who I love dearly and appreciate immensely.