2018. What. A. Year. I turned 31 yesterday and I can’t believe how quickly the year has come and gone. It was a great year. But a painful one. Last fall we received some unexpected and shocking news: another tumor was found-this time in my leg. Our world was rocked. Test after test, biopsy, surgery, fear, uncertainty, praying and waiting-that’s what the end of last year looked like for our family. I will never forget the conversation with our oncologist: “Cancer, it’s definitely cancer, probably another sarcoma, but it’s proving really hard to diagnose.” There is something scary about being a medical anomaly, as if your body is an unsolvable puzzle. Without the diagnosis we didn’t know what further treatments would be required. We couldn’t move forward. I felt stuck, stuck in a scary place of unknowns, doubt and uncertainty about my future, about my kids future and about our family’s future.
I was extremely scared. This was my 6th surgery. This was my 6th tumor. I’ve sat in the oncology wing many times before. But something was different this go around. There were 2 other factors in the equation: my son and daughter. My heart ached thinking about how this may affect them. I didn’t want them to see me sick. We prayed every night as a family that recovery would be fast and that God would heal my body completely. God, once again, drew our hearts closer to Him through the cancer. Hearing my 2.5 year old twins pray unprompted for God to “make mommy’s boo boo better” and as they sang along with me to “Great is Thy Faithfulness” brought me to my knees (and to tears). Even though the surgeon took a fist-sized chunk out of my muscle, I mended up really quickly, with minimal pain and no limitations. He healed my body again! Now I just have another really rad scar-another visible reminder and story of God’s faithfulness.
Technically we still don’t have a definite answer as to what type of sarcoma was in my leg. And we’ve been told by one of the top pathologists in the country that we may never know. The pathologists were left “stumped.” But, here’s the good news: because the tumor was so small, isolated and they were able to get it all no further treatment was or will be required. God answered our prayers!
Physically I’m healed. Sometimes I even forget about the surgery unless I see the scar. As Ruby and Roman put it, “Mama’s boo boo all better.” And we are all praising God for that! But emotionally, living without a final diagnosis has proven to be more difficult for me than the surgery itself. I’ve wrestled with God in the dark places. I’ve cried. I’ve struggled with doubt, anger and sadness. But no matter where my thoughts go my heart keeps coming back this this truth: God is Most High. God is not like us. God is not perplexed by this situation. God isn’t in heaven twiddling His thumbs trying to figure out what this “unknown thing” is. He knows. He knows all things. I can’t help but think there is a reason He wants to keep me in this unknown space. And if He wants me to stay here than I can be certain it’s for my good and His glory-even on the days when it doesn’t feel like it.
There are moments when I get worried. What if the oncologist missed something? What if this cancer that can’t be diagnosed will somehow come back and defeat me? Then, I stop. I breathe. And I remind myself, “God is Most High.” Everything on this earth is subject to God. Even the cancer, even the tumor, even my fears-they all bow down to Him. When worry creeps in I just visualize the cells in my body, the fear in my heart, my doubts, my thoughts, everything bowing down to Creator and The Author of The Universe.
Regardless of what the future holds, I know God is on His throne. Cancer doesn’t win. Nothing can shake that and nothing can change that. And that’s a good thing for me. And that’s a good thing for everyone. Nothing. Not even the thing you fear the most can knock God off His throne. He is greater.
This has been a painful season. But even so, we have found great pockets of Joy in deep seasons of despair. This has been a time of learning to trust God in the unknown and with no guarantee of an answer. This has been a time of learning to trust God and His promises that are true for me even when the warm fuzzy feelings aren’t there. This has been a time of learning to trust God with my life and our family, knowing that He is the keeper of all things. Corrie ten Boom says it far more eloquently than I ever could, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” So that’s what we continue doing. We continue trusting and sitting in the unknown spaces, trusting that the Master Commander knows exactly what we need and He knows exactly where we are going.