Before I got out of bed this morning I wrote a whole blog, in my head, on “cussing.” But then I remembered what day it was and so you will have to tune in another time to hear my thoughts on that topic. Because today is February 6th. Today’s “the day”.
Today’s the day that marks two years from when I got the biggest shock of my life. I went to the doctor at about 10:30am, leaving a Real Estate Training and telling my Managing Broker I would be back in about an hour. I was just going for some blood-work to see if I could get to the bottom of a few perplexing symptoms I had been having. “It shouldn’t take long.”
I didn’t step foot in the door to that office for another 7 months. I got my blood-work done and went home to rest out of sheer discouragement. Would we ever figure out what was going haywire in my body? About 4:00pm I got a call from a woman who spoke with a heavy accent that I struggled to interpret. But I got the gist. As I sat at my kitchen table she proceeded to tell me, over the phone, that my blood counts were indicative of Leukemia, they had a bed for me at the hospital and I should go there immediately. By 5:00pm I was sitting in a hospital bed being prepped for chemo.
I can remember every minute of that day as if it happened last week. So today, I am feeling a bit sentimental and raw about it. Not out of self-pity, but out of gratitude. And, you know this about me by now, I am paying special attention to my dated readings for this date. I think I have shared one in another blog, but I’ll share it again. I’m not above repeating myself.
From “Jesus Calling” on February 6th:
“Come to me and rest. I am all about you to bless and restore. Breathe me in with each breath. The way just ahead of you is very steep. Slow down and cling tightly to my hand. I am teaching you a difficult lesson, learned only by hardship.”
Well, that feels like the understatement of the year. I also didn’t realize until I read it today, that the secondary infection I contracted that put me in ICU and almost killed me, made it hard for me to BREATHE on my own. Breathing God in with each breath was my only option.
Today, especially as I am deep in editing my past blogs for publishing, I am remembering something my wise sister-in-law said to me as I processed what God taught me through that season. She said: “God used cancer to root out a cancer in you that had nothing to do with cancer.” Ohhh. That’s good. (I’ll write a blog later about all the ways I am jealous of her, starting with how smart and insightful she is 😉). She is right, though. I might feel like I am back to normal physically, but I am not the same person I was 2 years ago.
My reading in Oswald Chambers for February 6th says this:
“God puts you through the crisis in private…externally the life may be the same; the difference is in the will.” The circumstances bring the refining fire. And “after this way of fire, there is nothing that oppresses or depresses. When the crisis arises, you realize that things cannot touch you as they used to do.”
I don’t wish to have Leukemia ever again. But I can’t help but be grateful that what God taught me through it has been priceless. I grew and morphed at high speed because of the intensity of the disease. God and I became deep, intimate, and inseparable friends. I learned to trust His will over mine. And even though I don’t always like or understand what comes my way today, I have a track record with Him that reminds me that He has and will give the strength to handle, even with grace and sweetness, the worst and scariest of what comes my way.
We all have our version of Leukemia. It may not be public, but it’s there, and often harder to handle because often no one else knows about it. No one brings meals or offers to clean your house when you are in a fight for your marriage. Your sobriety. Your kids. Your sanity. Your addiction. But God knows and sees. And your only Hope is to trust that He is with you intimately.
No human was enough to comfort me or take away the loneliness and fear of my private battle with Leukemia. Or any other battle, for that matter. But God is. He is enough. No matter what else comes at me, God is always enough.