Thursday, February 19, 2015

The gift.

Our days are full and yet very simple. Watts and I are buddies and hang out all day, every day. We play and read and drive Piper to preschool and paint and play playdough and coerce bites of food. We play outside and run errands and do chores around the house.

These are simple days and the greatest of days, if I slow my heart down to rest and truly see them for their beauty.

Watts has a head full of hair now, his cheeks are chubby, and his eyes sparkle most days without a hint of medication dullness. His labs have shown no sign of relapse.

He's come a long way. We've come a long way.

Watts, one year ago.
[It is with some degree of hesitancy that I write the next few paragraphs because I am so fully aware that my life is a cake-walk compared to some... And yet, I will write, cautiously, because it is where I am today.]

I have to fight each day to stay in today. Fear is at my heels at any given moment, if I am being honest, and it is a struggle to stay fully present and joy-filled in the day that is before me. But fight I will. Each day, each moment sits on my lap like a well-wrapped gift and I can choose how I am going to unwrap and engage with it. I know now, of course (and my grey hairs can attest), that the present may or may not be what I want and it may bring pain, but it is still mine to unwrap and choose how I will engage it. Will I move into the moment with honestly and open-hands, or will I enter it with a numbed heart and clinched fists? It makes all the difference, really.

It is my story, both pain-filled and beautiful.

This cancer journey has taught me many, many things, and one of the things that it has taught me is how little I really know about anything. I use to want to figure it all out, to know what's up ahead, to know that if we fight/love/work hard enough, then the labor will result in fruit. None of that is true, of course. Hard work pays off sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. Chemo treatment works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. Prayers are answered the way we hope for, and sometimes they aren't.

Life is mysterious and pain-filled and God works in ways that I cannot even begin to understand. All of this world is broken. He promises to make all things new but we only see glimmers of it now...and daily we live in the tension of knowing His promises and yet having to wait for their fulfillment. We often find ourselves busy and striving for an ever-elusive happiness when, in reality, most days we feel as if we are just scraping by with bleeding hearts and broken dreams. Our work feels futile more often than we want to admit, violence and war fill the headlines, and our babies get cancer. We feel we have to fight for hope, fight for peace, and fight for our very lives at times.

And yet, sometimes it is in the darkest of seasons, that we have the eyes to look and to see the brightest of stars. Sometimes it is in the pitch-black of night that we can start to see God for who He is, apart from the blessings and happiness that we want to get from Him.

Sometimes it is when things are upside-down that our blinders are stripped away and we can see the deep beauty in this world, despite the brokenness. 

Sometimes it is in the most broken of days that we finally learn to stop striving to make life work, and we start resting in the moment that it is right before us, the gift that is on our lap.

Sometimes it is in the deepest darkest moments of our lives that we can see God and see His deep and ever-present and far-reaching goodness...regardless of the circumstances.


The thought of losing my boy takes my breath away. It catches me at funny moments during the day and all of a sudden I find that its hard to swallow for the rock-size lump in my throat and I can't seem to get my lungs full of enough air. But my son is alive. And perhaps if he wasn't, I wouldn't write of the darkness bringing clarity or the goodness of the Lord even in the midst of pain...

But as I watch others who are walking down roads filled with grief and pain that only my worst nightmares hold, I see their faith and hear their words of His goodness and it shakes me to my core.  
In their faith, once again I see and believe, He is good.

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