I’m going to be real honest friends. I feel like the last person who should be posting today.
I told the Lord, “I’ve got nothing. I feel raw and just a bit broken. Who am I kidding? I feel cracked and battered. What could I possibly have to say to a few thousand Moms? All I’ve got is You.”
And there it is. Jesus. Honesty. Truth. That’s what I have to offer you today.
This year has been defined by cancer.
I endured a double mastectomy at the age of 37. Three months later, my sister was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. She, too, endured an amputation. Less than a month later, my precious friend shared of her diagnosis. All of that seems enough, except it comes after 8 years of flat-out hard—one really hard thing after another.
As I found myself ready to admit the depth of my exhaustion and sadness, grief set in.
I am grieving life before January. I am grieving my body before cancer. I am grieving my days and nights before necessary medications altered my hormones and left me drenched in pools of sweat and a mind that too often feels blank. I am grieving what once was, but will no longer be. I am grieving what I feel the rest of my 30s should have been instead of the stark reality of what they are. I am grieving the dreams that cancer took from me.
But I’m not without hope or joy or truth.
On the mornings when my eyes open and I feel weary, I am reminded of the One who waits for me. The One with all the answers who patiently longs to sit with me. The One who holds the truth to shatter the lies. When life gets hard, the wind gets knocked out of you, the enemy seems to thrill at the chance to crack the foundation. Questions, lies and accusations are hurled and it’s in those moments that you will crumble or stand.
In the midst of struggle and deep ache, there are treasures to be found.
The truth is, Jesus was not as real in my 20s as He is today. He was not as tangible.
Today, His touch is never beyond my grasp. His voice is heard in the faintest whisper. His hand is seen in the smallest detail. His power drives me to my knees and leaves me in wonder. I find myself expecting Him, knowing He will always be my greatest need.
So, how do we walk this out? How do we run to Him in the face of pain instead of retreating? How is it possible to hold onto our faith instead of watching it wither and die? How do we walk in truth when the lies scream at us?
This isn’t just about us. Our children are watching. Their feet are walking the same path we are forging before them. It’s in the hard that they learn who their God is, based on our belief system.
We are either doing life with a great, big God who is worthy of our trust and praise, or it’s every man for himself and God is meant only for Sundays.
I don’t just want to survive this life. I want to thrive even in the really hard, nasty, painful seasons. I believe it’s in the hard that God shows us more of who He is. And, friends, I want more of Him and not less. I want to know His secrets and His joys; His truth and desires. I want everything He’s got. And I want it for my kids too. Maybe even more.
Here’s a few suggestions:
• Saturate yourself with the Word of God. Hide it deep within your heart. It penetrates and sets free. He speaks, and darkness becomes light.
When diagnosed with cancer and asking the Lord for a battle plan, I read Psalm 50:23, “Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me and I will show them my salvation.” He gently whispered, “I want my glory known. Thank me, even in this.”
When the phone call came that told of my sister’s diagnosis, I heard him whisper, “God is within her, she will not fall. He will help her at break of dawn,” Psalm 46:5.
When just days out from my 2nd surgery with bandages visible out of my dress, I was passed by without so much as a hello and the rejection felt like a blow to the gut, I heard him whisper, “I was rejected by man and familiar with pain. Like one from whom men hide their face I was despised, and they esteemed me not,” Isaiah 53:3.
When staring at my scarred body and feeling the tears sting my eyes, I hear him whisper, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed,” Isaiah 53:5.
When a rare complication leaves its unmistakable mark after reconstructive surgery only visible to my eye and the eyes of my husband, I hear, “It is well,” 2 Kings 4.
When the tears fall because the sense of my husband’s touch is lost, I hear, “He makes all things beautiful in its time,” Ecclesiastes 3:11.
When I read my 10 year old’s journal entry that states, “Once upon a time my Mom had cancer. She had faith that she would not die. She had faith that she would not have chemo. She had surgery and she lived. She has faith in God,” I hear his life verse roll through my mind. “Let your roots grow down in to him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness,” Colossians 2:7.
Nothing is ever wasted. Ever. His Word changes every pain, every emotion and is used to reflect His glory. When your circumstances stand in the face of scripture, purpose is found, and endurance doesn’t seem too impossible.
• Worship as loud as you can.
For me, worship is like a party being thrown for the God who rules, reigns and conquers. He is worthy to be exalted and when He is, the enemy is thrown down—his defeat certain, your steps, just a little bit lighter.
• Pray, openly and honestly.
Talk to Him and don’t stop. Let Him hear your heart, desires, pain and concerns, but linger with Him long enough to get to know His voice too.
• Take every thought captive.
Line up your thoughts with the Word of God. Ask yourself, “Is this truth or is it a lie?” When hurting, we are vulnerable. The enemy pounces, and if we are not grounded in Truth, the result is defeat when we were made for Victory.
• Find that one person who will speak life, encourage and point you to truth when the lies break past your defenses.
• Always expect Him. Always.
Peace isn’t just for those in a season of calm, success and celebration.
Peace is meant for every believer in every season.
We have the God of peace fighting for us, and His desire is that we walk in peace, regardless of the circumstances.
And joy—that thing that laughs in the face of happiness. It bubbles up and spills out because we know that the more this world hurts, the more beautiful the Savior and the harder we long for eternity. But we don’t have to wait to behold His glory face-to-face. Jesus shines bright here in the dark too.
Are you hurting today? Run to Him with everything you’ve got. You and I don’t need our yesterdays, even though they may have been simpler, better, less painful and our hearts yearn for them. We don’t need our todays to change either. If we did, He would change them.
We just need Jesus, and I mean that with every fiber of my being.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. There are many questions that will never receive an answer this side of heaven. I don’t dare claim the battle is easy, but I do know that He is enough. When that truth feels like a lie, don’t run from Him. Cling to Him and don’t let go. Ask Him for eyes to see and faith to believe.
Today, He wants you to know Him better than yesterday. As you sit at His feet, even in messy, nasty tears, He is working to make you as beautiful as His Son. Even in the pain, disappointments and shattered dreams, He is there. As sure as the sound of the wind rustling the trees, His army of angels is battling on your behalf. The same as yesterday, He will be today and tomorrow.
And rest, knowing that one day very soon, all will be made right. Until that day, do everything in your power to shine as brightly as you can so that the darkness doesn’t stand a chance.
Whatever battle the enemy has waged in your life, fight like you’ve never fought before. Make him sorry he decided to mess with you. Just run to Jesus, and stay there. After all, should there ever be any place that is better?
Are you experiencing a season of brokenness? How have you felt the Lord near in the midst? We would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below or send our team a message through the contact page.