I found this to be true this past August, when I got the call that my ultrasound was suspicious for malignancy.
It took another month to have my thyroid removed. Only to be followed in six days by another surgery, because the type of cancer they found can spread.
I really didn't even recover from the first operation before I had the second, which turned out to be much more extensive. One month later, I still have the incisional pain and nerve pain that can come from nowhere.
I can't wait for the day when clothes that rub against the incision don't cause some discomfort and for when I can where a seat belt without having to pull it out in front of me so it won't touch the incision. I also am anxious to go to bed at night without some pain medication and will relish the day when I can sleep on my right side again.
This past week has been a very emotional one for me.
It seems that finally my "emotions" have caught up with all that I experienced in the past five weeks. I can easily cry without much of a reason and have no control of how or when the tears may come. And I really really don't like that.
I was hoping that the news of the genetic marker and other test that came back negative would relieve this emotional upheaval, but as of yet, it hasn't. Add to that some family stuff, and I found myself not wanting to go to church today.
I know I needed some extra time with Jesus. But I am frustrated and don't understand why He won't answer some of my prayers.
I knew I needed to continue reading the book I have been reading off and on for a month by Joni Eareckson Tada on suffering.
If anyone can understand suffering, it is Joni.
Imagine being in a wheelchair for over 45 years after sustaining a neck break that resulted in quadriplegia when you are 17 years old.
I have no business complaining; and yet I do.
This melancholy that seems to have taken residence in me is almost a joke when I consider that as of now, I am cancer free, and I have many friends who are battling (or thankfully in remission) this awful awful disease.
Joni's book is called:
and it has challenged me, ministered to me, and made me realize that what I have endured is so little compared to others.
You know how people tell you to remember "there is always someone who is going through something much worse"- they are so right.
No matter how bad things may seem, no matter that we might think we can't go on and what we are going through is not how we want to live or envisioned our life like, there are literally thousands and most likely millions, who have it much worse than we do.
In Joni's case, it isn't enough that she has been stuck in a wheelchair and quadriplegic, the reason that she began writing this book is that she was going thru intense physical pain in her hips and back for months upon months.
As a nurse, I wondered how she could possibly feel this pain so deeply and then I remember that her nerves still work. I can't fathom the pain, the frustration and the prayers that she has cried out to God with begging Him to relieve her pain. And wonder why God would allow her to experience this on top of everything else.
She reminds herself and the readers that its not for us to always know or understand the reasonings of God.
He has His reasons. He is working things out for His purposes. And He doesn't have to explain to us or heal us.
That can be a bit hard to comprehend. Our finite mind cannot begin to understand the infiniteness of our Father.
Who am I to question what He ordains? I am not the puppeteer who can make things go my way and have Him do what I want.
Today in my reading I read once again about heaven.
It is in heaven that we will be whole and healed. It is in heaven that we will spend eternity. Pain free and without any tears. All the physical pain, the emotional anguish, the impossible trials that robbed us of all our senses, will be gone forever. I'm quite certain we won't even remember them.
Why is it that we think this earth is all there is?
This is just our journey into eternity.
Eternity is where we "will really live".
We will live with Jesus forever.
That is enough to be grateful for. For now and for tomorrow and the next hundred months of tomorrows.
Joni challenged me today in what she said. To paraphrase her words, she said something like, for every thought or sentence you speak talking about your problems or your health, spend ten sentences on how God has helped you, nurtured you, carried you, strengthened you, empowered you.
What a change of perspective.
Instead of dwelling on me and my pain or troubles, dwell on the LORD. His goodness, His grace, His love, His ability to hold us in the worst of times.
Once again, I am reminded that IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS and not really anything about me.
I needed that change of perspective. Do you?