One of the most helpful things I've read was the post about
what you did instead of worrying about the latest scan: work and pray. I would
like to know how or why you realized/decided that working and praying are the
best things to do in that situation. Also, tell us what you've learned about
trusting Him and praying when afraid.
Thanks for the question...and for reading .
This is particularly relevant to me today. My next scan is Thursday (along with a session of "Meet the New Oncologist"). I'm also in the process of revisiting a particularly sticky issue in a relationship with a beloved fellow believer. Naturally, I'm writing this in between sessions of scrubbing my house, which is conveniently filthy after a long weekend of neglect. Tomorrow is designated for baking...anyone want some whole wheat rolls or a pan of dark chocolate brownies?
So, how did I learn that working and praying are the best things to do in an awful situation? I'm not really sure. I do know that in the year before my diagnosis, I was able to do an intensive study of the book of Romans with my Community Bible Study class. The year before that, I had the opportunity to complete the Return to Jerusalem study. Both of these studies reinforced the concept of God's sovereignty in every situation. Everything within me resonates with the knowledge that NOTHING takes God by surprise. Rather, it was determined by Him from the beginning of time.
Over the last few years, this theology has become intensely personal; first as we struggled to conceive and maintain a pregnancy with our fourth child, then as we struggled through his ridiculously difficult first year, followed by our sojourn in Cancerland, and now a much-belated adjustment to our move to an area that, quite frankly, none of us is thrilled to be in. When I'm tempted to scream, cry, and throw a tantrum (something I've struggled with as recently as this morning), I force myself to remember that my circumstances haven't surprised God, nor have they knocked him off of the throne. Put in the proper Biblical perspective, in comparison to what awaits me (an eternity of worshipping at the throne of grace), ANY of my life's trials are truly light and momentary(2 Cor 4:17). Hallelujah!
I can't control my circumstances, but I have been given the grace, through Christ, to control my behavior. This is where I look at the Word and see that while I am commanded again and again to fear God (respect his awesome person and statutes), I am also commanded again and again to NOT BE AFRAID (anxious, overwhelmed by emotion). Philippians 4:6 commands, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
The choice is clear. To succumb to anxiety for the future is to blatantly disobey God, to not cultivate that reverent fear for who He is. Praying is an outpouring of my desire to love and obey Him. Working, is the physical activity that calms my disobedient flesh and enables me to pray
-- Hi Meredith! (grin) I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, really. Thanks for checking in on me. We're really quite overdue for a visit, aren't we?
--The Story Corps interview rocked. The little Airstream trailer that it is housed in is soooo cute, and I think Jenna, our facilitator, and her partner were endlessly amused by our hard-core NPR-junkie-ness and our overt covetousness of their cool jobs. I'd apply if it didn't require moving to Brooklyn and traveling ten months out of the year.
Jenna did a great job of introducing us to the process of the interview. She listened in and took notes, but never interrupted, although we gave her the freedom to jump in and ask questions or get clarification on something.
I think Sarah and I went through half a box of Kleenex during the interview. She, as the interviewer, chose to focus the interview on my experience with Sarcoma. While we never run out of things to talk about, it was a conversation I'll never forget. We got a copy of the CD to keep, a copy will also go on file in the Library of Congress.
About 1/200 stories are edited for Morning Edition, so I'm not holding my breath...but if we get chosen, I'll be sure to let everyone know. In the meantime, if you're dying of curiosity, let me know and I'll burn you a disk!
--Every time I've thought about blogging lately, I've only come up with really negative things to say. Acting on the Thumper principle (If you can't say sumpin' nice, don't say nothin' at all...) I've been taking a bit of time out to write and talk less, and listen more. Sorry for the slump, but I think we'll all benefit from it.
--Perhaps in violation of the above statement, I recently attempted a session of a "Bible Study" by a very popular video teacher/women's speaker. The women in attendance were so excited and enthusiastic that I couldn't understand why I was left feeling so cold by the whole thing.
Later, it came to me. I told dh..."It's kind of like me coming to you and telling you I'm hungry. In return, you take me into a room and tell me, 'Here, have all the cotton candy you can eat!'." It just seemed heavy on the feelings and opinions and light on actually Scriptural content. Needless to say, I'm still looking for the Bible Study God would have for me. Maybe I should drive the 45 minutes through morning rush hour to the nearest CBS....
--Finally, this doozy.
"Do you work?"
This question came to me from a man with a thick accent who was refilling my diet Coke at Chic-fil-A. My mind flashed through my day...kids off to school, sorting through all of my little guy's clothes (packing away too small things and pulling out correctly sized hand me downs), running to the bank, the cleaners, the grocery store, doing some cooking ahead, attending a teacher conference, making the gymnastics run, taking one child to soccer, then driving soccer carpool for the other (at a field 40 minutes away), dealing with a potty accident en route and finally feeding the youngest (albeit fast food) while waiting to drive the return carpool.
"No", I replied with a smile, "I don't work. I stay home with my four children".
"Well, then good for you. You don't have to deal with drama." He jerked his head backward, indicating the chattering teens behind him.
I couldn't help it. I laughed loud and hard. There was no good comeback.
"Thanks for the refill", I told him, " I hope your evening gets better".
I know my had.