Hope in the Midst of Anger

HopeAlmost a month has passed since A Different Road to Suffering. My friend’s cancer has brought out the worst in me. Selfishness sprouts from its ugly seed in my heart.

“You’re getting in the pool this summer,” she stated in her don’t argue with me tone.

“I’m too fat for a swimsuit.”

“You can wear shorts and a shirt.”

I roll my eyes.

Now lounging by the pool has been exchanged for lounging on the couch as chemo and the sun are not a good combination. This isn’t how I thought our summer would be.

So today I’m angry for myself. And I’m angry for her.

Angry she can’t be by the pool she loves soaking up the sun. Angry she can’t taste the foods she has always enjoyed. Forget the avos, almond milk and other anti-cancer suggestions. Bring on the Dunkin’ Donuts because each calorie counts in this battle and she needs every one of them. I’m angry for a cancelled vacation to the beach and her daughter’s events that she cannot attend.

I’m angry because most of the time I don’t know what to say. Because a part of me still can’t believe it.

And if I feel this way how much more does she? Does her family? Does others that love her?

Before her chemo last Friday she, her family and I had a great time of laughing and carrying on.

“For a moment I forgot why we are here,” she said.

So in the midst of today’s anger…I hope.

I hope for many more moments like that.

A Different Road of Suffering

PainThere is a different road of suffering we will all travel. It doesn’t involve a cancer diagnosis, the loss of a spouse or child or whatever else may bring pain into another’s life. But yet it does. This diagnosis, loss or pain of a loved one in our lives causes us to also be on a road of suffering alongside them.

Noah Webster defines suffering as: The bearing of pain, inconvenience or loss; pain endured; distress, loss or injury incurred.

I don’t want to equate our suffering with the one going through the affliction. Our suffering isn’t the same when our bodies are still healthy and our families full.

But we bear the pain of their pain.

We cry and cry some more. As I started tearing up over lunch with my friend who has stage IV colon cancer she asked, “Why do people do that?” I quickly changed the subject because I would have only cried more trying to explain. But we cry because we don’t want to see our loved one going through this.

We want to do. I want to take meals, clean, be the chauffeur for trips to the hospital. “We don’t need those things right now.” And I resign myself.

We want to do because we don’t know what else to do.

We pray. I wish my friend’s cancer wasn’t what propelled me to spend more time in prayer but it was. I pray for her strength, peace, comfort that can only come from the Lord. And I pray for a miracle. That this chemo will drive it out onto the road of remission.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Fear in the Midst of Faith

Believe

I know you have been there. Whether it was a family member or friend, you received the news of a life-changing diagnosis. You prayed and pleaded, cried and begged to the God who can do the impossible. Yet your prayers went unanswered just as mine did. I’ve lost a high school friend to brain cancer, another friend to ovarian cancer and another friend’s two year old to leukemia. Many of you have also lost loved ones to this epidemic. I prayed and believed God for the impossible just as others were praying too but He had a different plan. Our faith in God to move mountains (cancer) didn’t move His hand that heals.

So maybe you can relate to my fear in the midst of my faith with yet another possible diagnosis for a dear friend and sister in Christ.

Dichotomy of Belief

There’s a place in the heart

where fear and faith

doubt and belief

wrestle between the two extremes.

Faith flows full

I know my God is able

yet fear lingers

and doubt surrounds

even in the believing.

So I kneel before you Lord

Just as another man once did

in weakness and truth he said

“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”

So, Lord, this too is my plea.