I’m kind of a slow learner, but I’m finally at an age where I’m starting to clue in that there is always something hard to walk through, joy that accompanies pain, annoying things to deal with and details to manage among the mundane of life. I think I was hoping that at some point, I’d check enough boxes off of my list that some sort of euphoria would occur if I could get ahead of the check marks and rate that new things were added to the list.
This week we had a new thing added to the story He’s called me to write as we walk this journey called life. A few weeks ago I had a biopsy done on a spot on my nose and instead of the normal pre-cancerous result I expected, this one came back as cancer. It’s not that it wasn’t expected based on my skin type and history, but I wasn’t really expecting it to be now. My parents have walked this road already and for the past 5+ years, I’ve gone to the doctor on a regular basis to have pre-cancerous spots burned (or is it frozen off?). I’ve known this result could come up at some point, but I was thinking I’d be a bit older.
Here’s the thing, I don’t write this to inform you of the facts of our life, nor for the pity–definitely not that. I share this part of our story with you because I believe that God has given each one of us a story to tell and when we choose to live life as an open book in the good, the bad and the ugly–He gets the glory. I think it’s a shame when people live life without seeing the story He’s writing through their life and sharing it. If you can’t write it, tell it, photograph it, paint it, somehow share it!
When people learn that I have skin cancer, they are worried. But I’m here to tell you…don’t be. I have basal cell skin cancer, not melanoma, and the surgery I will have to remove it is a pain time-wise, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. Yes, it’s the “C” word, but in perspective of the things it could be, this is minimal. Of course, I’ve had a few fleeting thoughts about what if it’s more than that, but in real honesty, I’m not panicked. Even if it is more than what it seems, I have absolute confidence that God is aware and He’s got my back on that too.
You see, I few years ago, we were under so much stress that my hormones began to freak out and cause all kinds of crazy symptoms. Add on to that, we were traveling in and out of another country at the time so my fears of something tragic happening while I was in another country only made things worse. I lived every day bogged down by paralyzing fears that these symptoms were more than we thought. I had such terrible tingling all up and down my body that I would cry before bed every night, telling my husband my last wishes and what I wanted for our children when I was not around to raise them. I was completely freaked out at the thought of my family not being able to survive without me should I die.
It was during that time that God gently spoke to me over and over again (remember, I’m a slow learner) about those fears and asking me if I truly trusted Him. It was then that I had to come to terms with the reality that I was not the “one and only”–He was and still is. He had to teach me that although I can put my finger on a million ways my family would be lost without me, they would survive without me because He would take care of them.
Back to today, hearing the words, “You have skin cancer” wasn’t exactly in my plan at this point, but I have no fear of what that means for my future because I have a God on my side who is already in that future. I am a firm believer that if God intends for something to be a part of my story, there is nothing I can do to avoid it. It will find me even if I shut myself behind closed doors and hide. Even if tragedy awaits me, I have a choice on how I will live out this day and how I will bring Him glory in the good story and the bad one.
In the meantime, while I await my surgery date, I choose not to waste my time on fear, but instead on relishing in the joy of these moments He’s given me to live today–no matter how many days are left because in reality, I could get in a wreck on a foggy morning drive to take my boys to school tomorrow. I could trip and fall down my stairs and break my neck. I could…I could…I could…all before I ever even get to that surgery date. Do you see my point? I hear person after person living their life controlled by fear of what could happen.
Friend, He’s got this. He’s got you. He’s got your children. He’s got your husband, your parents, your job, your whatever it is that trips you up from enjoying life right now to the fullest. You’ve only got one life to live. Why live it in such a way that you’re experiencing the stripped down version instead of the loaded one you are intended live?