Eyebrows

This morning I looked in the mirror and immediately started weeping. My eyebrows are finally (almost) completely gone, and my eyelashes are following quickly in their furry friends’ footsteps. Then I cried harder when I tried to pencil some eyebrows in just like they had taught me at the Image Recovery Center, and instead of eyebrows, I had brown blotchy streaks above my eyes. It seems so shallow, I know, but one of the funny things that I clung to during my treatments was that I hadn’t lost my eyebrows like I thought I would. Seems the taxol and taxatere have had a gradual loss effect on my face. It was one more realization that this is all ugliness, this pain and this struggle.

I want to look at my face in the mirror and be thankful that I have a God that still brings me smiles in the midst of hardship. I want to look in the mirror and see dignity, courage, strength. I do not want to look in the mirror and be shallow. I want to look in the mirror and see Christ. It all comes back to the Gospel and the Cross.

Amy Carmichael once wrote:

There is only one place where we can receive not an answer to our question, but peace–that place is Calvary. An hour at the foot of the Cross steadies the soul as nothing else can. “O Christ, beloved, Thy Calvary stills all our questions.” Love that loves like that can be trusted about this.

He can be trusted. He is the only One Who is completely trustworthy in this life. Think of all He has done for His people, for this world. He gave up the beauty of Heaven to come down and live as a man. He experienced our sorrows, our joys. He never once failed to fulfill His promises. He lived a perfect life, that we might find perfect freedom. He suffered false accusations and willingly surrendered His life when He could have called down legions of angels to destroy the whole earth. No other god can do this. No one but Christ!

Yesterday was an amazing day for me. For the first time in four months, I was actually looking forward to chemo. My childhood friend, Monica, drove down from Maryland to be my chemo buddy. When I walked into the cancer center lobby and saw my dear friend, everyone in the room watched while we hugged and wept. Nothing like making a spectacle of ourselves, but then again, we were always good at that. I had not seen Monica in 10 years! Childhood friends for 19 years, then our lives went different paths, and we lost touch. But our gracious God brought Monica back into my life when she heard of my cancer, and those ten years of absence have only deepened our relationship.

The thing about it is, Monica has had her own tunnel, a very, very dark tunnel to travel through recently. I look at the life of my friend, and I am amazed at how God has sustained her and spared her very life. She endured far more pain than I can even begin to imagine, and yesterday as we talked about our recent hardships, Monica was always quick to point it back to the Cross. Jesus was real about who He is, why can’t we be real about who we are?

Jesus needed his friends in Gethsemane and they abandoned Him by falling asleep. He wept and begged His Father to be released from the path ahead, to the point of blood. Yet He was submissive to His Father’s design and He humbly and willingly gave up His life. He was real. A real man. A real God. And He still is… very real, and He longs for me to be real with Him. That gave me great freedom this morning when I looked in the mirror and wept. I could be real with my God and weep over something as shallow as eyebrows. And in that realness I found freedom. Freedom from guilt and sin. Freedom that I’ve always had in Christ, because He gave everything for me.

Truly, “love that loves like that” can be trusted with something as simple as eyebrows.

8 responses to “Eyebrows”

  1. Angie,
    Glad you finished your last chemo session! Congrats. We are thinking about you and praying for you, friend. Your blogs are such an encouragement and never fail to point me to Christ and truth.
    Can’t wait to see you again.

    Love you,
    sarah

    Like

  2. Hey Ang,

    I think what makes your blog so special is that it IS real. Not only do you record the events of your “new normal” life”, both the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, but you also write about your life from the perspective of your heart. I read each entry and can almost hear your heart crying out…and through each entry, we, the readers and God himself, are able to share in your pains and also, joys. And then, lift yours and our own prayers up to our perfect and awesome Savior.

    Last night, I was looking at the Bibles at Barnes and Noble. A pink Bible caught my eye. Yep, you guessed it. It was the “Praying For a Cure Bible” published by the Deanna Favre Foundation. I was a little skeptical and confused about how the publishers had made this Bible befitting to its name. Maybe there were little boxes containing life applications that would be relevant to those fighting cancer? But I flipped through the pages, and this wasn’t so. Then I turned to read the back cover, and this is what Deanna Favre wrote:

    “The book you are holding in your hands is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against breast cancer. There is no greater source of encouragement, comfort, and hope than God’s Word.”

    What more can be said but,

    Amen, sister! Amen.

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  3. B. A. Schlegel (Kristin Mullenix's aunt) Avatar
    B. A. Schlegel (Kristin Mullenix’s aunt)

    I understand, Angie. You are beautiful.

    Aunt BA

    Like

  4. Angie,
    I too lost my eyebrows & eyelashes the last thing. DO NOT DESPAIR. Mine came back very quickly after the last treatment. It only took about 2 weeks. That was the time I thought I really looked “sick”.
    Ellen

    Like

  5. Hi Angie. I’m so glad that the Lord is ministering to you through Amy’s words. I pray that He will continue to uphold you with His unfailing Love. My little Jacob has a wonderful children’s Bible called “The Jesus Storybook Bible”. The author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, often refers to God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love”. May you bask in this love today!

    Love, Julie

    PS I loved the “100 Things” post. I’m sooo glad that there is another person on this earth who could live in Southern Living and reads cookbooks cover to cover! 🙂

    Like

  6. I’m so glad that you and Monica reconnected after all these years! Tell her I said “Hello!”

    John

    Like

  7. Melissa (Bruining) Teeter Avatar
    Melissa (Bruining) Teeter

    Angie,

    You’re still Miss America!!!

    You’ll have brows and lashes again soon. It’s so exciting when they grow back. . . it’s all new again!!

    Love ya,
    Melissa

    Like

  8. Angie,

    You are a beautiful woman! I couldn’t help thinking of Anne of Green Gables when I read this. You are beautiful with our without your eyebrows just as Anne was beautiful with red hair. Even though penciled eyebrows didn’t work as you had hoped neither did Anne get beautiful raven hair – quite the contrary, green. That may not be a great analogy, but if nothing else you can laugh at my random thought process. God Bless, Becky

    Like

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