Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.
It began with a phone call.
“Can you come in at 12:45 to see the doctor? He would like to discuss your biopsy results.”
I knew, but I didn’t want to know.
The look in his eyes while he told us was chilling, me sitting on the edge of the large wingback chairs in his office, clinging to Brian’s hand with a ferocity I didn’t know I had.
The tender smile. The encouragement. The card he handed us with his phone number telling us to call him anytime, day or night. The numbness that crept in. Breast cancer.
Really? I’m too young for this. This has to be a mistake.
“Well, perhaps you’ll find some small encouragement in this? If you have to have chemo, at least you’re a fox and will look great bald.”
It did not encourage me. I didn’t tell him. I smiled and even laughed a bit through building tears, knowing that nothing would make me feel okay about being bald.
I stood in the parking lot in Brian’s arms. I, who hate to have all eyes on me, sobbed and made a scene and didn’t care who saw.
We called my mom who was watching our children, my dad at work, Bri’s parents, our closest friends.
It was the day we drove to the surgeon’s and heard diagnoses and future steps explained, but I didn’t really hear any of it. We made appointments that would change my life and mar my body in ways that would leave marks of brutality for me to see every day for the rest of my life and wonder if my heart would ever heal, if I would ever feel beautiful again.
We walked out that door and saw Joe, our dear friend and pastor, sitting on our car. He came to us in our need, not caring about what mattered to him that day, because we were what mattered. Then the people next to us couldn’t get their car started, and Bri and Joe helped them, Bri worked on their car and Joe helped them determine what to do next. It was a gift from God pulling us out of ourselves to see others even in our pain.
We came home and looked at our 1, 3 and 5 year old children and wondered why this for them? How would we do this? How would we care for such small ones? How would they survive? WOULD we survive?
It was the day we tried to shield them from a topsy-turvy world knowing it would all eventually crash in on them. The day of nausea and horror and fear that washed over in waves indescribable.
There was the quiet of the house, then the busyness of the house as friends made their way to be by our sides. The box of Kleenex I went through in one day.
The sleepless night. The questions. The fear, yet the peace. I slept with my Bible that night, the first of many. It was the day of nightmares. The day of questions and confusion. The day this part of our journey began.
A phone call began it.
But worship ended it, as I sang truth with my husband that night before bed.
It was the day I learned not to take anything for granted and to live every moment.
August 10th is the day I will never forget.
But as crazy as it seems…
August 10th is a day for which I am truly grateful.
It is a bitter but sweet anniversary.
Has it really been six years since that day?
you have made my lot secure.