“Mommy?” she asked as she skipped along beside me in the parking lot, “Will you get a small cart?”
I smiled, knowing why she was asking. We had dropped our Bear off at baseball practice and were grabbing a few items at the store. I nodded, “Yes, just a small cart.”
“May I push it?” she asked, clasping her hands to her chest and looking up at me hopefully. Those brown eyes slay me!
I smiled again, and nodded, “Sure, baby girl, just be careful.”
“Yahooo!” she exclaimed throwing her arms up in the air. She grabbed my hand and continued skipping into the store.
Oh, to have the sheer delight of this girl… to have the small things in life like getting to push the cart fill me with excitement… to not take the little things for granted.
She grabbed a cart and we began rolling through the produce section. I lay my hand on the edge of the cart helping her steer. She bore with my control patiently for a few minutes, then quietly called my name. “Mommy?”
“Yes, baby girl?”
“Will you take your hand off the cart and let me do it myself?”
I hesitated and then grinned again, slowly pulling my hand back, “Okay, Bella-Boo. Just be careful.”
She stopped the cart and peeked over the bars at me with a twinkle in her eye, “Mommy, will you trust me?” No sass. Just wondering.
I caught my breath as I traveled forward eight years (is it only eight more years?!) to when we’ll hand her car keys and she’ll say to this control freak mom, “Will you trust me?”
The truth is, I probably won’t trust her every time she wants me to.
But the deeper truth is that I must trust that God has her in His hands.
That God has all of us in His hands.
It doesn’t come easily for me at all.
After my day today–I spent an hour at the hospital while they did an ultrasound of my neck, then they called me just as I had pulled into the driveway home to have me come back because they needed to see more. Another hour later as I lay quietly on the table and listened to the techs whisper and saw them point at the screen, my mind and body felt battered and bruised, and I still cannot shake the headache from the procedure. All the what ifs came crashing back. This could be an end… this could be a beginning… this could remain a holding pattern. Hurry up… and wait.
But what if?
What if all these plans Bri and I are making to vacation with our kids, our beach week, our RV trips… what if they never happen because this is bad? This could be very bad.
I’m tired of wondering. There’s no way to really describe what it’s like having this headline of cancer in my life. The headline will never go away, it will just move to different pages in my life’s newspaper.
At a relay for life, I heard a seven year survivor speak and she said, “I have been cancer free for seven years,” and the crowd roared. But then she said, “And there’s never been a day I haven’t thought about cancer since my diagnosis.” And the quiet “yeses” were more deafening than the roar before.
This is what it’s like.
The darkness sits right over my shoulder, it’s creeping tendrils always ready to sneak its way into my mind, my heart, my life. It’s a daily battle, sometimes hourly, sometimes minute by minute. And the fight is exhausting.
I lay on that table and when the tears sprang to my eyes and the what ifs rumbled, my heart sprang to prayer, because without prayer I wouldn’t have life. Because I know Who holds tomorrow. I don’t have to live in fear. Battle it, yes, but I don’t have to LIVE in it. I know Who has numbered my days. And because I know Who He is, my theology shapes my experience. It CANNOT be the other way around.
I watched my Bella girl as we walked through the store. Her eyes sparkled with joy and she was so content pushing her cart. Not one crash, not one bump, and when she put the cart away after we were done and carried bags to the car with me, she skipped again. “Thanks, Mommy. That was amazing.”
“Every day is important for us because it is a day ordained by God.” (~Jerry Bridges)
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