On Tuesday my new friend Tonya offered to take Charis (my 6, almost 7 year old) for the afternoon. (Tonya’s mom had breast cancer when she was 11 and is a 20 year survivor!) Our daughters are in the same class. When I told Charis she was beside herself in anticipation. That’s one thing I love about Charis….she loves life. She loves to have fun and be with friends:) All morning she was asking “is it time?” Finally…when it was actually time…she asked if she could wait outside. I watched from the window as my daughter waited by the road for her friend. This adorable little girl just watching and waiting with anticipation. I could tell when their van came around the corner because she started to get this big smile on her face and she started to bob up and down. Of course when she was sure it was them she was fully jumping up and down. We live on a cul-de-sac….so as Tonya rounded the corner we laughed and waived at each other knowingly.
Romans 8:18-25 says something like this (This is a totally condensed Jen’s version). “What we suffer now will show very dimly compared to the crazy cool stuff God has in store for us. It’s as though we’re standing on tiptoes waiting and watching to see unforgettable amazing things….as children of God are brought to completeness and wholeness. Although creation is unfinished, like pregnancy in process, it carries with it a certain hope….which is so amazing. Here it is: We will most certainly be rescued from the pain of our limitations and incompleteness and will be given our share in a freedom that can only belong to the children of God. Right now, creation is groaning as in the pangs of childbirth….and even those who have a taste of the spirit will experience those groans. We stand waiting (like a little girl by the side of the road) trying to peer into the future with our limited scope, unable to see what our destiny might be, yet believing because of the hope we carry in the core of our being.”
If only I could see what tomorrow holds. If only I could answer all the maybes that are circling in my head day and night. Someone put a scary word in my head (cancer) and I get caught up in it. Even those that “taste the spirit” forget that there is so much hope, so much we are waiting for and we hunker down in our fear. We become inward focused.
I’ve been reading a great book called Traveling Mercies by Anne LaMott. Here is what she says about grief….
“Grief, as I read somewhere once, is a lazy Susan. One day it is heavy and underwater, and the next day it spins and stops at loud and rueful, and the next day at wounded keening, and the next day numbness, silence.
I’m grieving a loss of innocence in my life right now. Caught off guard by the unexpected. Learning what its like to be sick. Learning what it’s like to truly need people…that I can’t do it all by myself. Learning that I can truly depend on some. Learning that I will truly one day be rescued from the limitations of breast cancer.
Despite the grieving, I stand watching and waiting in anticipation for the amazing things God has in store. Even in the little pieces of joy throughout the day….a kiss from Elijah, a hug from Meleah, cooking dinner because I feel well enough to do so…..they all bring me joy and remind me that this pain is temporary, I’m in process and God’s provisions are eternal.