I went for a hike today and was thinking over things with God and wanted to write some things down, probably mainly for my own sake...that is what this blog is for me. If I do not write things down they flit away and I miss what God is doing.
Today was the first time since the appointment with the specialist for possible breast cancer, that I have had time to start to process things. I have three wonderful distractions that are whirring around me at all times :) Honestly, since the "cancer scare", they have been a lot of what I have wanted to focus on. I feel like God taught me so much during the timeframe from when I found the lump until we got the official "all clear".
During the chaos and worry, many things were brewing but truthfully, I felt desperate and pretty numb, just really scared of what the verdict would be. Now that a few days have passed, the lessons that God was speaking below the surface are beginning to rise like an image on photopaper as it is developed. So today, I feel like I am seeing for the first time some of those major things in the picture and I am praying that God will be faithful to show me more detail as time goes by. Here are my thoughts so far (not in order of priority, just in the order that the blurt out of my brain):
* First, in wrestling with all of the things that people tell you not to worry about when waiting for a biopsy ( death, sickness, total life change etc)....I never once looked at my life and cared what kind of house I had, car I had or if I had nice clothes, if I had seen the world. It really took me by suprise in looking back that those things never even crossed my mind. It all becomes dust anyways. Which led me to question, why do I spend so much time on those things now?
* Secondly, the core thing that Keeps ringing through my mind and heart now is that I want more of God. I want to know Him as deeply as possible and I want to know what He has to say. I do not want to miss a single thing that He has. I can see how easily I get distracted by myself and the things that I want or deserve and honestly, those things are miniscule when it comes right down to it. I want to DO what He says to do because as I looked back over my life...that is where the richness remains, not in my comfort or in my image but in the times where I came face to face with God and His incredible, deep, compassionate character...and I hunger for more. It is in stillness that I find Him most deeply, I need to make that stillness a vital part of my life...more vital than anything else.
* Thirdly (and at some point I may not know how to label these!)...I am not sure how to put it all in to words but one word keeps flashing in my mind and it is RISK...Risk. Step out and say YES as soon as God nudges. I want to throw everything in to following His lead because it is what is vibrant and real and true in the end. The things that I learned about God when I risked everything are what I stood on when I thought I could lose it all. And it was solid and more than enough.
* Fourthly (is that a word???) Relationships are worth the inconvenience...they are like gold. ALL of them are priceless, even the really hard ones. Even the ones where it hurts like crazy. They are worth it and I do not in any way want to be the one who stopped trying. It is worth the effort at the end of the day to know that I loved with all my heart and ability those who God put in my path. That said, there are people in my life who will not allow me to be very close and it breaks my heart because it is not the way that I would like it to be. I realized that I regretted the ways that I held back to protect myself rather than love with open arms. I have a few relationships that may not heal this side of Heaven and part of the brokeness is my fault, because of my pride, my judgement or my vanity in years past. My job is to continue to try and to pray that God can heal.
* Fifthly (ok...now i'm really usure of the right wording!) Keep short accounts. I do not want to hold any grudges or be filled with unforgiveness. When it comes right down to it, it looks awfully petty and small in the end. I want to forgive and bless those who have hurt me, right away...no hanging on to milk the pain for a bit but taking it to God and forgiving right away. This goes the other way to. I want to ask forgiveness liberally, to check in, to ask forgiveness if something doesn't feel right. I would rather err on the side of too sensitive than on the side of too callus. Because again, in the end, it is the relationship that matters not who is right or who is wrong or if my pride is preserved.
* Sixthish (just because sixthly sounds so odd)...I want to trust God's lead. Looking back, He has never been wrong. He promises that His sheep know His voice and I want to claim that I do. I have also learned that being obedient to His voice does not mean that everything turns out roses right away...sometimes it feels like a bomb has gone off and shattered everything. But, in looking back, I realized that even when times looked the darkest...He was up to something and when I was obedient, He came through. Seeds that were "planted" years ago on the hardest, craziest ground I thought possible have come to fruition. I am learning that through God ALL things are possible...and I do not want to miss even the tiniest or craziest things that He wants to do.
* Seventhly....God has given us such a huge gift...He has given us His word. I have read so many times that the Bible is God's love letter to the world. I have read it and studied it a bunch in Seminary...but I want it to saturate my soul. I want to know the nooks and crannies, the turns of phrase. I want to know it and DO it!!!!! Meaning looking at the hard stuff...orphans and widows, loving the least of these, figuring out what it means to serve the poor, figuring out what forgiveness is...getting past myself and doing what really matters...ALL of it, regardless of the cost.
Phew...I am sure that I have left some out. After all that we went through, the things that remain are God, His Word, Relationships and Obedience....all else falls away. His love is unbelievably deep, His compassion is beyond my comprehension and He calls us to things because He loves us and wants to show us more of Himself. Even if you do not believe in Him right now....His love and what He says is worth checking out....
So these are my thoughts, after the storm, this rainy Thursday evening.