Say go through the darkest of days
Heaven’s a heartbreak away
Never let you go, never let me down
Oh it’s been a hell of a ride
Driving the edge of a knife
Never let you go, never let me down …
Let Me Love You – DJ Snake & Justin Bieber
It’s been one Hell of a ride. I can barely glance over my shoulder at the dust in the wake of my life blown to bits behind me, so I swing my head back around to look straight over my horse’s ears before I crash again. I can feel him – my mighty steed – gather speed and strength to take the jump before us. I move into position a split second before he leaps, balanced in my stirrups, my body centered over his neck as I lean forward in anticipation of another obstacle. Weightless and unencumbered, he has the freedom he needs to sail over the jump. His powerful hind legs spring us forward, forelegs tucked, our heads down. I am so blessed to be soaring in the air with this magnificent animal. It’s pure heaven just a few meters above the ground. We land safely on the other side. He shivers and snorts his pleasure at the perfect jump, but we must make a sharp right turn to prepare for the next double hurdle. I gather the reins in one swift motion and flick my one healthy ankle to steer him. I’m exhilarated to be back in the saddle, untethered for a moment of bliss.
But this year isn’t done with me yet.
A mother’s warning … The black crow’s call … Top of my game so I wasn’t looking for trouble but it found me … Life … Stress … Seeking God … Keep going … Wanting love … Finding cancer … Needles and biopsies … Diagnosis … and the Pink Dot Detour began … Surgery … Chemo x3 … A glass vase full of hospital bracelets … Physical loss … Heather … the Andrew Diaries … Car crash … Ctrl X on whole chunks of me and my life … Drunken crawls and brawls … Finding my stride only to break my leg … Legal advice … Single parenthood … Standing alone … Radiation … Not doing laundry for a month … Bedridden … 2nd-degree burns … Comatose … Chemo Brain … Losing sight of Him … Debit and credit … A bottle of wine at the wall … Blood-stained cough … Forgetting to check banking … Almost losing our home over a stupid mistake … Pushed to the edge … And on to my knees I sank. Broken.
Why? Why did He have to strip away everything? Layer by layer. Am I more stubborn than most? I fought for control until the end. My naked soul is all that is left. I’ve been stripped bare of everything else.
First, I cried and raged. I dared Him to take me. Begged. And walked into the darkness. A faint memory of a baby bird stirred in my mind. I remembered asking God for proof and He gave it to me His Eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me. . And I made Him a promise that I wouldn’t question my faith.
Isaiah 48:10 “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
But I did question the depth of His. Fear still rolled up my throat like a burning tidal wave. Sheer panic. I buried myself in theology, philosophy and google in a desperate search for answers no one has. Something I could grasp in my hands and relate to.
He reminded me.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I leaned back in to my faith and readjusted my sails to follow His compass once again. I wrote an easy daily reminder to follow. My muddled gray matter has been steeped in toxins (chemo), liquid fear (cortisol), liquid courage (alcohol) and numbed.
My Daily Commitment to God: Lean into FAITH in God and BELIEVE for His FAITHFULNESS
My Daily Commitment to Matt: CHERISH him
My Daily Commitment to Me: DISCIPLINE myself
My Daily Commitment to Animals: CARE for all
My Daily Commitment to my Tasks: ORDERLINESS and CLEANLINESS
My Daily Commitment to my Community: GRACE
I picked myself and my laundry up off the floor. And continued my google search for my mono-theist God, his philosophers, the meaning of life and the cure for cancer.
I wondered if we are in Purgatory, caught between Heaven and Hell.
James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
I reread the Ten Commandments.
I closed my eyes to the seven deadly sins and renewed my desire to instead chase the virtues.
I struggled through foreign concepts of submission and obedience (don’t laugh).
I had nightmares that the summoned Beast had arrived. And crazy dreams of being on a space station to prep for big journey. I wandered among the growing plants and tended to their animals. We were getting ready for an epic journey into the stars. I woke up that morning to NASA’s announcement of the Kepler 90 system 111 light years away …
The event horizon was my breaking point.
I searched and queried for God’s will, reading article after article, pouring through blog after blog, watching video after video, only to frustratingly come back around to the beginning. I continued to sift through the contradictions to find my own truth. The Bible’s words on women, sex, food and dogs confuses me. Again, I asked for clarification and like each petal pulled from a rose, I found my answers.
He and I are still debating The (other) Blog and how far I can go, but I do believe that we were given our bodies to celebrate and cherish with our physical selves with our partner.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
I lifted my eyes to my favourite mentors and found new ones, as if they were placed before me just when I needed to read their story. I quieted … comforted and soothed like a hiccuping child … as I read page after page of miracles.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Like the wild horse, I was finally broken enough to give up and give in. I handed Him the reins. Thy will be done. I don’t know what or why but I have a reason. We all do.
My life is His. I have to trust Him.
Yesterday, I walked out of the Durham Regional Cancer Centre for the last time. My final checkup this year. This book is finished.
With the aggressive treatment plan, I went from a 40% chance of dying in two years to a 5% recurrence rate in my breast. The greater risk is that the Triple Negative Breast Cancer has metastasized to my lungs, liver, bones or brain. There is nothing further that can be done at this point.
And now we wait.
I turned – alone – and whispered goodbye and thank you to the centre, then hobbled out to the car in my cast through freezing rain and snow. I was still feeling unsettled and worried about all the new challenges December has dropped on my doorstep.
I slipped into my driver seat and allowed the floodgate of tears to fall as I started the car. True wails of anguish over all that I have faced this year and what’s still to come. I haven’t had a moment’s peace. Ignition lights on and the radio music kicks in …
Don’t you give up, nah-nah-nah
I won’t give up, nah-nah-nah
Let me love you
Let me love you
I bowed my head in thanks.
God does indeed work in mysterious ways. It is so easy to miss His words in our head as they mix with our own. Faith is a leap.
I walked the dogs this morning and stopped to listen to two crows cawwing at eachother. A good omen for my thoughts.
When I watched the actual video of Let Me Love You, I was rather shocked, but the lyrics ring true. He won’t give up, nor can I.
There is nothing left to fear.