Lent is coming, a month away still but I was asked to contribute a devotional to my church for our Lenten devotional guide. The question asked was ‘What is God doing in your life right now?’ I almost backed out of writing it as my situation right now is so extreme but in the end decided that even if one other person needed to hear ‘I’m not sure’ with honesty it would be worth feeling exposed.
I expressed my doubts to a friend and she in her wisdom answered ‘Highlight reels are for facebook, not for building faith.’
So just in case you need to hear ‘I’m not sure what all this is about and that’s okay’ here it is:
This fall I had an emergency appendectomy that looked textbook heading into surgery. Upon waking up I learned they had found an appendiceal tumor and also some growth on my ovary. Over the next months I was diagnosed, at age of 37, with a rare type of cancer that originates in the appendix.
With literally a one in a million situation occurring in my life, it has been hard to understand what good God intends to come from this. I have felt scared, for my kids, my husband, myself. I have felt angry. I have yelled at God and have cried many times. I think often about the woman who had the faith to reach out and touch Jesus’ cloak for healing and I ask daily for her faith, her certainty in Jesus’ goodness and mercy. Truthfully most days I’m more like an overtired toddler having a breakdown, clinging to Jesus’ leg while he hauls me around. It’s okay I know he doesn’t mind.
It feels vulnerable as a lifelong believer, to admit here, that other than feeling broken down and pushed to my limit, I’m not sure how God is using this. This too is okay; God is big enough for my uncertainty. I know that being broken down can lead to greater trust, greater faith, more reliance on God and I try to lean into those promises.
One thing I can say with certainty is I have always felt God’s presence holding me – through every test, all the waiting, the surgeries. Even though I’m not sure where this is headed, I can sometimes see this is all that matters: God is with me, God loves me, and God is good.