I am angry.
I am hurt. I am sad.
I am so frustrated right now.
I haven't lost my faith. I still believe, and I know - in my heart - that HE is so fully in control of all of this, and that it is not my duty to know the answers.
That is incredibly hard to know in my mind.
We went to see my dad this weekend. I had to. It is nearly all I can think about. We had to uninvite our Saturday afternoon/evening guests in order to go to the VA. I am endlessly grateful that our dear friends understand my need to see him over my desire to have some child-free time with them in our home. This is consuming me. I want to weep. I want to take my sons into my arms and make promises to them that Papa is going to be fine. Because maybe if I can convince them I can convince myself.
I saw the lump on his chest. People, it is huge. The size of a golf ball. Sticking OUT of his chest. That is only one spot with the cancer. There are at least 2 others. He has a PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) on Wednesday. This test will give the doctors a complete picture of my dad's condition and allow them to make a better diagnosis to come up with a plan of action. As of right now? There isn't one.
I'm crumbling folks. I've got my game face on. I'm rolling with the punches. But I am having a hard time turning to prayer. Right now, that is what I need the most, and it is the one thing I am having the hardest time doing.
I am so tired of hearing about biopsies, and radiation, and surgery, and we're only on day 3 of this round. HOW am I going to get through this. And that brings me to my next frustration--I know that this has absolutely NOTHING to do with me. Nothing. Not in the least. How selfish of me to be focused on how I feel. I'm angry at myself for being selfish.
Why is it so so SO much harder this time? Why is this news so devestating to me? Is it fear? Is it instinct? I have for awhile felt so good about trusting in God's ability to control the things that only God can control. So why can't I do it this time? Why can't I just trust that this isn't surprising to Him?
Because I'm selfish. I want dad to stay here. Healthy. I want the kids to have their Papa. I want my husband to continue to grow closer to him. The dynamic of our relationship with him has changed. And it has been intimidating to some degree since we are unable to have a typical conversation--instead we have to decipher his handwriting (no easy feat I tell you!) But B has done it, and it's working. In fact I think he is better at reading my dad's hand gestures than I am. They just click. And I want that to continue. I want him to come to our home on Christmas Day.
I want my dad here. Alive. Healthy.
So that brings me back--WHY oh WHY can't I do the one thing that I know will help? Why can I do it for others? What happened? It was like a switch flipped overnight. I went from trusting, and completely turning my life to Him one day to being so hurt and disappointed that I can't bring myself to do it the next.
Not that I have lost faith mind you--because I haven't. I know absolutely w/o question that He is all knowing, and has not made a mistake. I know that should the cancer not be treatable--my dad will live on with our Father. And that is good. So good.
I also know that if the cancer can be removed, and treated, that there is a reason for that too. Again, I KNOW this.
But I'm having a hard time praying for the peace to accept it. I'm having a hard time accepting that MY dad is the one to carry this burden. That he is once again sitting in a hospital hooked to a feeding tube while cancer wreaks havoc in his body.
I'm not dealing with this well. I'm just not.
It's too close to home. It's too personal. It isn't someone else's dad this time. It isn't just someone I know. This is someone I love. Someone I admire. Why does he have to go through this?
I'm not dealing with this well.
***I wrote this before I went to church this am. I woke up with an insatiable desire to write. So write I did. But then I went to church. And listened to the sermon. And umm, can I just say that I heard Him talk to me? Just me, as if I was the only person in the sanctuary. Pastor Vern put on an impressive sermon as though he was Zacariah (John the Baptist's father). I considered spelling out what happened in the sermon...because frankly I was glued. But then I realized that would lose some of the impact that I had. The actual words he said, and costume he wore wouldn't impress upon you the epiphany like moment that I had.
Instead, I will relay it to you in another way. Say you are talking to your kids about where you'll take them on vacation. It's 30 below outside, and you've booked a vaca in Hawaii right? Stay with me. You ask your kids if they wish it were warmer. They giggle and shout yes, and discussions begin about the temperature, and days of summer and swimming. Then you say "If you could go to either Alaska or Hawaii...which would it be?" Well, of course they scream together HAWAII!! Right? Because you've already hyped up how great it would be to be in a warmer climate. And then you talk about how relaxing it would be to not have homework, or housework, or any work at all. Now their mouths are practically watering to go somewhere warm. And then you lay it on them....We're going to Hawaii!!! Imagine this. They've been hungering for it, they started envisioning it, and then it became true!!! They're thrilled! In tears! Disbelief and amazement!
That is how I felt listening to the pastor this morning. I wanted to trust, I wanted to have faith, I wanted to believe that what happened to Zacariah was much like what is happening to my family. And then the clincher was at the end when he asked us if there was ever a time that we had a plan, and then it changed? Just because it is our plan doesn't mean it is God's plan.
Sound familiar? Yea, I've said it before. I've believed it before. But for some reason it wasn't working this time around. But now? Now it clicked. I'm on board. I prayed for myself. I cried, and I thanked our Savior for speaking to me today. I am grateful for ministry and for the little things. Thank you to Pastor Vern for unknowingly striking a cord with me.
I'm still upset, and I know I need to just have my breakdown. But at least now, I can pray. I'm trusting a little more now.
It feels good.