Saturday, June 7, 2014

What I thought I knew

Everything that I thought I knew about life, pain, faith, and fear has been ripped from my fragile hands this week.

My son has cancer.  

This is something I never thought I would have to say.  So many times I have pictured the future for my children, and when I did, it wasn't necessarily always sunshine and roses.  I have pictured the possibility of a teenage child needing a double lung transplant.  I have pictured their first heartbreaks and the emotions it will stir up in them.  I have pictured my children in car accidents.  I have pictured them wrestling with their faith, or worse yet, not finding it.  I have pictured them failing at sports, being bullied or teased, trying drugs, losing friendships...  I HAVE PICTURED THEIR FAILURES.

But then, I have pictured them at their high school and college graduations.  I have pictured them getting engaged.  I have pictured picking out an engagement ring with Logan for his bride.  I have pictured watching Genevieve try on wedding dresses and the look she will have on her face when she finds the right one.  I have pictured them pursuing careers.  I have pictured them changing the world.   I have pictured them travelling to new countries.  I have pictured them with spouses, children, and friends too numerous to count...  I HAVE PICTURED THEIR TRIUMPHS.

What I never could have pictured, was cancer.  Not for me.  Not for MY kids.  For some reason, when I picture cancer, it has always been on an adult... certainly not on MY family... and DEFINITELY not on my child who already struggles to live a normal life.  When I picture cancer, I picture someone who had already had some time to live life.  Someone who smoked, maybe...

Cancer.  The "C" word.  There are an awful lot of "c" words running through my brain this week.  Cancer.  Chemotherapy.  Cruel.  Cystic Fibrosis. Immuno-Compromised.  Courage.  Compassion.  Christ.  Can't...

I thought I knew (at least within reason) what to expect from my life.  I was wrong.

I thought I knew what pain meant.  I was wrong.

I thought I new where I stood with my faith.  I thought it had been challenged.  I was wrong. 

I thought I had experienced fear.  I was wrong. 


I thought I had learned to love to my full extent.  I was wrong about that too.

I thought I knew what it was to respect my husband.  I was wrong about that too.  He has blown me away this week with his strength and bravery.

I thought I had encountered real grace.  I was wrong about that too.  Until you are in the midst of your deepest storm, you will never understand true, unfailing grace. 

I thought I had felt loved by God's people.  I was wrong about that too.  I cannot even describe the outpouring of love and support that you have given our family this week.  I am consistently in tears, but it's not always because of the pain.  Often it's because I'm SO amazed and touched by you and your actions. 

I am so, so grateful to you.  You who have prayed.  You who have cried.  You who have written words of support.  You who have showered us with love from near and far. 

NOW I KNOW:  We can NEVER know our future.  But what we can know is that God is always good and that love cannot be killed.  Not even by cancer.