Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Just show up.

The things I'm learning as I go

First, let me start here by saying that traditionally I am not great at walking with people through difficult times. I am a very internal processor.  I think I have learned, somewhat, how to listen, how to just be present and when to hold my tongue (definitely a work in progress).  But I'm not the strongest "jump into action" person. I'm much more likely to feel the pain of someone I love going through the fire, but not act.  

One thing I think I'll take away from this experience of walking through cancer with Alex is: just show up.  If you know the person who is in the midst of the hard pretty well, just show up.  Hard things, as it turns out, can be very isolating.  People don't want to intrude (myself included), they don't know how the individual is handling things, they don't want to be a bother. But sometimes in the middle of hard days you just need company, a kind word and to know someone cares.

{This is mostly a note to my future self who will probably still struggle with this}.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Whistling in the dark

Hey.  How's it going in your neck of the woods? I'm just over here whistling in the dark. Trying to remain brave in the midst of unknowns.  
(Of course I'm most immediately referring to not knowing the status of where Alex's cancer is at.  Is it completely gone? Will the PET scan reveal good news or bad?)
But as I've been sitting in this space for a few weeks now, I'm realizing just how much this feels like a theme of life.  This moment feels particularly heavy and fraught with unknowns, but isn't that just how life is?  I'm concluding that this is the human condition. And it kinda stinks.

That said, while I definitely feel keenly this moment of limbo, I also feel keenly that God sits with me.  He's not leaving me in the dark, it's not a punishment or exile or's just that I can't see the future.  I can't see what the outcome of the PET scan a week from now will be, I can't see the outcome of pretty much anything!  I am working with now.  The present.  And an assurance that absolutely NOTHING can separate me from God's presence. He's with me now, he'll be there tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, no matter what path I find my feet on or what circumstance is swirling.

"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."      Romans 8:31-39   (the message)