So, yeah. Brain Tumor.
My husband is so much braver than I.
But good grief – who can unsee this?
Several weeks back, I was asked to speak at one of my favorite camp and conference centers. I agreed…with the thought…I should speak about who God is and how much I’ve learned to put my faith – or, trust – in Him. And I took my last year’s worth of “experience” in trusting and started putting it on paper…and though nothing seemed particularly God-inspired, it certainly made my spiritual life look nice and pretty and wrapped up in a bow. Because I had walked on some rough waters for a little while. And now I was just working up the courage to take a few steps again in faith.
Then four weeks away from speaking on something I thought I knew so much about…my husband is listed as a surgery “candidate” (ie, not guaranteed yet!)….for a brain operation on his brain stem. Where, if this thing is in fact operable, he’ll need not one, but two neurosurgeons.
My wave came. And it was big.
I learned really fast where my faith was. It was a lot of places.
Doctors (who now are literally going to hold the regulation capabilities for his breathing and heart beats in their fingertips….I think I’d rather have robots, honestly),
Insurance Companies (We just finished paying off our last year’s massive deductible with Kyle’s last hospital bill the day before we found out about this tumor. Our insurance covers 100% of expenses between now and 11/1st. The surgery is booked for 11/8th. Lovely. If we hadn’t paid that massive deductible 5 of the last 7 years, I guess I wouldn’t mind *as* much. But really? Now we have to come up with that massive amount again *and* plan for 4-12 weeks out of work….without short term disability….)
Normal (Haven’t we had enough rare crazy medical issues in our lives already? Copperhead bites, Surfactant-less lungs in a newborn, a baby with Trisomy 18 or maybe 13….Surely, we’re done for awhile.)
Statistics (The doctor said when he went in for the MRI six weeks ago, “I’ve been in practice for 10 years and I’ve never seen a tumor with these symptoms….don’t worry. This isn’t a tumor. We just have to rule it out first for your insurance.)
Oh I was trusting alright. But it was in some circumstances, some people, some insurance coverage plans…. And not in the God who has been right in front of me my entire life over and over again. And was now. But I sunk anyway…because I was looking at the wave and the massive ocean. That ocean can seem so ugly and deep and black and never ending at times.
I was thinking of the crisis. And not Christ.
Those life rafts, while they existed, weren’t at all reliable. And when those preservers were taken away from me, I was shaken – to the core. Like more so than with my son. Way more so.
And all of a sudden…I realized – how on earth can I stand up and talk to 80 women about faith and fear and promises of God – when, right now, I’m sinking. Deep. My faith is weaker than ever and my fear is greater than ever and the promises of God don’t seem to mean anything to me. I can’t do this. At all. I can’t even pretend to do it. I have nothing left to give.
It’s ironic how once you finally get underwater, things get immediately quieter.
Without it, it’s impossible to please God.
So what do we do with it? Well – that, my friends, is where I was struggling. I had faith. In the wrong things. I was trusting in the ocean I was trying to walk on, instead of God right in front of me. Who made the ocean.
It took me going underwater to get the quiet calm I needed to finally see this.
It’s imperative that we who come to God must first, believe that He exists, and second believe that He rewards those who seek Him.
He is. And He does what He says He will do.
I wasn’t believing in that. I believed that God existed, sure. But I didn’t believe in His promises. His promise of, “I can do everything. And my good purpose and plan for you cannot be messed up. By anything. Not even brain tumors.”
it’s a choice. I have faith. But I don’t always believe in the right Thing.
I have faith, but I’m not always trusting in the right Person.
How do I know? Well, if I were, my life wouldn’t have crumbled into dark watery nothingness when my husband came home the other day.
Sometimes tears can feel as though they drown you.
I had a lot of tears when we sat our girls down to tell them that *again* our family was facing a major medical setback. And that now, their dad will never be the same. And how do you explain surgery to a four year old without inducing terror? To her, Kyle’s Heaven sounded much less frightening.
But you know what Jesus said to me? With a whisper, He reached down his hand, pulled me up from the watery depths. “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.”
And to this day, and to the one tomorrow, and the one next week where we hear of surgery options and long term hearing loss options, and permanent facial paralysis options and follow up surgery options, He hasn’t. And He won’t.
Because, right now, today, again, I’m choosing to believe that God is and that God does.
And I can stand firm on that ocean, because the one who made it is holding our hands.