So I haven’t blogged much about my husband’s brain tumor. For several reasons. But now that we seem to be past it, I thought I’d document a bit. (Because, really, this is just an online journal to pass along to my girls one day.) So this thing: What a fine specimen we have here, right? If you look closely – you can see the brainstem right in the center – the thing that controls breathing, heart rates – important stuff. That tumor, if you can see it, is actually cutting off the brain stem – thus the problem. Had we chosen to not operate, my husband had 12 months to live before the tumor was large enough to completely constrict spinal fluid flow to his brain. So, we chose surgery. And I chose stress. And fear. At a rate of rapid tumor growing speed, my joy and peace was constricted – to life threatening levels. See, fear constricts, strangles, steals joy. I ran a 1/2 marathon 3 years ago. A few months ago, i could hardly get out of bed. Much less walk to my mailbox. I was basically energy paralyzed. I went to my doctor. There had been some baby boys in the waiting room and watching them while waiting had done me in. So when I got to see the doctor, I was in tears – and told him “I promise this isn’t an emotional problem.” While I was crying. What a strong doctor he is to not have laughed out loud at me at that moment. He gave me slip of paper that said, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and “Severe Depression”. I almost laughed. Those things didn’t happen to me. He did some extensive blood work at my request, and there was strong evidence to support some major endocrine system deficiencies and injuries. adrenal fatigue, causing thyroid fatigue, causing exhaustion, moodiness, lack of energy…..the list went on and on. “Your chronic stress has caused this.” And it had stolen my joy. See, while, there is a HUGE part of my body that was dealing with chronic stress fatigue, and I desperately needed the medical help I received, I know deep down that the way I was responding to stress wasn’t always the best. In fact, many times the way I was responding to it all was sin. See, Christ said in John 14 as He told them about His death in the next several hours. “Trust in God. Trust also in me.” He was comforting others in the moments before His own death. I’ll have to let that one sink in another time. King David comes back from winning a war. A war where he fought against his own son – and his son died. He sits on his throne, a victor of war, but a loser of family. He says in Psalm 40 – “Oh the joys of those who trust in the Lord.” Paul says to the Corinthians under awfully tyrannical Roman rulers,
“I pray that God will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him.”
So, peace and joy are possible, in the face of death. And hard. And life hard death.
Because faith, a noun, what we all have, is the ability to trust in something unseen, unfelt, unheard audibly…
Believing that God is real. And that He can do what He says He will do.
But it’s not just a conscious “ok, I believe that”. At least, trusting isn’t just that. Faith is. And demons get that. They do it. But they don’t trust in God.
Trust – is a verb. It is doing faith. It is a very real, day after day, moment by moment, trial by trial action of trusting.
And the people who wanted most desperately to follow Christ asked Him, “What should we do to do the works of God?”
Christ told them – He didn’t say, “preach the Word.” or “heal the sick.” or “cast out demons.” He said,