"How He Loves"

(by John Mark McMillan) How He Loves (Single Version) - The Medicine

With today being a "cancerversary" of sorts (2 1/2 years), I have attempted to process things again ~ as my friend Laura suggested I do like last year. I started the process after the post where I made people cry at work (sorry)! But some things take time. A lot of what you'll read today is what I wrote back then (only with more crying then than now). I typed it all out then, but I couldn't hit "publish post". I wasn't trying to hide my true feelings, but I felt like it was so gloomy. I'm really not a gloomy person overall, I promise! And I hate posting gloomy stuff so much! So this has sat in my drafts for 3 or 4 months. I'm posting it now, because it's still true, & it's still a part of my life. I still feel the way I did when I started the process, but I am less emotional about it now. Is that progress? I don't know, but this is how my mind attempts to deal with it all...

Sometimes, I feel like if I give in to my thoughts (and fears) & actually think it all the way through, then I'll never stop crying. & that thought makes me feel like I'm being a baby & just need to get over it. Ya know? Like, I have no business grieving, because he is still here. If he doesn't win his fight with cancer, then there'll be plenty of time for grieving later.

Other times, I think that if I allow myself to really break down & think it all through, then maybe I can move on from this place. And to me, moving on means that I might have hope for the future. Because honestly, right now I'm expecting him to die. I've only said that out loud once, but I'm being honest here & laying it all out for you. Obviously, I hope he doesn't die, but it's like I'm preparing for him not to make it. That probably sounds morbid, and maybe I need psychological help. But that's how I feel.

Sometimes I think that something is wrong with me because I feel that way. I haven't talked to a whole lot of cancer spouses (and obviously each person's situation is different), but the one person that I did have this type of conversation with felt the same. That makes me feel a little less crazy. Again though, I keep thinking that I can't give in to the sadness, because if I do that then I might lose all hope. But seeing as I don't really have much hope anyways, then what would it hurt to try to process it? And if I happen to come out the other side with a little hope, then that's good right? It sounds good in theory, but the pessimist in me responds with, "OK, but if you end up believing that he'll beat cancer, yet he still dies, then what?"

Well, the "what" that I have come to terms with now is the same thing I've known since nearly the beginning of our journey...

Jesus is still the same.

Knowing that, and focusing on Him, brings an immeasurable amount of peace. I don't always have that peace, but I've realized that I only have it when I am focusing on Christ, the giver of peace. To quote Charlie Hall (in this video), I've been learning "how to walk through it toward God and not give up on faith because life's so messed up. And also, still reaching out to people while you're in the midst of feeling crushed." Because this is the deal: my faith has been shaken, but I still trust Jesus. I don't want anyone to see what I'm going through and doubt Him. I don't want to be so weak that my kids or other people around me think He's not strong enough to carry me (or them) through the valley.

Today's song is one that has meant a lot to me throughout this whole journey. I thought I'd share this clip that my friend Natalie shared with me many, many months ago:

I can understand a lot of what he said & felt. Again it may seem morbid, but it's how I feel. I love the way he puts it though, when he talks about God not being offended that I'm angry & that He wants to hang with me through this. I'm not actually angry right now, but I definitely have been. And I may be again tomorrow or six months from now. But I am grateful for His unconditional love and the grace He extends. That He loves me enough to be right here with me through it all.

"As for me, I look to the Lord for help.
I wait confidently for God to save me,
and my God will certainly hear me"
(Micah 7:7)

"The Lord is good,
a strong refuge when trouble comes.
He is close to those who trust in Him."
(Nahum 1:7)



AmyB said…
Amy, I think it is natural to plan for and think through the things we are walking through in life. I also believe it is quite natural for our brains to occasionally go to the "what if" or "worst case scenario" mode. Our awesome God is not surprised by this or angry at you for having these feelings. Turning them back to Him and pursuing a peace that only He can bring is what sustains us. It is a constant process when stupid cancer is part of your life, but one I know God walks with you. I love you my friend!
Cole Franke said…
Wow this really touched my heart. I can't even begin to imagine what you are feeling every day. But I loved what you said about not always having peace, but realizing that you only have it when focus on Jesus. So true. I can't imagine going through hard times with out Him. How do people do it? Praying for you right now. Thanks for sharing this.
Zion said…
I guess Butch was basically diagnosed on Zion's first birthday :( I never realized that. Z will be 3 1/2 tomorrow. I am glad that the video ministered to you it does with me too and will always be one of my favorite songs. You have our love, prayers, and support!!!
RR Mama said…
I think it is a part of the whole process to go back and forth. Our heart feels as our brains try to process. But through all of this you do see how God is using you? Because he is! You are sharing your story and your grief and your happiness. He is lifting you up and giving you peace. He is showing Himself to us through you! He is using you to share His word and to show us how He can do anything at any time. Much love and prayers to you and MR.
Laura said…
This is such a poignant post - thanks for sharing it because it really touched my heart. I'm praying for you, friend!
Amanda said…
I love you Amy. I know that this has to be such a struggle for you. You have shown such an amazing amount of strength and grace throughout it all. Praise be to God. Oh, How He loves us. That video made me love and appreciate that song even more than I already do. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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