HIS FACE IN MY JOURNEY
"Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother's breast." Psalm 22:9
After I completed the recommended five years of hormonal treatment, a new course of hormonal treatment was offered, though not necessarily recommended. It was more involved with greater risk and ambiguous benefit. With no real data for women like me, the decision was all mine. How aggressive did I want to be?
Well, this is my life. So, pretty aggressive since I only have one.
And so I was willing to take risks, to do the hard thing, if that's what my healing partnership with God commanded. Being in the cancer clinic each month keeps cancer on my mind and catalyzes my intercession. God is looking for people to stand in the gap and so maybe this was my calling. Maybe further treatment was the Lord's way of keeping my attention on this beast that begs to be prayed against! And so I pressed in to Him seeking guidance and confirmation. I prayed and searched the scriptures and petitioned for peace. It didn't come.
There are no "steps" of faith when considering cancer - only "leaps" off bridges. I looked down at the choppy waters and acknowledged the alternative. I considered the possibility that my part was complete. That I had done everything I could do and it was time to simply rest and trust. But resting felt the riskiest.
Still, I considered the possibility that God no longer wanted me dwelling in the cancer community. Perhaps He didn't expect me to endure the emotional turmoil that came every time I met a dying patient in the waiting room. I considered the possibility that God wanted to bless me; that there would be other opportunities to carry out my compassion. Is cancer a corner of the kingdom that He had assigned to me, or did I assign it to myself?
I will always be burdened by cancer. I will always be moved to pray for and minister to others who have it. And maybe that's enough. God is my Father, my Abba, and He cares for me, too. Maybe anything more is more than He wants me to bear.
So, I stripped my cloak of responsibility and considered how pleased God might be if I jumped off the bridge, trusting Him alone without more questionable treatment. From this perspective, the decision seemed clear. There is nothing I crave more than God's pleasure and blessing! So, I prayed. I waited. I listened. And confirmation came..
At first, it tiptoed into my spirit with a settling effect that I misconstrued as denial. After all, ignoring
a decision was a strategy I'd often employed. Then, it wrapped me with the smell of home and the
softness of Nana's knitting. I snuggled in and closed my eyes and stretched my ears. I'm not one to rely
on the counsel of others, as I prefer to hear directly from God, but I couldn't ignore the whispers of the people
who loved me. Whispers that propagated in phase at exact wavelengths and identical frequencies...very unusual.
And then there's the one who has loved me the most. The one who cups my heart in hers like no other could. It's that same mother's heart of Jesus that drew me in naked and fully exposed with the promise of sanctuary and freedom. Her whispers matched theirs and sounded more and more like His.
It's okay to feel safe. I can trust. I will trust...
I grab a nerve
Feel the cold on my skin.
It swirls over me
Washing through me
Until it becomes me.
-by Joellen Putnam