An uninvited guest showed up at my door ten weeks ago. Its name? Endometrial cancer. Every time I sit down to write about this unwelcome guest my brain turns to cotton candy, words get stuck in the gummy mess, and a blinking cursor on the computer screen sings nah-nah-nah-nah-nah.
My brain may feel like cotton candy, but at the soul level substantial work is happening. The Lord whispers to me in the quiet, his voice easily heard over the occasional adrenaline rush of fear.
Rest, the Lord says. Spend time with me. Let me fill you with songs of love. Let’s clear out the debris together. There is much healing to be done. This is your work. Let everything else go.
Let everything else go?!?! You’ve got to be kidding, God!
Is it living with disability that makes us believe we are indispensable to the world?
Our twenty-nine-year-old son, Joel, who has autism, no longer lives at home. But I am still actively involved in his care. Medical appointments, psychiatric appointments, behavior staffings, ISP meetings, Best Buddies Choir, weekends at home, church together, etc.
How do I set aside these meetings I’ve handled for over twenty-five years, Lord?!
As a writer, I work with words. Most of that word work came to a halt with the diagnosis of cancer back in June.
How do I get the word out about my new book, The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities, if I don’t work on marketing, Lord?
My mother has dementia. My regular visits with her often leave me as limp as a spaghetti noodle.
Can I really lay this aside, Lord? She looks so forward to our time together!
Believe it or not, the world did not quit turning when I let the Holy Spirit soften my clenched hands and I let go, allowing other people to take over my responsibilities for a short season. Over the past six weeks worship has taken on a whole new dimension, and is no longer relegated to Sunday morning. I spend time every day in the Word, visualizing healing, and praying with friends. I’ve made my way through a stack of good books. I’ve eaten many delicious lunches with dear friends who brought food to my door. Determined to eat more healthily I’ve spun berry smoothies and pulverized a huge bag of carrots in the juicer. Together, Wally and I have cooked up healthy dinners and savored them with wine in the kitchen garden. We’ve taken many sunset cruises on the pontoon boat, playing pirates with Joel and hunting for herons and eagles.
Daily I speak affirmations to myself:
- Wherever I am, God’s glory is there
- My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I am healthy and whole
- I am anointed to take people deeper into God’s love
- I walk in the power of the Holy Spirit
- I am filled with the joy of the Lord.
It’s been a little piece of heaven, actually. Not the cancer (!) but this time of resting in the Lord. It reminds me of Paul’s words in Romans 12: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
Parenting kids with disabilities is hard work. Don’t let getting sick be the wake-up call that your body wasn’t designed to handle the weight of the world.
Yes, cancer has come calling, uninvited. But sometimes uninvited guests bring important messages.
Renewal and restoration are guaranteed as we:
- Rest in the love of God
- Allow others to do work that we’ve always thought was 100% our responsibility (Guess what? It’s not!)
- Savor the goodness and blessings of family, friends, good food, and good books
- Dive into the Word and daily prayer with friends
- Visualize health and wholeness, always God’s desire for us
My brain may be cotton candy. The words are not coming the way they usually do. But at a soul level God is doing a great work.
Transformation is happening at the cellular level.
Healing is the order of the day. That healing will spill over to bless my family, including my son, Joel.
I rest on that promise.
What uninvited guests have come calling at your house? What important messages do they bring? What might God be inviting you to today?