Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs (Part 4)

(Part 3)

As I shared the entire story with the preacher, he just nodded.  I, of course, was still crying.  I told him I felt crazy, and I didn't know about the voices and such.  Or voices at all.  I was used to my mind telling me bad things were going to happen.  That I was used to.  I was a worrier.  That's what I do.

Kids staying the night with friends?  The voice in my head assures me that the friend's house will probably burn down with my child inside.

Kids and Steven all riding together in a car?  The voice tells me that there probably will be a wreck that will steal all three from me.

These are the things I am used to the "voice" in my head telling me.  Anxiety and fear are common place.  They live in my head and have made themselves at home.

This positive voice is new to the area and I'm trying to figure out where it belongs.  This voice that brings good news and peace?  I feel sad to say I don't know that voice.

The preacher was so kind in listening, especially when I am sure that many times most of it sounded incoherent and made very little sense.  However, I told him that it didn't escape my notice that he had his mission, I had my voice, and now I had this message...

And the message?   Wow!  I mean, now someone else had a voice.

I'll admit that it got my attention.

While laughing through the tears, I admitted to the preacher that I still kind of wished there was a billboard. But just as quickly as I stated that, I relented that even then, I would still wonder.  It's hard not to leave God a way out.  I believe in Him even if Steven isn't healed.  What if I went out and blatantly spread my story and then something happened? 

Does it mean that God isn't real?  No.  This much I do know.

But what does it mean?

*****

Fear is so very real.  I've seen so much and my mind can paint pictures of some very terrible things.  However, I have found that when I purposefully, mindfully take my mind to the place where things go terribly wrong, yet my focus stays on God, I find that I still have purpose and value and the fear is not as powerful.  It's still there.  Trust me, it never leaves.  But if you purposely include God in the picture, even when the picture is of what you fear the most, it is impossible for what you fear to be all encompassing or all consuming.  It just impossible.

And I have to remind myself this.

Just the other day I was in the fetal position, in my bed, at three in the afternoon.

I do not have it all together.

In fact, right now I am in a hospital bed typing this after emailing Steven's BMT oncologist numerous times this morning as I battle the fear I have of his relapse.

Have I mentioned that I have to remind myself of this daily? Hourly? Moment by moment?

*****
That day, sitting in the living room, crying with this unknown preacher, felt oddly freeing.  Him stating that he felt he was being prompted by God to tell us that Steven would be cured felt good to hear, but him admitting that he had no way of knowing for sure honestly felt good to hear as well.  He was a preacher and he was in the same boat as I was. 
 
Preacher or not, we were both human, and he understood where I was coming from.  We are ALL human, but he reminded me that we just needed the faith the size of a mustard seed.  He shared that he felt that God had called him to start a church, which he had.  He had a church, but the location left a lot to be desired.  He felt God telling him that this would be changing, but was hesitant to put that out there because, again, what if he was wrong, or misinterpreted.  Sometimes a mustard seed can seem so large.

We talked about not wanting to put God into a corner, and how we seemingly always allowed Him a loophole.  

Not that God needs one.
 

He admitted that coming to our house to speak of his conviction felt really odd to him, yet he felt he had to do it.  He was nervous and had never put himself in this position before.  He also admitted he knew that there was a distinct possibility that down the road he could have an angry wife that would confront him and say, "But YOU said!!!" if things didn't go well with her husband, and he wouldn't have an answer. 



I told him understood that too, and I promised that regardless of what happened, I wouldn't do that to him.  I appreciated his leap of faith.  (I also appreciated the keychain he sent Steven and I while in St. Louis, with a mustard seed in the center, as a visual reminder of the faith we are called to have.)

His gift, and his leap of faith, aren't the only ones we have been privileged to receive.
 
*As I sat in the hospital, two days before Steven's transplant, I could just feel the anxiety in my body like a knot.  I desperately needed things to go well.  This transplant HAD to work.

I again received a message on Facebook.  This time it was from a high school friend.  One who had never contacted me before.

She shared with me that although I might think she was crazy, and had been hesitant about contacting me, she felt nudged by the Holy Spirit to do so.  She stated that although she didn't know how the transplant process worked, during her prayer for Steven and our family, she could envision new cells entering Steven's body and as they did, his body was filled with a great light which began to pulse through it, and out of it, like a glow.  She could see the healing of his tissues and his health and strength begin to return.  She shared that she was afraid to tell me this, for fear of sounding crazy, but after a time, she just felt so compelled to do so.

I am SO glad she did.


*I also appreciate the leap of faith by the friend that works in the ER, that held my hand and prayed with me after finding out that Steven had relapsed, and said that deep in her heart she felt a God given peace that Steven would beat this.

*I appreciate the friend to Steven who said in complete earnestness that he just "knows things" and that despite the fact that we were (at the time) heading in for transplant, he knew that Steven was to be healed.

*I appreciate the friend who prayed for me in the middle of her work parking lot and recently stated that when praying for Steven she felt like God was almost saying, "enough already.  It's been done."

I realize that there is no way to know whether or not "it's been done."  We will not know that for years. 

But last week, before our latest readmission to the hospital, it hit me.  I shouldn't wait to share all this.  Regardless of what happens with Steven, these people, and their experiences and what they have shared with me, have been great, wonderful gifts.  I have drawn on their words so many times and it has given me hope when I had nothing else to stand on.

They could have all decided not to share because they didn't know "for sure" that what they had seen, been told, or felt was real.  I would understand their hesitation.  It was the same hesitation that kept me from sharing my story as well.

However, I have drawn from their words, and their experiences, so many times.  To think of what the last six months would have been like without them would paint a much different reality.  They changed me and my days.  I have no doubt they changed Steven's too.  In that way, they did change our future.  Did it change what happened/will happen with his diagnosis?  Maybe not.  Did they actually give us a glimpse of the healing that is to come?  Maybe.  I certainly hope and pray so. 

But they without a doubt did heal us in the moment.

By the way, the preacher?  He did get his church building.  And the voice?  Well, sometimes I still "hear" it, and although I still don't know for sure exactly where or who it comes from, the message is almost the same.

Instead of saying "he will be healed" instead it now simply says he is.

*****

I would love to neatly wrap up this up and say that I have complete faith and no worries and have 100% certainty that God has told me that Steven has beat this horrible disease.

That would be lying and I have tried to be nothing if not completely honest.

I struggle each and every day.  I worry and I wonder and I doubt and I struggle to find the rhyme and reason.  I have days I feel strong, and days I feel weak, and days I think I am the worst mother ever.

I have days that I think God wouldn't have went to so much trouble if Steven wasn't to be healed, but then I remember what happened the last time that I thought that I had figured out the way God had worked out His plan.

I don't have a clue.  None.  Zip.  Remember, I'm the one that can't even keep up with the thoughts bouncing around in my head.

But I do know that I would have not made it this far without so many of you.  Even those of you that I have never even met.  People who have reached out to me, yet have never even seen my face.  Those who have made a point to send me kind words, and big prayers.

I also want to add that if I live to 100 I will never be able to thank everyone for their generosity.  So much has been done for my family during the past 17 months.  I can't even list the ways in which people have helped us for fear of missing something/someone.  It's unbelievable and amazing.  The goodness in this world is amazing and my eyes are forever opened to it.  We don't have to look for the bad, the news will willingly show it to you.  But trust me, you really don't have to look too hard for the good either.  It's everywhere. 

Please, please, please keep praying.

5 comments:

Judy Richter said...

Prayers continue for Steven and your family!

Desi Becht said...

Bless your family!! Prayers to all of you.

Valerie Freeman said...

Thank you for sharing this. I needed it more than you know.

Michelle Brinkley said...

Thanks for Sharing Kim, this post is truly a blessing in itself

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