The past six weeks have seemed more like six months to me. My husband and I have been dealing with a lot of personal issues in our home over the past six months or so. So, the news we received on September 25, kind of just added to a stress filled home. I had been having a hard time sleeping, focusing on much of anything, couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, or let alone what my schedule was or where I was ‘suppose’ to be. We had to cancel plans, and reschedule appointments.
Six weeks ago my oldest daughter, Holly – 29, who is currently living in Germany, called me. What I learned from our conversation was something no parent ever wants to hear. Holly had been to her female doctor on base two weeks previously for something else and had some tests run. Those tests results are normally just mailed to you, but the severity of the results indicated to the doctor that Holly should be notified right away. The doctor asked her to come to her office right away. Holly told me that her doctor informed her that she had cervical cancer, and that since her last PAP two years ago had been abnormal and that this latest one showed the cancer in the highest stage, they would need to do a colposcopy as soon as possible to take some biopsies.
Cancer is not a word you want to associate with anyone in your family. Let alone when it deals with one of your children. Right? So, when I heard those words come across the phone from my child, I think I felt my heart leave my chest right then. I also believe I didn’t breathe for what felt like forever…but was probably just more like a minute or so. I maintained my composure on the phone with Holly during our conversation…because I’m the Mom, and I’m suppose to be the strong one and have all the answers right? WRONG!
Well, I ‘kept it together‘ just long enough to at least finish the conversation, and as soon as we hung up…I lost it. The floodgates opened and I texted my husband, because I just couldn’t call. As the weeks have passed and all of this has had time to ‘sink in,’ and plans are being made, it’s still not gotten any easier. I went weeks without hardly anything any sleep at all, constantly thinking and wondering. Then waiting for the biopsy test results to come back. The waiting is the worst. This is my oldest daughter, who has always wanted children…so very badly. She has dreamed of being a mother one day. So, for me just thinking about the very possibility that she may never be able to carry children of her own just hurts my heart beyond what mere words can even express.
We as parents always want the best for our children, don’t we? I know at least for me, I do. I learned years ago I had to stop trying so hard to try to do everything for them, but help them to understand that they needed to learn to do things for themselves, or they would never grow up to be productive, healthy human beings. We don’t want our kids to not ‘need for anything,’ but sometimes I think as mom’s we may cross this imaginary boundary line that I feel that God draws in the sand. This line that is ‘drawn’ there by our Heavenly Father when our children reach the age of accountability. Where, we as parents need to start trusting that maybe our wisdom isn’t as good as The Lord’s wisdom. We need to remember that as parents the best thing we can do for our children is to teach them what The Lord would have them to learn, as this Bible verse in says:
‘Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he will not depart from it.’ Proverbs 22:6
I learned with Holly almost ten years ago that when I spend my time excessivly worrying about the things that are happening in her life, or the choices that she has made or is currently making; it will only (1) give me an awful migraine, (2) cause unnecessary worry and stress that in the end I can change nothing by my worrying, (3) drive me absolutely crazy obsessing over things I cannot do a thing to change.
What The Lord showed me ten years ago in 2007 during a most difficult time, involving Holly, helped me to finally stop the obsessive worrying and have some peace with our decisions we had made regarding Holly at that time.
I am a very visual person; and when I spend quiet time in prayer, sometimes I will visually focus on things in my prayer time. Well, during a specific prayer time one morning, I had remembered this thing that the students had did out in the youth building one evening. I remembered when they each took a small sticky note and wrote their sins down and stuck it to a big cross in the front of the room. They talked about bringing your sins before God and leaving them there and walking away. I was there the night the students did that and it was a very powerful thing to watch…and to see all those yellow notes stuck to the entire cross…since there were about 120 something students that night.
Well, I focused on Holly that morning remembering that cross with all those yellow sticky notes stuck to the cross. I focused on how distressed I had been over the things that had been happening with Holly. I asked The Lord to show me what I should focus on, and how I should continue in my prayer… and during my prayer I felt that The Lord was showing me to ‘bring Holly’ to the foot of the cross and put her there, and leave her there and walk away. As I focused on this in my mind, and prayed about it, and told God I would do this… In my mind I watched myself bring Holly before God at His cross and lay her at the foot of the cross and let go. Once I let go… I began to feel peace wash over me for the first time in weeks. It was the releasing of Holly that was the act of obiedience I needed to do to, I believe. It was like I was releasing her from my care into The Lord’s care, because she is God’s child after all. I may have carried her 9 months, but it was The Lord who allowed it to begin with. As I confirmed these things during my prayer I continued to feel more and more at peace about the whole situation with Holly. Over the next few weeks I felt at peace about things.
Now back to six weeks ago when we heard about Holly’s cancer, I won’t lie and say I wasn’t scared and it didn’t scare me. What I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that I have never once been anxious, nervous, or obsessivly concerned. Because I know that God has this under control. It may not work out the way we want it to, but He still has it under control and I will not allow myself to worry about something that I cannot physically change or do anything about. I doesn’t do any good to anyone for me to worry about it. Now, have I stressed about it, about the surgeon who was an absolute ass to my precious child; whom is about 4,348 miles away (give or take a few hundred or so miles) in Germany, Yes I have stressed about those types of things, because I cannot be there with her for those types of things. But I have peace about everything else.
It has been stressful knowing that your child is going through a very difficult time in their life, half way across the other side of the world…and you can’t be there to do anything for them. It’s a very helpless feeling. Like when they were little, and sick and there wasn’t much we could do for them…that helpless feeling.
I recently read these verses in the book of Psalms on seperate days… and I do not think it was a coincidence that I ‘found’ the second verse in chapter 27 many days later.
‘Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.’
‘Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.’