My friend Katie always says, “While we breathe, we hope.”
So that’s what I’ve been doing around here lately…breathing…and hoping. And all of that breathing and hoping is the reason that I’ve been quiet around these parts.
After returning home from Bangladesh, I was surprised that it took me almost 2 full weeks to really recover from the jet lag. Maybe it’s that being Mommy doesn’t exactly afford one the chance to ease back into life that had something to do with it too. I don’t know. But I do know that since exactly a week after I returned home, my life has been in a bit of some chaos.
And I’ve been quiet in this space, because I’ve been trying to figure out how to process it all. I’ve been trying to figure out how to sow into my family well, and be the friend that I am called to be.
Somewhere in here, I’m planning Allume too.
A week after I got back, the pastor of my church stepped down. I realize this stuff happens, and pastors get tired and God calls them to other things, but this one has hit me hard. It’s hard because our pastor, and even more so, his wife, is a really dear friend of mine. She’s among the group of my closest friends…the ones I do life with, the ones we raise kids with, and walk through fire with. And stepping away into the knowing that God has called them into something else, leaves a void…both in our church body, and in potentially the future of our group of friends. Because sometimes, when God calls people away…he calls them away from home. And aside from the questions about our church body, truly, I just don’t want my friend to go away. I love her.
And then there’s my dear friend Melissa, who’s been battling cancer for well over a year and a half, and about 2 weeks ago took a turn for the worse. She has continued to battle this beast, and it’s been getting the best of her. We’ve watched it taking the best of her. Watched it steal her hair, and her strength…robbing her of her capacity to care for her family the way her heart longs to care for them. We’ve watched it rob her of joy of living and seen how it poisons her body. And she is so strong. She’s been fighting so hard and so long, and we’ve been fighting with her. We’ve been the Aaron’s who held up Moses’ arms when he was too weary to hold them himself. We’ve taken meals, and cared for kids, and prayed like I’ve never prayed before. And still…this damn disease goes right for the jugular to rob my friend of the will to live. And she does want to live….she wants to raise her 3 young children, and grow old with her husband. She wants more girls nights with friends, and time spent with family. And she deserves that! She’s young…and she’s full of life…and she breathes Jesus on people in her life. And right now, I’m honestly just pissed. I want to cuss. But more than that, I want to keep hoping right now.
Because I believe in a God who can snap his fingers and Melissa can pick up her pallet and walk. And as one of the friends who has lowered her through the roof to sit her before Jesus to claim her healing….I want to see it. I want to see His Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.
There is no cancer in heaven.
I want to see that reality invade. I want to see that Kingdom flex its muscles. And even if it doesn’t…even if God doesn’t…I still believe that he can.
And aside from the questions I’m asking God about why he doesn’t just flex his muscles and hasn’t yet healed my friend, truly, I just don’t want her to go away. I love her.
I am blessed with really amazing friends. And for right now, the walking out of life that I’m doing is with these people in my here and now. And that’s where my energy is being spent.
It’s the right place to spend it. Of that I have absolutely no doubt.
And while I struggle through this stuff along with my amazing friends and community, I do know that God’s word is true.
1 Cor 4:20 – For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power.
Matt 14:14 – When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Mark 3:10 – For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Psalm 103:1-5
So when I’m silent now, please know that I just don’t have the words…and that the only ones that give comfort or provide wisdom, sure as heck aren’t my own.
And truth be known, my own voice just isn’t the one that I need to be hearing right now. So I breathe…and I hope…and I cling to the One who is the very breath of hope…the breath of heaven.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. – Ps 33:6
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. – Romans 5:2-5