This is hard. Suffering, pain, death, disease, it’s just hard.
The last few weeks I have been able to do some really fun things with my family. No complaints there, only pure joy. But during the best of times, it’s also been the worst of times. I have new tumors, a lot of them. My old tumors are growing rapidly, two of them being in my face. Everyday I wake up and feel like something has changed. That centimeter of growth in my face tumor that makes it so now it pushes on my eye, that new tiny, familiar bump on the back of the other side of my head, the one behind my ear is now turning purple, etc. It feels hopeless, and defeating.
I had a guttural cry in the car the other night with Adam. It started earlier in the day when I had to go speak to this woman, she was just so stunning and “normal” and all I could think about was the large tumor on my face, or the fact that my smile doesn’t work now, or I was worried about my hair moving to reveal these large red lumps. Insecurity ate me up inside. It shut me down. When it plants a seed it’s amazing how it can filter the rest of your day. I went to a family barbecue and I noticed the seed of insecurity inviting in the seed of envy as I watched my family laugh and talk about their future. They all seemed so unchanged, so “normal”, and then there was me.
It’s isolating. I struggle a lot with not feeling alone. There’s nothing that anyone can say or do except, “I’m sorry and I’ll pray for you”. Sometimes I just want someone to say, “I get it” or “I woke up with a new tumor today too” or “My face tumor is making my lip function not work too”, but there is no one else. No one else knows exactly what I’m going through, and therefore I feel alone. I told Adam, in between deep gasps and streaming tears, that I picture my situation like this: I picture one of those old movies, I’m running and I fall. For some reason, maybe my leg is stuck, or maybe I’m in a hole, I haven’t figured that part out yet, but for some reason I can’t get up. Then this fiery, human eating ant starts to crawl up my leg. I’m able to swat him away. But then 3 come, I can still defend myself. But then 8 come, then 10, then 20, and I watch as I slowly see my body being engulfed by these ants. Meanwhile everyone is standing there watching me. They give a few attempts to fight the ants off, but there are too many. So finally they just watch and I scream and cry for help. They tell me that they are so sorry and that they’ll pray for me. They tell me that they wish they could do something, they say that they can’t imagine what I’m going through. But they can’t help me. I’m alone, slowly dying as these ants take over. (The ants by the way represent my tumors. If you didn’t catch that.)
It’s isolating and terrifying being alone with these ants. Watching as they destroy my body. But one of the things I’ve noticed lately, and one thing that I didn’t mention in that story, is that, while I can’t control the ants taking my body, I can control them taking my soul. So in the midst of the lies of insecurity or envy or loneliness, I can run to the Father to shepherd my soul. To protect my soul, to nurture my soul, to heal my soul. My soul is already saved, it’s untouchable by fiery ants and lethal tumors. So instead of urgently trying to save my diseased body, instead of using everything I have to fight off the ants, instead of being angry as I look to the humans around me to save me, instead of isolating myself in the lie of loneliness. I am going to have the courage to go to God as my Savior, to thank Him for saving my soul, to spend my time not being angry with people but loving them, and to remind myself that we are NEVER ALONE. God has never left me nor forsaken me, He has never quit on me, He has never not loved me, and I am not alone.
I go to Seattle on July 10th, I’m not sure what the next steps are but I could use a lot of prayer. Things are not going well for me. Physically that is. Please pray for wisdom for my doctors, for discernment for myself and my family, and for faith that God is a good and sovereign God.