We are headed to the oncologist this morning for a checkup. I think he referred to it as a “toxicity check” to make sure my counts look good following those six rounds of chemo. I haven’t seen him in five weeks, since just prior to my last treatment the first week of January. While we’re there, he will schedule my next CT scan which is supposed to take place on Feb. 28 and also my first maintenance chemo session which is supposed to happen Mar. 2. I’m feeling very good these days so I’m expecting everything to check out just fine. :)
I know right now a lot of people are living through situations they would not have chosen in a million years. There are men who have recently lost their wives after lengthy illnesses and there are others who are in the process of saying goodbye to their soul mate, even now. The grief is overwhelming at times. The grieving begins early – often before the loved one leaves this world – and can last for months or years in situations like this. You watch someone you love suffer and would give anything for it to not be that way. You ask why? You want to change the situation.
For others, the grief arrives swiftly and with such force that it literally knocks you the ground. You try to stand up, but you can’t because you are so stunned by the loss. The pain ebbs and flows, sometimes feeling like a dull ache and other times it takes your breath away. There are brief moments when you think the grief is packing up and leaving you, but a word or a song or a memory brings the pain right back into your heart as if it had never left. You want to change it, to go back and not have it be this way.
At times like this, we struggle with so many questions. Why does she have to suffer? Why did I have to lose him? How can I fix this? How do I make the pain go away? How am I going to live the rest of my life without him or her? Why does this have to be this way? Isn’t there something we can do?
The more questions we ask, the harder we try to understand or make sense of our losses, the less peace we will experience. Everyone will tell you that there are stages to grief and I believe that even though there are commonalities in this process, it is also different for each person simply because each person’s loss is unique. However, I am certain there are always two things we all have in common when grieving: questions about why and frustration that we cannot (or could not) control the situation.
I’m reading Sarah Young’s devotional, Jesus Calling, and a few days ago it said this:
“Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are, remembering that I am sovereign over everything. Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning.”
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
And then just today, it said this:
“Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different.”
For WE KNOW that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
It’s very easy to read these words, but much harder to believe them and put them into practice. The times when we do not feel peace are the times when we are grasping for control, reaching out trying to hold onto even one tiny thread of “our way” instead of letting go and allowing God to do His work. There will always, ALWAYS be circumstances beyond our control. Some will be merely frustrating, some will cause us to worry, while others will be downright devastating – life-altering. The only two things all of these situations have in common are this: 1) we are not in control and never (honestly) were, and 2) God is, was, and always will be.
If we can come to a place of acceptance and truly give our questions, fears, and worries over to God, we will begin to experience the peace that he promises to give us.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Have a Wonderful Wednesday.