Nashville is gray and drippy today. I just paced the grocery store for an extra ten minutes to avoid the downpour that was awaiting us in the parking lot. I knew that as soon as I braved it, what always happens would happen. Plastic bags would break. The smallest items would roll under the car. My girls would be wet and cold and crying. I tried to avoid it.
Anyway, we lived. It rains sometimes.
It was a rainy day in 2013 when I dealt with my cancer baby. It wasn’t actually cancer or a baby, but there were moments in August that year, my doctors thought I had either cancer, or a baby, or both, so that’s what I call it. One of the main memories for me, during that time, was standing on top of the parking garage after just having been told something like, “The tumor in your uterus is growing rapidly and we need to do a biopsy tomorrow morning to see if it’s cancer.”
I said something like, “You mean cancer-cancer? Like…chemo…bald cancer?”
My doctor nodded.
“Like, when would I start chemo?”
So, back to the roof of the garage. I stood there and watched raindrops form puddles on the pavement. I could hear construction workers banging on concrete. The world was still being a world and my thought wasn’t “Why me?” It was “Why not me?”
It’s funny. I’ve had that thought before, but about positive things. People write funny books that get made into movies. Why not me? Parents have babies that learn to walk at 6 months and potty train at 12 months and get full rides to college because of their perfect ACT scores. Why not me?
Maybe it’s part of adult-ness or something, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed the “why not me” attitude seems to apply to much of life. Some people don’t accomplish their dreams. Why not me? Some people lose the people they love the most to tragedies? Why not me? Some people’s babies cover their whole bodies in oil-based paint. Why not me?
And do you know what that attitude produces when you apply it to both success and loss? It produces peace.
God is in control.
What doctors thought was cancer where a baby should be turned out to be a weird, genetically-off miscarriage. But, that whole horrible experience produced so much good in my soul that I would never trade any part of it. Here’s a little piece of something I wrote, right after it happened.
August 27, 2013
…I’ve spent the last 2 weeks being pricked and scanned almost every day – like a patient on House – a mystery. Friday night, I had surgery to remove what I was told was a possibly cancerous tumor. Every day has been an up or down on a roller coaster…2 weeks ago, doctors thought I was having my second ectopic pregnancy (but an abdominal one). Then, they thought healthy twins. Then, they thought molar pregnancy. Then, they thought cancerous tumor caused by molar pregnancy. Then back to twins. Then, just two days ago, we were talking about starting chemo this week because my blood tests showed numbers that just didn’t make sense with any scenarios.
The incredible thing is that God took ME – the most anxiety-prone, nervously-wired person you’ve probably ever met and gave me the most inexplicable PEACE I’ve ever experienced.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Since cancer baby, life has continued. I have an almost-1-year-old baby. She’s peaceful and happy and looks just like my beautiful mother. For the past few months, she’s been in pain – assorted infections galore.
God sends rain. God sends sunshine.
Since cancer baby, my mom’s been diagnosed with actual cancer. She’s beautiful. She’s bald. She’s brave.
God sends rain. God sends sunshine.
This past Sunday, my pastor talked about Jacob wrestling with God (Gen. 32) and how God touched his hip and dislocated it. He said something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this week.
God chose to give me this wound of grace when He could have killed me to remind me of who He is. Jacob limped every step he took for the rest of his life and each step was a sermon to him. I’m weak. I’m weak. –Josh Howerton.
God sends rain. God sends sunshine. And sometimes there’s both and we get to see a rainbow.