I am so tired of crying. I’m tired of runny mascara, a stuffy nose, swollen eyes, and a scratchy throat. I’m tired of my kids worrying about me, my husband feeling unnecessarily guilty and helpless, and of friends and family wanting to help and being unable to do so. I’m not even a classic watering pot. I’m more like a completely full pool into which one raindrop falls. The surface pressure breaks and a positive deluge ensues. Once I start, no act of will drys my eyes and no amount of kindness soothes my nerves. In fact, I often tell friends not to be nice to me – it just gets me started. Because what my pool is full of is anger and grief. I am so mad. So, so, so, so mad. With no one to be angry with. I always thought that if something tragic befell me, I would be mad at God. After all, He is sovereign. Nothing that happens is outside of His control. But I’m just…not. I hate this and I wish that cancer wasn’t something we had to deal with, but I don’t believe it’s some sort of divine punishment – it’s one of the really horrible parts of living in an imperfect world. So I’m mad that Adam is sick without being mad that the God who could heal him without chemo isn’t doing so. It does’t even make sense to me…but there it is. Of course, what I just wrote implies that there is any visible cancer there to be healed, and there is not. Adam shows no sign of disease, and yet we are following the recommendations of his doctors to proceed with chemo and radiation to give him the best possible statistical chance of avoiding recurrence. Adam is not always sold on this course, I’ll have you know. He keeps trying, very subtly and with a playful attitude, to get the doctors to let him out of this. It’s not working. I wouldn’t even let him, I don’t think. Because I am a product of my modern upbringing and I trust the doctors’ wisdom. So I’m mad, and I’m staying mad. And I am so sad about the impact this has on all of us. And I cry. And then my friends hurt, and their hurt is another raindrop and brings about another deluge. And, oh how I wish this year was over. Because I hate it. So much.
But don’t think there is nothing sweet about this year. The care and concern of our friends…the shared tears, the shared rejoicing over the small bits of good news – those have been almost unbearably sweet. Because nothing is truly bearable. Yet, we persevere and thank God for all the love He has shown us in the form of the love of our families, friends, and even strangers. And I look forward to the time when I can see the good that this year will bring. Because it has to bring good. I have no idea how it will look or when I will be able to see it. But I know that “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, those called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers [and sisters].” Romans 8:28-29. So the good…it means we get to be like Christ. It means we get to be in a really big family, a family full of those with a common purpose. And some times it means we laugh together; but often, it means we cry. And maybe I’ll just be a better cryer. And maybe one day, I won’t hate it so much. Maybe one day, all that I know to be true will feel true too. I yearn for that day.