I don’t always like being a mess, and I really don’t like others to worry about me when I’m a mess…but I don’t really mind at all that people see my messiness. It does make me sad that some of my friends and loved ones don’t like that I show those less than together bits…but I am constantly reminded that there are other friends and loved ones out there that love those bits best. Maybe because they identify with them, or because they are reminded to pray for me and others, or because it makes me seem accessible. I can’t really know all the whys and wherefores, but I have been told several times in the last few days that my honesty is refreshing and that it is appreciated. So I’m glad. In turn, I feel refreshed after a good trip with the kids to see some of my family and friends in Athens, Georgia. (Which is, by the way, the BEST college town in the country – if not the world.) It was so good to see and be encouraged by our loved ones there, but even more importantly, it was a great time with my kids. We’ve had some good times this summer, but most of them have been so hard. This wasn’t without it’s difficulties, but everyone was trying to love each other well. Okay, maybe the kids weren’t trying very hard with each other, but with everyone else, they were good. And I successfully navigated a couple of emotional minefields with each of them. Especially with Ethan, who has been a warhead ready to explode for weeks or months. It was such a relief.
Then Kara lied to me this morning. Because showing her messiness and being honest isn’t really in her 9 year-old wheelhouse, at least not yet. So here we go again. Teaching a lesson that has been taught and learned before. About obedience. Honesty. Integrity. But that is okay. Those are still the lessons that I’m relearning too. And it is nice to be facing them from a position of hope rather than from the depths of woe.
Cancer still sucks and I still wish all of this was over. I know the depths may come back and reclaim me for a time – it may happen lots of times. But for now, I will enjoy the the hope. Because I know, even in the depths, that hope is what is true: hope in Christ that all of this will pass away. And it is also true that there is real beauty amidst the horror in anything. Even cancer. The beauty of the love and support of those around us. And the depth of joy that comes when real woe is banished – even if only temporarily – is something I would never have known without cancer. So, like the goblin king in the movie Labyrinth, it has no power over me. And poof. The nightmare ends. Sort of. For today at least.
Our daily reality doesn’t match our eternal one very well. I guess it never does, but that is more evident to us right now. It is difficult to put into words something that covers the two disparate, but equally accurate, truths. I have hope and am not defeated, but must fight dirty to stay that way. How can we already be conquerors and also need to prepare to fight? How can Monday be so hard when the weekend was so good? Why are my kids right back to where they were…because now the other one is fighting me too. Why did it take long enough to write this that the situation changed? Sigh. Because this is life. And in truth, it’s messy and broken. But it’s not the only thing we know to be truth. So here I go.