Welcome to Of Laughing & Crying. This is life. The journey of joyful mountain tops, the struggle it is to get up there to that mountain top sometimes and the choice of perspective in between.
Two years ago I heard the words, “It’s cancer.” Never did I dream those words would be said to me by a doctor. I was always healthy, never had ongoing health problems, rarely (and I mean rarely! We’re talking, like, once every 5 years or more) went to a doctor for even a check-up. Then out of nowhere, a bump showed up and then those dreaded words.
The laughing and crying have reached new extremes these last two years. Sometimes it’s both at once. I’ve discovered, that to get through the crying, you have to learn to laugh. I’ve definitely cracked some cancer jokes and made my friends highly uncomfortable. But you have to learn to laugh through the tears!
Truthfully though, sometimes you can’t laugh. Sometimes you just cry. Let me tell you, I’ve had some rollercoaster emotions through this journey! I seriously sometimes wondered if I hadn’t developed some sort of mental/emotional disorder as well. For real, I could be having a great day and then someone said something that wasn’t even anything big and it just hit me the wrong way. Suddenly I was a raging storm inside and that sent me into days of darkness and struggle. What I’ve been learning as of late though is that there is always a choice.
I think one of our biggest battles in life is our thought life. Seriously, the battle is in the mind! It’s incredible what we can convince ourselves of or how we can completely see something wrong because of the way our brain processes it.
Honestly, the last month has been hard. It’s the longest I’ve struggled in this journey. Then I got the kick in the butt, “Krista, make a choice. Choose to see things differently.” Seriously, how many times can one person learn the same lesson over again and still not get it? I mean, I’ve been in this place many times over the past two years and God has continually spoken to me that strength comes from being in His presence and worship is my strength and weapon. The past month, I have not worshipped near as much as I should have; I have not spent near as much time in God’s presence as I should have. And guess what? No surprise, I began to doubt His promises, I began to doubt my healing would ever come, I lost my drive to fight and everything in life looked negative. Without realizing it, I began to live defeated.
But God!!!! The best two words in the English language! But God…had grace for me, had patience with me. He came again and reminded me that I have a choice. When I made that choice and I chose to turn my eyes to Him again, I have been refilled with hope, reinvigorated for the fight, refocused on my big God rather than the problems that surround me.
I was reminded today of the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. I grew up hearing that story and always liked to think that if my faith was ever tested by an evil ruler that I would be able to stand strong like they did. Today, I realized, it’s not always people that test our faith. We don’t have to wait for some major religious persecution to test our faith. Sometimes it’s circumstances. Right now, cancer is my Nebuchadnezzar attempting to knock me down. Cancer is testing my faith, cancer is taunting me to doubt my God, cancer is threatening to kill me. But you know what, like those three men, I have a choice to look cancer in the face and say, “O cancer, I have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, if I be cast into a fiery furnace, my God whom I serve is able to deliver me from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver me out of your hand, o cancer. But if not, be it known to you, cancer, that I will not serve another or worship another.” (Daniel 3:16-18, my paraphrase) I have a choice to stand in faith on the ability of my God. But even more so, even if He doesn’t come through the way I want Him to, will I regret my faith or still declare His ability and His goodness?
Life is full of laughter and crying. But there is always a choice to be made. I’m learning that choosing to face the storm and scream the name of Jesus into it is so much better than surrendering to the storm and being swept away. I want my life to be a testimony that God is faithful and God is good – regardless of what my circumstances look like. At least with God there is the hope of impossibilities changing into possibilities. So today I choose joy; I choose God.
I’ve got some upcoming posts brewing already. I’ll share about thankfulness soon as well as the journey through alternative treatment…plus whatever else comes up in the coming days, weeks & months. So stay tuned!