“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
I entered the new year filling in the calendar with activities I enjoy. I have three trips planned for the year: a mother-daughter getaway, a family trip to the beach in the summer and a week in Florida with my husband in December. It’s always good to have things to look forward to so we begin charting our course in January. My husband always said, “Anticipating the adventure is as exciting as the adventure itself.”
There it was, my life mapped out in front of me. With the locations chosen, the weeks and months selected and the anticipated events holding out a promising future, I closed the planner and got busy living with daily activities. January moved slowly as record snow falls halted life and nature rearranged schedules and happenings. It was good to have an excuse to stay in the house, eat comfort food, and keep the fire burning. February brought more snow, a schedule filled with obligations — and an unfamiliar pain.
The constancy of the relentless discomfort forced a call to the doctor and tests were ordered. An audible sigh of relief echoed through the room when the doctor confidently shared the good report. But the pain, what about the pain? More tests could be ordered in an effort to name the annoying intruder. The pain wasn’t so intense, yet its continual presence could not be ignored.
Another test was ordered. Yes, there is a reason for the pain. Is it serious? Plan for the worst. But the weekend getaway. Plan for the worst. The family trip to the beach? Plan for the worst. The week in Florida in December? Plan for the worst.
Ovarian cancer has a way of rearranging a schedule, upending the normalcy of a life often taken for granted, and replacing familiar and much anticipated activities with unknown and unwelcome happenings. Gowns that tie in the back, cold prods revealing the previously unknown devastation within one’s own body and the interminable waiting for the test results that have the capacity to leave one breathless in disbelief.
As I lay on the cold table, the lone tear caressing my face and comforting my soul, I heard the words, “and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” I fully expected to live out this promise, but not today. I knew my life was not my own, but why this year? I had chosen the word “patience” as the one word that represented what I most hoped God would develop in me during the new year, but why this way?
Father God, as I begin to walk on this unknown path, I pray only that you would be glorified. All that I have is yours and I surrender myself to you to do as you wish with me, knowing all things are intended for good. Thank you for the very real and experienced peace of God which is sustaining me during this most difficult time. My heart is full as I am resting securely in your arms. In Jesus name. Amen.