In August of last year, I was presented with a thick book; “Survivorship” printed across the top.
My scans had all been clear, and it was time to talk about life after cancer.
One of the most difficult parts of life after cancer is the temptation to fear a recurrence. This is something I wrestled with, and had to daily, sometimes hourly intentionally cast this fear onto the Lord. After a bookend was placed on the cancer journey, anytime I would consider a recurrence, tears would flow like two hot rivers streaming down my cheeks. I could not even conceive of a day, some imaginary day in the future, where I would find out cancer had once again intersected with my life. My biggest fear within the fear was finding out that I would have to go through chemo again. Chemo was not friendly to me in 2015.
Little did I know that four short months after receiving the “Survivorship” book, would I actually hear those words that I so feared. The cancer was back, and chemo would be the first weapon used to battle it.
On December 7, 2016, the fear that I had so feared had become reality. The news I had so dreaded, and the “worst case” that I had cast upon the Lord was no longer a “what if”. But on that day, what surprised me even more than the news, was the gift that the Lord has prepared for us, waiting for us on that day.
It was the gift of grace in the moment.
Grace was waiting, a gift unopened until those moments when we needed it most.
I want to spell out exactly what this grace looked like in that exam room, so this thought isn’t just a nice concept but it becomes concrete in your heart and my heart.
His grace gift – the day prior, I gathered with three prayer warriors and they prayed powerful prayers of grace over whatever we would learn the next day- good or bad.
His grace gift – a prayer emailed to me the morning of the appointment by a precious prayer warrior, which I read aloud before the doctor came into share the news. God used this prayer and scripture spoken aloud in that physical space to establish our hearts and prepare us for the news we were about to receive.
His grace gift – after the doctor shared the news we feared my response was simply: “I have faith.” As the words fell on my ears, I knew they were not my words, but words the Lord put in my mouth and spoke over me, through me.
His grace gift – the “Like a River Glorious” peace that flowed through our hearts, despite the very difficult news we had just received.
Grace was waiting.
His grace is like manna from above – we cannot hoard it, we cannot gather it early, it comes ONLY when we need it. We must have faith to believe that if we walk through that hard thing we fear, that grace will be waiting, like a gift waiting to be received.
Right now, in your heart and in mine there is a “worst case scenario” that you fear. Maybe your “worst case” is the reality that I am living. I’m here to share today that YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEAR that worst case “what if”. You don’t have to fear sickness, the death of a loved one, a child straying. You don’t have to fear cancer.
Grace will be waiting.
The reality is, some of those fears may actually come to pass. (Not encouraging, but stick with me). You might get cancer, your husband may not return home from deployment, your child may walk away from the Lord.
BUT, if you ever get to that day, grace will be waiting.
I do not want to make light of this journey. I’m journeying through a deep valley. But His daily grace is deeper still. It greets me daily in surprising and delightful ways. His sustaining grace envelops our family and allows us to make it through another day.
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
This is why you don’t have to fear cancer. If you are ever hear that news, His abundant, perfect grace will be waiting for you there, too.