As always, thank you for your prayers. They have been having some amazing effects. In fact, last week, I started getting the familiar stomach pains and trying to make my way through them when suddenly, they stopped. Later, I learned that a friend traveling in Israel had been praying for me at just that time! Please keep them coming, and know that I pray for you.
Last week during chemotherapy, a priest asked what gives me hope. I am grateful for a strong faith, and I believe in the beautiful synchronicity in this universe, even if I don’t always understand it.
That doesn’t necessarily keep me from feeling stressed or sad. Last week, when I got my latest CEA number, I was definitely down. And as I sit here, waiting to be called for my CT scan this morning, I am definitely stressed.
I’m not intimately familiar with the story of Job, though lately I relate to the pieces I know. Job had this fabulous, awesome life and then it all seemed to go downhill. He went through various phases: He was bitter, he tried to make sense of it, he tried figuring out cause and effect, he prayed excessively. Nothing seemed to help.
I don’t think I went through a bitter phase, but I definitely went through anger and fear. I also tried to make sense of it – what could be the reason for all this? Did I do something to cause this? If so, maybe that knowledge would help me to reverse it. I looked at others who had cancer and did well – what set them apart? How did they do it? Could I do that, too? I could find nothing consistent. People who are low-risk got cancer as well as people who are high-risk. There are vegetarian survivors as well as those who eat bacon or pork rinds, optimists as well as pessimists, meditators as well as type A individuals. Survivors include those who believe in God as well as, thankfully, those who do not.
After years of puzzling this, I can only conclude that things happen to us, both good and bad, and our job is to deal with it all as best we can, whatever “best” means to each of us.
If I understand the end of the story, Job reached a point where he basically marveled at the beauty of life, with all its ups and downs and good and bad, and it somehow became okay.
I woke this morning in the dark, thinking of Job and praying that I could see the beauty in the universe, the light in the dark, something. As I lay there, a bright light suddenly shone from outside into my bedroom window. We live in a city area, so floodlights are not uncommon. But since this was shining right into our bedroom, lighting it up, I’m sure I would have noticed it before. Or maybe one of the neighbors recently installed it and the timer was off-schedule.
After I put on my glasses, I could see that it was the full moon, which had risen just above our roofline and the nearby trees. I marveled at the whole scene: the beauty, the answer to my prayers, the bright light in the darkness before the dawn. While it shined so brightly that my eyes hurt to look at it directly, I felt the glimmer of hope again and gave thanks.