Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is with you wherever you go.”. Joshua 1:9
I have many moments these days where I am neither strong or courageous, but I am afraid and discouraged. This verse seems to be the one that is ringing loud in my ears this year! I had no idea when God gave it to me as the theme verse for our Women’s conference in March, that it would be the words I would be clinging to with all my strength.
Today I heard words like “aggressive” and “bone biopsy” and “treatment plan” and “B cell Lymphoma” as if they were to now be a normal part of our conversation. How can we be here. Just two weeks ago we watched my Daddy slowly slip away to heaven. Two months ago we welcomed our little grandson five weeks early and rejoiced that he had no major issues. In January I struggled through two rounds of the flu followed by pneumonia. Before and during that I wrestled with the decision of where to take care of my Dad, learning about dementia and what choices we had for his care. I walked through the betrayal of a sibling who manipulated my Dad to change everything he had put in place for decision making as he moved into his last years. But I had no clue we would be walking through this storm. I don’t want to be in this storm. I don’t want to understand words like aggressive and chemo and biopsies and pain management. I don’t want to constantly clear my mind of all the possible scenarios. I don’t want to grit my teeth and bite my cheek to fight back tears. I don’t want to pretend to be strong and positive and optimistic. I want to go back before the onslaught of life storms began its attack on our family. But then I step back and I look at the face of my big man, and the precious faces of my girls and I tell myself that while this might be the biggest storm yet, “He is with us wherever we go”. We are beginning to understand the storms we have watched others weather through. In the midst of this uncertainty we will continue to believe. We will remain hopeful. We will cling tightly to His hand.