My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

06 March 2008

letting go is hard to do

Sometimes after a passionate and distressing conversation I begin to realize, much to my chagrin, that perhaps it is I who needs a shift in attitude, understanding, or simple faith. Recently, as we were talking about the future and finances and how we'll ever be able to afford a more financially demanding life, I was telling my husband how hard it can be for me to let it rest and simply say "oh, everything will be fine." You see, I don't believe that. I don't. Try and make me. You will fail.

I don't believe things will work out unless I plan accordingly, unless each step is calculated to make sure I'm headed in the right direction, until enough research has been done to plan for every eventuality, until every problem has been solved and every possible question has been considered ... AND answered. How in the WORLD can you believe, with a casual toss of the hand, that "everything will be fine" if you don't plan for fine!? Its nigh unto impossible!

Now, lest you think I exaggerate for the sake of literary effect, or that this is a lot of mock frustration to elicit emotion from my reader, let me have you know I've shed real tears over this, including a good sob session just this week. I really have a hard time letting go of the things I can't figure out, can't plan for, can't answer. I consider most problems in life a challenge, most opposition like an algebra problem that must be solved to pass the class, and no problem is too complex. Maybe it was all those years of being single and self-suficient, but it simply is not in my nature to just let things "play out," as it were. I am convinced that kind of attitude is a recipe for imminent disaster.

This, of course, leaves me distraught and distressed more often than not. My head can recognize its fairly unrealistic to think I can plan for every eventuality and answer every question life hands me. But still, its in my nature to try (and honestly, how often does the head control the actions, anyway?). My downfall often comes from the fact that up to now there are a lot of problems I HAVE been able to solve, questions I've answered, obstacles through which I have slogged and come out victorious. I am an intelligent, creative, somewhat stubborn woman, and have yet to be confronted with trials I was not willing to battle.

As I've argued with those around me, I've discovered one advantage the "oh, it'll be fine" crowd has: a propensity for faith. Or at the very least, they have a relaxed attitude about the unknown, a willingness to let tomorrow worry about itself while they deal with today. Its built in to their personalities, their very nature. They truly are relaxed and will deal with whatever comes when it comes, and not until then. I seem to be surrounded by these people, which can be very annoying. But for the first time in a while, I'm beginning to see these people in a new light, and my annoyance is turning to envy. What I once saw as irresponsibility and flightiness I'm now beginning to see as something akin to faith.

In the midst of my most recent battle with the unknown, having once again run the gamut of my emotions, I began to hear gentle reminders from the Lord. When has he ever failed me? When has he proven himself unfaithful? Is there some part of my future life he hasn't already figured out, questions he hasn't answered, equations he hasn't solved? I may have miniscule knowledge of the all-powerful and almighty God, but this I know: God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is faithful. He cannot not be faithful, its not in his nature (just as letting go of tomorrow tends not to be in mine). He's already been where I'm going, and he will walk with me as I go through it myself.

For the first time in a while, I feel like I'm sitting on the edge of another huge chapter of unknowns in my life. Unknowns distress me. They truly do. And those of you who's nature it is not to be concerned about such things, count your blessings. Its uncomfortable being distressed by these things, but I imagine this very struggle will be a lifelong one for me. God will consistently have to remind me of his faithfulness, his love and care for me. He cares for the sparrows of the field! How much more must he care for me?? My problem here is my self-suficiency. Self-suficiency and faith do not work well together. I'm going to be a handful as I continue to try and learn this lesson. But I DO want to learn, and I want to learn it well.

(By the way, I would recommend against the "Oh, everything will fine" routine when I come to you with a question I can't answer. It will still be a while before it doesn't make me angry.)

Though I have a hard time believing that "everything will be fine," I DO believe that God is good, and that he is faithful, and that he holds my life, my future, and the lives and futures of everyone around me, in the palm of his powerful, loving and almighty hand. He will not let me fall, he will not tempt me with more than I can handle, he will be my strength to endure and the source of all great blessings. THESE are the truths I've let slip from my mind, the truths I need to remember to hold fast to, the very truths that bring peace to my distressed heart.

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

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