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.

10 April 2010


It has been over nine months now that we have endured unemployment. As the days and months go by, with little hope of change, we find it more and more difficult to stay positive. Reminding me that "God is in control" tends to sound a bit trite, to be honest. You think I don't know that? I know that. I do.

I'm really starting to understand desperation, and that nagging feeling that maybe God doesn't see or care about what's going on. Caleb has been out of work now for more than 9 months. And besides one tiny sliver of a possibility for a job, there's nothing. Nothing on the horizon. We went through a time, a month or so ago, where there were actually a few options ... but none of them panned out. They hired other people. It was a really difficult time, actually. We thought we were near the end of this trial. And I have prayed so long and hard that the right employer out there would see Caleb's value far beyond what his resume says. He would be such an awesome addition to any company. But so far, nothing. Does God see? Does he care that we're starting to really feel desperate, that unemployment money is about to run out, that I'd rather be experiencing my baby's milestones at home instead of sitting at work, that my husband and I have tendencies to retreat inside ourselves and fail to really connect enough, that I'm too stressed out to focus on losing 30 pounds of baby weight, but not losing it makes me more stressed out and depressed? I don't know. I honestly don't.

But I have to admit, beneath all the uncertainty and the anger and frustration and the depression, I do believe God has a plan. That he is in control. Maybe its because I have nothing else to cling to, but even if that's the case, I really do have hope. Some days its buried so deep I can't find it. Some days I'm only barely holding on to it. And some days it wraps me up like a blanket and I'm encouraged again. All we've been going through has truly tested my beliefs. Do I truly believe Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead? For me? And if I do, shouldn't I also believe that He is not only powerful enough to orchestrate my circumstances, but He loves me so much He can't wait to bless me by doing so? All He's asking me to do right now is wait.

Its a difficult thing to do, wait. I live in a fast food, 1-hour photo, instant download and drive-through coffee kind of world. Waiting is not part of my culture. But right now, it is what I have been called to do. I admit I don't wait with a lot of grace or patience or peace. There have been plenty of tears and complaining and doubt. But God always brings me back around to Himself. Every time I reach the end of my rope, He's there. Waiting for me to trust him. And so, we head into another month without work, without prospects, without enthusiasm for my job. And still, He asks me to have faith, to trust. I have no choice but to comply. What else is there?

I don't mean to make things sound so bleak. They're not that bad. I do have Thursday and Friday off every week, and I've taken advantage of those days to not only get things done around the house, but hang out with my mom and my sister, catch up on some knitting or quilting, play with Josephine, go on long walks. I've read a couple good books lately and seen a few good movies. Even so, we feel like our lives are being lived in a holding pattern right now. We do what we normally do, but inside we're just waiting ... waiting for the next phase to kick in. I wish I could get out of that, and live each day as though it were FOR something, TOWARD something. But perhaps that's God's plan for us right now. To wait. To learn real trust. This is our purpose, however frustrated it might make us.

There's a passage in the Bible that's been coming to mind a lot lately, which speaks to this very issue. I am hoping this is God's purpose for us right now: perseverance, proven character, and hope, which does not disappoint.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

1 comment:

Robin Reed said...

Waiting is a tough place to be. Patience is a real struggle for me. I have personally been greatly encouraged by John Piper's words on the subject -

"The opposite of impatience is not a glib denial of loss. It's a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience, and to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience - to wait in His place, and to go at His pace." (from "Future Grace" - an excellent book) You & Caleb are in my prayers.