I've been going through a lot lately. Digesting a cancer diagnosis is not quite as palatal as digesting a piece of chocolate cake. But we still need to digest it and work through whatever has been thrown at us to conquer. I've known theologically through all of this that God was with me. I've known it in my heart, but at times my heart was so hurt and so angry and so disillusioned that all that negativity was keeping me from feeling the love of God during this time.
I think this is normal. I think God understands that. I think God knows that we are so fragile, so sensitive to our emotions that we need time to process and digest before we can realize that adversity can result in cheesecake even when it feels like a fallen souffle' (I may have food on the brain going into Thanksgiving)......I digress....
With that said, we are fragile and because we experience life through our senses, we need to feel, touch, hear, smell, taste and see God to sometimes believe that God is with us on our journey. Sometimes it takes a looooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggg time for us to see those neon signs in front of our faces, but they are there. Sometimes the hardest thing about faith is believe in God and knowing God is with us without those experiential senses tied to it. Just because we cannot feel, touch, smell, taste or see God sometimes, doesn't mean that God is not there. But then there are times, our sense are overwhelmed with God right there, right with us and the moment we need it most. God comes to us through Grace.
I've said it once, I'll say it again: I am far too flawed to understand the WHY THINGS HAPPEN in the world, but I believe in Grace. Grace WILL prevail at sometime. Grace Happens through People. And I can show you an example of where I got to feel, touch, see, hear and taste Grace in action in my life. God came to me through Grace.
Grace happened to me last week. Grace showed up in my life like a big neon sign for a cupcake bakery. Grace came to me frosted, with pink roses and sunshine and smiles and promises THAT EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OK.
Grace rocks, people.
Grace came to me in the form of a letter. You see, my husband and I are moving from Kansas to Virginia with the Army. We've been holding off on my treatment (with the approval of my doctors) until we get to our new duty station. We knew about this move before my cancer diagnosis. In fact, we had put down the contract and earnest money on our new home the week before we found out the news. In my gut, I knew (remember grace! listen to your gut!) that we should move anyway and we would figure out how to do that around the cancer.
But the move was an added complication to an already complicated mess and it didn't help with the struggles with anxiety I continued to have.
But then this letter came. This beautiful letter that had grace coming from it out of every sentence. You see, the executors of the estate that we were buying the house from had found my blog. And they had reached out to me from my blog email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to send me a message. You see, the previous owners of the house were a lot like me and Treb. He was a retired military man--a WWII decorated veteran and his wife was a nurse like me. They were a strong Christian family with deep ties to the area we are moving....and Gail told me in this letter that this house was meant to be ours. SHE SAID MY CANCER WOULD BE HEALED BY THE LOVE IN THAT HOUSE (Ok, so that wasn't what she wrote, but the message I received! God's grace sends messages!). Gail has told me I can share the letter with you all so you too can see that GRACE HAPPENS. Grace comes like an advertisement in Neon when you need it and I desperately needed this message from God that everything was going to be ok:
I understand you are the new owner of my late uncle's home, as our family fondly refers to the house on P Lane. My cousin Don the executor of my Uncle John's estate, shared your Face Book page with me. Wanting to know more I went to your blog page. I am touched deeply.
Since I have not met you I was not comfortable posting on the blog but I feel compelled to reach out to you. I want you to know about the tremendous love and blessings and celebrations that were shared in your new home. The home where you will rest your head, where you will return after your treatments for the cancer which has invaded your body, where you will recuperate and God willing, beat this beast, where you will raise your children, where you will nurture and strengthen your marriage, where you will seek and find the peace of Christ.
My dear Uncle John and Aunt Wini, my mom's only sister, showed me the true essence of Sacramental Marriage. Never have I witnessed a couple more devoted to one another or more in love. Nothing was more important to either of them than their love for the Lord, their love for each other and the love they had for their children. Their doors were always open to our large extended family as well as the hundreds of friends my cousins had. Not only was their door open but their hearts as well. Their love was so great that it could not be contained within their home but spilled over into the community and beyond, in service to the poor and the homeless, in the establishment of prayer groups to bring others closer to the heart of Jesus Christ, in ministry to the sick and home bound. The list is long.
I believe with all my heart and soul that God has a plan for each of us and that His plan is perfect. Many times we can't comprehend this or see His light because of the darkness that we allow to overwhelm us. But I am certain that it is no coincidence that my beloved Uncle John was called home a few months ago and that his family home was available just when you needed it.
So, Anna, know of my prayers for you and for your family. May you find comfort knowing you now reside in a home that has been blessed in so many ways. May you continue the legacy of love for the Lord, for your spouse, for your children and for the Kingdom which began so many years ago by John and Wini Tracy. May God bless you and give you strength. Paix, Gail.Senyè,
Mwen te tande yon nonm di "Mwen ba ou kè mwen." Men maten an mwen santi ke mwen pa kapab ba ou sèlman kè m'. Mwen ba ou tèt mwen tout antyè.
Lord, I heard a man say "I give you my heart." But this morning I feel I cannot give only my heart. I offer my whole self.
Even as I re-read my post, I am brought to tears. God sent me a sign through another person that I desperately needed in the middle of this chaos and I (and my husband) were touched beyond measure. God does send signs. Yes, some are bigger and bolder than others, but I know if we open our hearts to these signs, we will see them and we will be comforted and brought peace. God never promised me a rose garden in my life, but he did say he would be there with me through it all. When we love one another, we are sending God-signs to each other. And when I got this God-sign from Gail, my anxiety and fear abated.
I cannot thank her enough.