Yesterday my husband and I grilled steaks for dinner and ate outside on a wonderful California-like day in Minnesota. After that, we made a bonfire, read books, played music and talked until long after dark. Yesterday I was free of all worry and anxiety.
This morning I woke up feeling peaceful and cheerful …but still there was an unsettled feeling inside of me. While it seems obvious that my anxiety would be about my upcoming surgery, I knew it was more than that.
I grabbed my computer and looked through one of my favorite blogs, Just a Minute, until I found a title that looked like it might be of help to me. And I found it. The title is – Move Beyond Fear. I figured fear and anxiety are close cousins so I clicked on it to read more. This is what she had to say –
“Fear can be overwhelming when it is a general mass of unknown anxiety so you need to name it. What are you afraid will happen when you step out in faith? Define it – or one part of it. Narrow it down, find the core.
But also be aware of this: facing the fear doesn’t take away the emotion of fear, but it allows you to replace the lie that fear is telling you with the truth of God’s Word. When you name fear you disarm it of its power but it takes a while for your emotions to fall in line with your faith.
Faith is choosing to trust God with the path, every step of the way. The detours, the disasters and yes, the destiny.”
So I decided to name my fears and replace it with God’s truth in order break it’s power over my life.
FEAR #1 – I am afraid that cancer could take my life much earlier than I would choose.
TRUTH – Psalm 139:16 tells me that my days are ordained and written in the book. There is nothing I can do to lengthen my days. What I can do is follow Jesus and make the most of the days that I am given.
FEAR #2 – I love my life. I love my husband, my kids and their spouses, my grandkids, my extended family and my friends. I love sitting outside on long summer nights having bonfires and playing music. I love our vacations to Carmel, CA. I love hanging out with people who after 2/3 – maybe 5 hours…it seems like we just got started.
I love it when the kids and the grandkids show up and invade our house. I love babysitting and getting to know every quirk and unique trait that each one has…I love watching them grow and mature into amazing little people.
I don’t want to miss out on any part of life over the next year, being sick and tired and tired of being sick. I don’t want to miss the many years of family and friendships that are up ahead of me. I love my life and I don’t want the good times to ever end.
TRUTH # 2 – Jesus is the way, the truth, and the LIFE. (John 14:6) Most of my worries are rooted in over-attachment to this life which can become an idol. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 tells me that I am to hold loosely to the things of this world and keep my eyes focused eternally.
A life with Jesus promises that I will enjoy moments that far surpass any of my best moments here on earth – through out eternity. And I will enjoy that with my family and with many of you – some who I have not yet met in person. Hmmmm…that is a truth I can hold onto.
FEAR #3 – I don’t want my family to suffer because of my upcoming journey and I don’t want them to suffer if I were to leave this earth sooner rather than later.
TRUTH #3 – Every member of my family is a believer and God cares for them far better than I ever could.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” – Deuteronomy 7:9
While my fears are not all the way settled, God’s truth is breaking it’s power over me.
My radiation doctor said this to me on Friday, “The cancer journey is like a roller coaster. For the past month you have been inching up to the top and you are just about there. Now it’s going to be time to get in the car and take the ride…and before you know it you will be back on solid ground.”
So here’s the deal with that. I don’t like roller coasters, not one little bit. I am always looking over the rails afraid of what might happen if I tumbled out. I don’t like unexpected twists and turns. I don’t like heights and I don’t like the fact that I cannot get out or stop the ride.
But some people are different. They have some ridiculous sort of blind trust as they climb into the car. With every sudden twist and turn and even with the insanity of free-falling in mid-air, they throw back their heads and they laugh. (My daughter in law, Nikki, is one of these people and it honestly concerns me.)
So I am left with a choice. I am at the top of the roller coaster and I can hang on white knuckled and fearful – or I can throw my hands up and arms wide and have a radical – ridiculous – trust in the One who created the Universe. Well, ok then. I’m in.
Faith isn’t really faith until it has been tested.
***My daughter Taylor (Tay) will be blogging next week after my surgery to update you and pass along some thoughts about faith.Until next time,
BEAUTIFUL. Love you Sister.
Love you more!
Thanks for sharing your fears and God’s truth. You said, “Most of my worries are rooted in over-attachment to this life which can become an idol.” Wow! So true.
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
Take care, dear Cousin!
Thank you, ma’am. Ahhh…the painful truths I am learning on this journey. But all good. Thanks for that verse…it completes my verse for this cancer journey. You just gave me a little more to memorize – I need to drill this into my head.
So do not fear – for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand. – Isaiah 41:10.
And I suppose I better go back and look at verses 11 and 12!!
Love you, Deb. You are so KIND…in every regard 🙂
HAHAHAHA! OK, UB. I will take that to heart !!!
Jackie… sending you & Eric and your entire family love and hugs on this eve of your surgery. You are one tough cookie… YOU GOT THIS!!! This is just a blip in the road … you will come out stronger. Wishing you peace & strength for your surgery tomorrow…
LOVE to you all!!
What a treat to see your name today, Bix!! Surgery went very well and I came home at 11 today :). I am praying that you are right – I got a big blip checkmarked today and that feels very good. So good to see your name here. We MUST get that coffee scheduled that we talked about when we were early morning grocery shopping at Jerry’s!!
Oh Jackie, I have always loved having you as a friend. You make me laugh , cry, think, remember, always happy thoughts. You know my heart is with you and I believe your amazing attitude will prevail. Know that I walk with you on this journey and pray for you sincerely 💕Dori
Oh, Dori! Sooo good to hear from you and thank you for your sweet card. One of the few good things on this journey is catching up with friends who I haven’t seen for awhile. And please know – I feel all those very same things about you. Lots of good times at the Gustafson home! You will never believe this but I still have nightmares about being in the marching band! My dreams include forgetting the moves, not knowing the music (although it’s pretty easy to fake it on the football field), forgetting my spats and not liking my spats in the first place because I wished I was up in the stands having fun with the rest of our friends. I kind of think that means band was not a good fit for me…haha haha! Thanks for touching base – I really appreciate it. 🙂