If not for Love
Our world fell down around us one year ago today… Diagnosis Day.
Fast forward one year to the day and I am heading up to the hospital for my 17th chemo infusion. The irony is not lost on me.
It’s hard to know whether to celebrate because I have made it through the year or to be despondent because I have been living with this disease and going through chemo for a year with little in the way of medical results to show for it.
We would have been just about to have our third child now…. but that’s off the table for the foreseeable future. It’s an ache I feel deep inside me as I see Rachel put on her bravest face, though I know inside her mother’s heart is breaking.
So much stolen from us…. so much.
Because of me. Because my body is broken.
All our plans lay scattered on the ground like someone has opened a window and sent a pile of papers flying through the air. Our future as easy to pin down as a mosquito buzzing around your ear in the middle of the night.
Because of me.
God…. save us. Save our family. Restore what has been taken from us… with interest for all the crap we have to endure.
I know your arm is not too short that it can’t reach out and put an end to this madness.
I know you can.
Because through it all, through the burning skin, the vomiting, the nausea, the exhaustion, the nose bleeds, the ulcers, the pins and needles, the peeling skin, the mood swings, the rising markers… I hear the still, small voice of your spirit…. leading me on. Urging me forward…. gently.
…When tomorrow has been stolen and you can’t lift your head
And summer feels like winter, your heart is full of stone.
Though all your hopes have fallen your skin is now your only armour
Wear your scars like medals defender of the faith.
Come, come lay your weary head be still my friend
Come, rise I’ll place my sword upon your shoulder
Come, come lay your faithful head, be still my friend
Come, rise with me.
If not for Love, Love that laid down it’s own life in place of mine…. how would I make it through this? I know that I am overshadowed by the biggest set of wings ever seen. I look up and know that I am covered. I know I will be safe, protected… though I don’t know in what form it will arrive… or when.
In Psalm 91 (The Message) God promises this:
You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance.
Yes, because God‘s your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
14-16 “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”
Like I said… I don’t know how it will arrive or when but I know this….. it’s coming.
You wait and see.