I’m not a fan of storms. I’m terrified of them, actually. They send me into a fury of violent cleaning and running of all household appliances to avoid the crash of thunder and the sight of lightning. (Violent cleaning- one of my healthier coping skills- trust me. We’re talking Cross-Fit type- cleaning.)
Yet, I have to admit-a week or so ago I found there is also something beautifully terrifying about them. I found it in this picture.
It was taken from the balcony of our favorite vacation spot- Pinestead Reef Resort- in Traverse City, Michigan.
It took me 2 hours and 244 pics to catch this picture. At some point, I realized, I wasn’t afraid. I was enthralled.
“Why aren’t I afraid? Have I lost my mind? I’m sitting here-with my arms on a steel balcony, sticking my long lens camera out like a lightning rod- trying to SEE it better. That thing I’m afraid of. The thing I avoid and hide from.”
Maybe it was because the storm was out across the bay. Maybe it was because I have absolutely no sense when I’m behind a camera lens. Maybe its because I wasn’t sitting in my home nest- surrounded by those I love afraid it’s about to be set afire or torn apart. Maybe- it’s because I had a different perspective. Or maybe-it was a God- thing.
I think it was a little of all those things.
This week is yet another game changer. Last week we found out that my husband’s zombie cancer has spread even further and faster. BOOOM. Can you hear the thunder? I can. That news felt like a direct lightning strike to the heart.
Tomorrow- we meet with the oncologist to form a specific plan. What we know already is that the next step is: chemo. There’s something about chemo that makes cancer very real. It means He’s going to (potentially) look and feel sick.
Something that has been surreal about this 3 year walk through cancer- is that aside from minor med side effects and 1 surgery- my husband hasn’t looked, or felt- sick.
Cancer has been like heat lightning or a storm viewed from across a bay. It keeps flashing to make it’s presence known, but has been (surreally) more emotionally hard than physically. This week that could change.
The truth is- every person responds to chemo uniquely. We have never done this, and have no idea how he will feel. There is really no way to predict what side effects he’ll actually have. Vomit? Exhaustion? Hair loss? Who knows? I don’t. The oncologist doesn’t. What we have is just have a list of “potential side effects.”
What we do know is this- we are facing the biggest storm of our life.
We also know this: We are not facing it alone. We are facing it with faith that God is present- even here. We are facing it with the love and support of friends and family. And we are facing it together.
Every year when we visit Traverse City- we stop at the same spot and I take a picture (Or, a hundred.) of my guys on the beach. I usually try to plan this on a sunny- beautiful day. That didn’t happen this year. This year there were clouds. Rain. A storm coming in. Also-this year- a couple happened to be there at the same time.
I asked them to take our picture. It’s the first time my whole family is in the shot. Which-at this moment- is a symbol that we’re in this mess together. We’ll get through this storm: together. Regardless of the lightning or wind it brings.
God and the love He pours out in and through His people- is greater than cancer.
Bits and pieces of Psalm 55 I’m savoring—
“My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;[c]
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
But as for me, I trust in you.
Dear Lord- I don’t know what’s ahead. This storm has been raging for a long time and is increasing in intensity. I pray that you’d be our focus. Lord, help us face it like the storm on the beach. Be our peace, our comfort and savior- help us find beauty- Even here-In Jesus name-amen