Last year on the day after Labor Day, I couldn't get out of bed. I was giving God an earful. He had told me to "jump out of the plane" and move to Austin. I jumped. I quit my job and moved down here. Six weeks later I accused God of holding me by my shoestrings while I plummeted to the earth. With my nose so close to the ground I could smell the grass, I yelled, "You'd better be God!"
He was. He is.
I finally got out of bed that day when someone called and offered me a job. I accepted. I opened my e-mail. Another job. I accepted. Two jobs in an hour! God hadn't let go. And as I drove down Hwy 183 that afternoon, Matt Redman sang "You Never Let Go" on my radio, just in case I hadn't gotten the message. All morning I had wallowed in fear of the future not knowing I was actually on the verge of something wonderful.
Of course I had to quit both of my jobs three weeks later when Wonderful showed up. Now most people I know don't spell "Wonderful" with a "c." Especially not c-a-n-c-e-r. But they may spell it c-h-u-r-c-h. Or maybe f-a-m-i-l-y and f-r-i-e-n-d-s. Many spell it l-o-v-e o-f C-h-r-i-s-t. I have known the love of Christ more in the past year than in any other. I've seen it in the food you put on my table, in my kitchen sink when you washed my hair--before it fell out in the shower you cleaned and the on carpet you vacuumed, in the driver's seat of your car, in the chair you pulled around in front of me so I wouldn't have to crane my neck to talk to you during chemo, on my bathroom rug when you kneeled next to me after chemo, on your sofa when our community group prayed for me, in my mailbox when you sent me cards--and lots and lots of money (who are you, anonymous, plain-white-envelope person?), and on the floor where your knees go down and my name goes up. I've felt it in hugs and well wishes in the hallways at church, at the retreat I crashed at Baylor, in your living room when I came over, in my living room when you came over. I've known it in your grace when I was moody, in your patience when I couldn't think straight, in your strength when I had none. I heard it when you called just to check on me, when you told me how you forward these emails, when you read my article to your Sunday School class and your whole church, when you told me I was gifted, when you told me I inspired you, when you told me I had a perfect head.
Today is the one-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. And when I look back at the last year, I have to celebrate. This has been the best year of my life.
The next year still holds five more months of chemo Mondays, two more surgeries, one giant thesis, and many other things I don't know about yet. What I do know is this: I'm on the verge of something wonderful. I can't wait to see how God spells it this year.
"This I know, that God is for me" (Psalm 56:9 NASB).
P.S. Veena, my friend whose daughter died, is doing great. She and her husband came over for breakfast the day you prayed for her. They are delightful. She thanked me for the prayers you emailed and said they were very encouraging (all 82 of them!). They encouraged me too. You guys are amazing. Thanks for sharing your heart with her.