As a cancer survivor I have carried a lot of guilt. After one speaking engagement, a young woman approached me and said, "why did my mom pass and you were healed?" Obviously, no one could answer that question except God. But, it did motivate me to enter a biblical counseling program so that I could bring hope to others going through similar struggles. Having said all of that I realized something today. Digging through some buried treasures~ I realized something that brought healing to my soul.
My middle daughter was 11 when I was diagnosed with choriocarcinoma in 2001. My oncologist told us that Rachel would be effected the most deeply by my battle because she was at the age where she would feel abandoned by me. Well, that's what I heard him say, anyway. I know he only meant to help.
Please don't judge him. He saved my life to eradicate cancer from my liver. In the process, God showed Him His miracle working power and Sam and I saw this kind, highly compassionate man bow his head to the name of Jesus. He was and still is to my knowledge a practicing muslim, so this was a huge step for him.
This one comment speared my heart like no amount of chemotherapy or cruel comments from insensitive people. And, yes, a lot of thoughtless things were said to both Sam and I during this time. Yet, the amount of love poured out on us from family, friends and fellow church members was off the hook. So, those senseless remarks were quickly forgiven and forgotten.
It was not until today, when I realized how the doctors comment had turned into a deep dark burden I have carried for the last 14 years.
So I was down in the basement today, opening those plastic containers that you use to store Christmas decorations. Because I intended to take down our tree.
Occupied with checking different storage boxes to see which ones would hold the wreaths, stockings, ornaments and other holiday trimmings.
Once again, don't judge me because I opened her journal from the year following our bout with my time in the hospital. The time when her sister struggled with depression after my cancer. Her older sister who she adored hit bottom immediately after we lost our second pregnancy and discovered I had tumors in my liver.
Oh my goodness. This big eyed sweet little girl poured out her heart in this diary. And, I so needed to see it because I realized as I read her accounts that our Father God had her firmly in his hand through the whole trial. All the trips to the doctors for chemo, blood work, all the trips to the hospital and doctor for her big sister, and all the days she spent helping to take care of her baby sister she was a typical teenager.
She detailed how her friends pulled her through. How her daddy and I took her to the "mallness". The mall in her adolescent lingo. To buy her the jeans she wanted or the cd from her favorite boy band. And, the boy she had a crush on. Watching the Lord of the Rings at the movies with her bestie. And how much she loved it. Her friends who helped her through the bad times, she just poured out her heart in a way that I knew to be true because after all it was her private journal.
So why am I making this private moment public now? Because within those precious treasures, I found my freedom from the truck load of guilt that I'd been carrying all of these years.
And, I worshipped my God. I worshipped Him for taking care of my baby when I could not. For surrounding my family with His blessings and His love in ways I never could have even imagined.
Then I texted my girl. And, I told her how much I miss her and love her. She texted back, "I love you too, mom.":-) Then she talked about coming home for a visit soon.
Can't wait.. and, oh, I'm so glad He gave me the treasures in darkness from your heart to mine.
For those who are in that deep valley now, my prayer is that you will see the sovereignty and might of our awesome God. May He give you your treasures He has stored for you from those times in the dark night of your soul.
As our daughter signed out on each of her journal entries~ peace, love and healing to you for this coming year and beyond...
Isaiah 45:3Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.