Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I know that some people only read the first paragraph and then are finished, so I'll put the most important things up here. Will you please pray for me and my family tomorrow? My mom is having surgery for cancer...please pray the following things:

1) that the doctors would be surprised because the situation is much better than they think
2) that Jesus would comfort my mom and bring healing to her heart
3) that the doctors would be able to give us good answers and good direction for the next few months based on what they find tomorrow.

Thank you for praying! I will post tomorrow or Friday once we know anything.

For those of you still reading, I would like to share some things I have learned (well, it would be more correct to say I am learning them because I still am trying to process through it all). Tonight I shared with some women in my Bible study about the surgery tomorrow and how I'm feeling about it. Their reaction was to tell me that they know someone with cancer and that I just need to trust Jesus.

This has been a very common response when I share about this. And it has been a very frustrating response. As I drove home tonight I was praying about why it makes me so mad when people respond in this way and I have a few ideas.

1) Our society just doesn't know how to grieve themselves, let alone how to be with other people who are. People want to make me feel better and encourage my soul - they don't want to deal with me (or themselves or anyone else) hurting. So, they tell me, perhaps ultimately they are telling themselves, that I just need to trust Jesus and everything will be okay. This makes me so frustrated because I need someone to just tell me it sucks, someone to tell me it is okay to cry and be scared and sad.

2) There is an element of cancer being a very public and common thing. But it is also a very personal thing as well. So when I tell people my mom has cancer, nearly everyone knows someone who has also had cancer. I need to learn how to grieve on my to live in the reality that my mom has cancer. My mom. But when everyone reacts by telling me how their so and so had cancer, it takes away from my mom and our situation. This makes me feel like what I'm going through isn't that big of a deal, and that makes me question my reaction to it. I am sad and scared and upset...but that is an over reaction if it isn't such a big deal (after all, everyone knows someone who had cancer). Plus, all these people smile and tell me they know someone who had cancer, but everyone's all right now. (or even if they aren't all right now, they are still going to smile about it as they tell me). So is something wrong with me that I'm not smiling and I'm not okay? I started to think as I drove home that part of this is my fear that I won't be okay after all of this. Am I going to be at a point where I can smile as I talk about all of this? Do I even want to be at that point?

I so badly want to learn through this how I can better be a resource for students, or whoever in my life goes through a similar situation. My prayer (and please pray it with me) is that I will never be the person that smiles and says "my mom had cancer, I know how you are feeling. Trust Jesus and everything will be okay". I don't want to forget all of this and turn into that person.

Which, I suppose, begs the question of what a good reaction looks like. And I don't know the answer. What I do know is the people who have been the most helpful have been the people that don't know someone who has cancer. One woman, after I told her, said she couldn't know for sure how I felt because she hadn't been there, but she guessed I probably felt like it was all surreal and scary. She could have guessed anything and I would have loved her. She didn't assume, instead she tried to put herself in my shoes. Then she asked me tons of questions about how I was doing, how I was feeling. Instead of telling me to trust Jesus, she told me it sucked and she was sorry. I know that I need to trust Jesus, but before I can trust Jesus I need to feel what I am feeling and give Him those emotions and fears.

Thanks for reading my rambling! I'm still trying to figure this all out. Please pray for my heart, and that Jesus would heal me.

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