Posted by: kathryngraves | April 7, 2012

Tears at Emporia

Tears are a big part of the cancer battle. That’s because loss is a big part. We lose our outer looks. We lose control over what happens to us, or at least the illusion that we’re in control. We lose our sense of normalcy because nothing is the same anymore. We lose a life without pain, the ability to eat, and even the chance to hold a grandchild close. I lost the ability to read or write for months. I became an invalid my husband needed to care for instead of his lover.

So I cried. A lot. The Bible says God keeps our tears in a bottle and I believe that means He’s close enough to count them, to catch them. He notices and more; He pays attention. He really was my comfort, the One who helped me make it through. He was also my healer. It took time, but the treatments worked, the surgery was successful, and radiation obliterated any remaining cancer cells.

One of my promise verses was Luke 17:15, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God.” I knew I would have a loud voice with which to praise God after He healed me, and I do. My great losses have been reversed. My looks (read: hair) came back. I feel good and am healthy now. I’m back to the life I had before with only a few minor exceptions.

And yet, the tears still come. Not over the cancer, but other losses in my life. Last fall a close friend of ours dropped dead. Literally. Then a few weeks later his 19-year old son passed away. As I grieved with his widow, my friend, we turned to the Bible for hope and help. Over the months we’ve relied on a daily verse to give us courage to keep going.

Last week I drove to Kansas City to meet my sister at my mom’s house for several days. We are helping her prepare for a move into assisted living. We enjoyed days of sharing memories but it was also heart-wrenching.  Mom’s memory is failing and she’s alert enough to realize it. The trauma for her is so hard to witness. So as I drove home, processing in my mind all the items I needed to handle for her, it dawned on me that I’m losing her. The sign on the highway said Emporia 5 miles when I broke into sobs.

I knew what to do. I turned the Christian radio station up full blast and let the words of songs like Matthew West’s Strong Enough fill my car and my heart. By the time I whizzed past Emporia the tears had stopped. Comfort came on the wings of God. I felt okay for the time being. But I realized I’m in a season of losses. So when I read Psalm 130:5 this morning, it gave me such peace. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”

Isn’t that really the Easter message? Hope for the future in Christ.

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