“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
I sat and shook my head as God made clear He had a new word for me. I always felt as though January 1st was a day full of cliches and resolutions never to be fulfilled but on January 1, 2018 God tugged at my heart over and over with Isaiah 43:19. I felt the whisper on my heart, “NEW! 2018 is not the end of your 2017 run, we are just getting started and you are going to see “new” everywhere!”
We had a new normal as life fell apart and my husband and I learned to be just two again. Everywhere I looked I saw new, a new friendship, a new calling, a new chapter, a new hope for the future. I have always assumed new was positive, this year taught me different, new can be amazing as you walk into new friendships or new callings, but sometimes new can be hard and it can hurt. New involves a beginning and growth usually takes place in the middle. Growth involves stretching and pain, often challenging us to fall face first into His deep embrace.
I sat on the turf that day in December, an ache radiating through my veins as I tried desperately to find a way to make it through the next couple of hours. Alone, very alone, and to be honest I wanted to feel that coldness for a moment. I wanted to know the deep ache and hurt that alone can bring, it almost felt as though I had a friend in those moments of alone-ness, a place to hide before I faced the reality of what this new might bring.
Hours later in the safety of calm, I wept as I came face to face with the feelings the loneliness had masked. I wept as I tried to make sense of moments and words my heart was having a hard time translating. I wept as my words tried to explain this new pain it did not understand to ears that would listen. I felt the loss of control as my tears fell desperate for some hope. Chaos strangled my heart as she tried to help me fall fast into a relief that only hope spoken could provide.
Four days later:
The room was cold, the assistant sat in the chair that found sanctuary behind a desk that barricaded her from us. We waited, an uncertainty filled the room, a confusion that seemed to desperately try to convey hope.
That word has a lot of enemies and it was about to provoke an anger and hatred deep in my core. “….Cancer….” came from the doctor’s mouth. I had already read her as she had walked into the room knowing full well what she would say but now the air held the heaviness of the uninvited guest that just bombarded my family.
New, another new journey, a new enemy, a new emotion evoked deep in my soul.
God is so funny though I could feel the tender pull of the Holy Spirit. I felt as though the season with the word new was ending. This ending was different, I could feel that something new was coming that was deeper than new, the nudge was so tender and sweet but I couldn’t see past this step, I just felt the tender tug. I felt left in the dark as the Holy Spirit seemed to take my heart and gently prepare it for something new, something big, something I didn’t expect.
Mom started chemo on a Monday.
She sat down in a chair that first night after hours of newness, I could see the weight of the day sitting deep in her eyes as she sat strong and firm trying not to permit the tired ache to overtake. I felt the burden, I felt the anger well up. I would do anything to beat this uninvited guest! The tender peace my heart fought that night throbbed in my veins burying the anger. The flesh wanted to be angry, but the heart juxtaposed that anger and was full of God’s grace and faith that He already had this.
The whisper becoming stronger… new is just the beginning of something deeper.
January brought with it a new high school soccer season and a stronger tug.
We sat in a cold locker room. The floor was unsympathetic and the air seemed heavy and crowded with doubt. We began speaking to them on trusting their teammates and being positive on the field. We talked about what trusting our teammates looked like and asked some hard questions about if they truly trusted each other or not. We saw the spark that game, the heart began to play to the game. The weekend was marked with moments of pure tenacity and grit clouded by moments of chaos that seemed to be fueled by an insecurity and loss of confidence. The tender tug was growing.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
We talked about trust, trust and more trust for our girls, our team. Moments seemed to come that pierced my own awareness that I only had head knowledge of the word and not true heart knowledge. God gently tugged and asked me to trust Him and the incredible individuals He hand chose to impact my life. Trust Him that He holds my mom. Trust Him that the cancer will be eradicated from her body. Trust Him that He is the one in control and that He will be my strength all ways, He has the victory. Trust the people He has carefully chosen to place in my life with a new level of vulnerability and love. Trust the day to day that His hand is in even the very small things we might overlook as insignificant.
Trust, what a simple word, such a hard concept, such an important action. To trust someone is to place a deep faith and hope in them. It means that you allow them a place, a profound vulnerability, to know you in a new way. Trust is giving up control and resting in a peace you may have never known before. To trust someone is learning to be courageous and find a new strength as we wait expectantly for that relationship to grow and stay strong, providing an unconditional love this world rarely holds.
Monday morning a chair waits for her and medicine that will attack the enemy we so desperately long to defeat. Another round, another moment, where my flesh throbs to protect her and longs to fix this for her. His hand is wrapped tightly in hers and He will whisper softly to her as the medicine courses through her veins. I watch her trust Him through the hard; His eyes hold a gentleness as He sits beside her through every second of chemo. Her faith is Daniel sized and her trusts rests solely in Him.
Trust, I thought I understood that word intensely in my chest, I’m learning I have a lot to learn as I allow Him the control, the grip on the moment to moment of everyday life, the hold on my heart as it fights insecurity and loss of control.
As I sat in the chair across from her, the room began to fill with more precious fighters. The chairs held hearts and dreams hooked to IV drips. The room held emotions so thick your heart had no choice but to absorb the pain, the hardship, the hurt; but it also held a hope, an overwhelming saturating hope. The enemy, cancer, doesn’t have a chance as it sits trying to overtake these strong warriors. I have never been surrounded by such incredible strength as I sat overwhelmed at the fight taking place before my eyes. As we left the room to fight the fight at home, my heart was bombarded with an incredible trust. She has a long path ahead of her full of pain, sickness, and change but the hope that radiates off of her weak frail body is entrancing and calls for a trust so pure and so determined my heart can’t help but fall deeper into an unfailing faith.
If we place our trust firmly in Him we will find a peace that passes all understanding. We will discover a hope we have never introduced our hearts to. We find a security that only He can provide even in the midst of life’s most difficult and uncertain storms. To allow Him full control sounds like we are giving up our freedom but that is just a lie the enemy hopes we buy into so we fight Him for control. Placing our trust deep into Jesus is the most freeing act we can do. We will find that every moment can be faced head on bravely as we trust the one who knows all things!
I challenge you to look to Him and allow Him to grow your faith deeper in trusting Him with even the smallest moment, the smallest hurdle. He will place individuals in your world as amazing examples of what true trust can be. He will scoop you up close and show you a world of hope you may have never even imagined existed.