It’s surprising to find myself feeling called to write about faith, running, and love when ALL of those things are so messy for me right now. It’s a reminder of how God’s plan doesn’t usually make sense when you’re in the midst of something new.
Life can change in the blink of an eye…
My faith has blossomed over the past few years… I’ve been so blessed to have landed in a church that is focused on transformation. It’s exactly what my life was needing and still is.
I started going to church every Sunday through my second divorce. I sat alone and would weep each week. Crying is a very private thing for me and has been throughout my life. I was taught that being “too sensitive” was a weakness, a flaw, so I used being strong as a way of coping. But, that’s impossible for me at church. The music and the message pierce my heart and draw the tears I try so hard to stuff.
Going to church was very much an “alone in a crowd” situation for me. Seeing the couples sit close and watching a husband put his arm around his wife would sting me with pangs of jealousy and loneliness. I felt like such a failure. That I had used up my chances at love and was destined to go through life alone.
My friend invited me to sit with her and her group on Sundays and I was quickly adopted into the “family.” I was led to a Church Family that has forever changed my life. To have generations of people that provide wisdom, faith, and love has filled such a huge void in my life and has given my daughter the extended family we don’t have here. It’s given us the community that church is meant to be.
One woman has especially touched my heart… She’s the most beautiful blend of Southern Belle with a twist of sass. She is the epitome of what we are called to be as believers… a faithful servant of God. She cares for people so truly, so authentically. She has the most powerful ability for prayer that brings immediate tears and relief, simultaneously. She radiates a warmth that allows anyone around her to be raw and vulnerable. She drops everything to be present for the ones she loves. She’s spoken more truth and scripture into me than anyone else ever has. She’s taught me to see myself as God sees me, which has helped to heal the deepest wounds in my heart. She speaks words of comfort without judgement or criticism. Her gorgeous blue eyes sparkle with such love, such joy. She is the older sister I never had.
She’s also fighting the final stages of cancer.
Cancer is pure evil. There’s no other explanation for it.
It’s heartbreaking to see such an amazing woman, so grounded in faith, to suffer this way. For her to endure chronic unbearable pain for months is beyond reason. The cancer is viciously spreading with a speed that is unheard of.
Without a doubt she is fighting this attack with every ounce of her being. She thanks God for every breath. She’s being lifted in prayer daily by so many and still, it progresses. It’s heartbreaking to know that she may miss so much she’s looked forward to… graduations, weddings, grandbabies. That this disease has taken so much of her former life… Her freedom, her peace, and her comfort have all been stolen.
The only relief comes in knowing that she will be at home with God in Heaven when it’s His time to call her up. That her misery will be over, eternally. There’s no question where she’ll be when it’s her time. Knowing that is the only peace I can find.
I don’t know how to deal with this… the grief comes in waves of anguish and sorrow. Her mind is failing at this moment and I’m afraid I might’ve missed my chance to tell her how much I love her. If she knew that this experience has shaken my faith, she would be devastated. It would dishonor her to allow that to continue.
All I can do is try to find purpose in the pain. To honor her in a way that allows her legacy to flourish. To live life as she does, the way God calls us to live… To take in the broken and give a safe space to heal. To give grace to myself and others. To know that actions of humility and mercy speak louder than any words. To find my worth in God and guide others to do the same. To love on my daughter in a way that allows her sprit to bloom. To share my story in a way that grants peace. To know that God places people in our lives with such purpose and to be mindful of nurturing those relationships. To strive to draw closer to God. To run toward redemption.