Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Grief and Joy

So here's the thing-we all know cancer sucks. But today, it sucks in a very personal way. It sucks in a way that hits just a little too close to home for me.

Last night, my Momma and I lost a sweet friend to this terrible disease.

She was a vibrant, active, kind, encouraging, caring, smart and funny lady. She battled cancer for 8 years with dignity and grace. But ultimately, her body just couldn't fight anymore. She was tired. She was worn. She was ready to go home.

My heart rejoices for her! She is pain-free, cancer-free. She is at home with Jesus and there is no more suffering for her! Praise the Lord!

But my heart aches as well. Not just for the void that now exists in the lives of everyone she knew, but because this just got real. You see, my sweet friend died of metastatic cancer. Something very similar (if not the same) as what my Momma has. There is no cure.

It feels a little like peering into the future for me. And I am not ready to face that future. Everything in me, every fiber of my being wants to fight the reality that I will someday lose my Momma (actually, both of my parents.....but I digress).

Three weeks ago, I was talking with my friend about her business (we work in the same field) and seeking her advice on an issue I was having. Last week, she was at my Momma's house for dinner. Today she is in Heaven.

Like a thief in the night.

Death feels like that to those of us left behind, doesn't it? Like something has been stolen from us. But how can God steal what already belongs to Him? As I study His word and learn more about trusting Him, not just knowing and worshiping, but truly trusting, I am learning that He is always in control. Always. No exceptions. Nothing gets by Him, nothing gets to us before it passes through His hands.

If God was ready to call my friend home, who am I to ask Him to let her stay here on earth-suffering and in pain-when she could be at home with her Heavenly Father? And this applies to my Momma as well.

I feel like we haven't had enough time. I regret all the wasted years of teen angst and young adult rebellion. I am not ready. I never will be.

But God will be ready one day. He will be ready to call His daughter home to Him to live in glory forever. How can I even consider wanting to delay that?

So here is what I want you to know:

Cancer sucks.

Love big. Love loud. Love now.

Forgive. Forget.

Choose joy.

Love is everything.