Have you ever just listened to movie soundtracks? So good! Movie music is chosen in a way to evoke emotion–purposed to add depth and complexity to the plot line going on underneath. When you listen to wordless soundtracks, God often fills that open space with memories of your own. It’s truly amazing. Just a typical Saturday night in the Owen house. I’m cooking dinner, listening to soundtracks and my mind is filled to overflowing with the memories of life that God has gifted us. There’s a song from the Cinderella movie released a few years ago that reminds me of multiple nights in the hospital with my girls when we watched that movie together. Times that they will look back on with smiles. Times that they will look back on with no idea as to what was at stake. Times that they were excited for. To spend time with just mommy. Getting a special treat (a.k.a. ice cream from the hospital freezer) and watching a movie. They didn’t care that it was in a hospital. That actually made it more exciting for them. Which now…on the flip side of that…in a way, makes me miss those days. Those days of my utter devotion and dependence on God. Complete recognition of our lack of control over our lives. A joyful abandon and the gratefulness for moments of joy that He supplied in the midst of complete instability and insecurity for even another day.
The heart of a child finds joy in every moment that is supplied to them. I miss that desperation. That dependency upon my Father to supply my every need for every day. That carefree attitude that is not careless, but unconcerned with the things of this world. Only concerned with what we will take with us to the next life…to eternity. That’s what matters. That’s what matters when you’re unsure about tomorrow, and that’s what matters when you can see your next decade laid out in front of you predictably like a game of Monopoly.
By the way, the above two paragraphs were written back in September. I didn’t post them immediately–never got around to it. When I first wrote those, I thought that would finally be the end of it. A little over 1 month later, though, that dependency returned like a smack in the face. Or maybe more like a running fall where you trip on uneven ground and your face hits the pavement. HCG (the tumor marker) began climbing slowly back up once again…for the 4th time, edging me quickly into the 4th year of dealing with this. If it had remained normal for one more month I would have hit my 1-year mark and been finished with monitoring. Forever. The finish line that we had been grasping for. Instead, I got an appointment with an Urological Oncologist and was scheduled for surgery the following week.
That is not how it was supposed to happen. I was looking for a clean break and a fresh start. But new beginnings don’t always take off immediately after a complete cessation of the preceding path. Sometimes they commence while you are still on the path…and that is what this was. Or still is. I am still fighting cancer. Not the order in which I wanted things to go, but the narrative that I have. I like clean lines. I like checking off boxes. I like to fully end one thing before I begin another. But no one asked me. I may not have a choice in the order of occurrence, yet I still have a choice. How am I going to respond? I can allow myself to die inside even if my lungs might be still breathing…OR I can accept the colored continuation of this apologue, receive it as a part of my life and keep living my life. As long as I have life, for however long that may be.
We always have that choice. Am I going to live my life to the fullest in acceptance of the circumstances of which I have no control? Or am I going to the let the circumstances hijack the driver seat and careen me over the edge of the cliff? In the day to day, it can feel as though it is just too much. But when I look ahead at the long run, I realize there is still more to do. Thus the choice is clear.
I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
He chose me. He provided me with the life that I have. So I will live it. And I will lean on Him for life, for strength, when I have none for myself.