I find myself leaning back to last week when life was normal, May was just a month on my calendar, and I didn’t know anything about kidney cancer. In other moments, I feel myself jumping ahead, into a bright future where the results show the cancer is gone, the surgery a success, and my body is healed. In darker moments, winds of worry and fear lash as I consider other possibilities. It is harder, I find, to stay here in the murky middle. In this place where my future is unknown, my innocence is shattered, and there are a lot of days left to live before my happy ending.
It is hard to stay here, in this moment. The space between the diagnosis and the pathology report lays wide and deep, and I struggle to be in this middle space. Things here feel too vulnerable and I don’t like the unknowing. This space leaves me grappling with my own powerlessness, mortality, and lack of control.
I think the shock has begun to slip away, the manic days of notification and dealing with everyone else reaction are behind me now. Most of this week, I was back in normal routines and familiar rhythms. There is a mountain looming ahead in the near distance, but the path here is level and wide. I feel like there is something I should be doing, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what it is.
There should be a what to do when you are diagnosed with cancer list. I know I would rock it! Google had some options but not quite what I was looking for. I need the practical steps to organize my life for chaos looming around the corner. This might actually be another way to avoid the quiet of this preparation time, who knows?
One thing I keep thinking about is how to be here, right here, right now. How to not fill it up for the sake of being busy, but to allow the space itself to prepare me for the journey ahead. There is rest and quiet here, and when I allow myself to be still, I find there is also a deep peace.
For so many years, the Spirit has been teaching me to dance to the rhythm of the moment. It is my nature to want to run ahead to the next thing, and I struggle to let go of the past. I’ve never been good at the now. So, I’ve been practicing. Years ago, when we faced hardship and challenge, I began the practice of being thankful for what is. It was hard to find the calm space of now as I watched the winds of change swirling around my life, but again and again, I learned to bring my attention back to now and found peace and joy.
All these years later, I can still get swept off my feet in a gale, but I also have learned the value of being anchored in the present. I once heard a Pastor preach about our present tense God. In it, he reminded us that the great I Am, is not past tense or future tense, but fully present now. We lose our peace when we worry about the past or run ahead into tomorrow’s trouble. Our God can only be found in the present tense. This moment is the one that touches eternity.
So, I am swinging back and forth between trying to get my life in order… and enjoying the calm quiet of this murky middle space. Maybe it’s okay to do a little of both. To find ways to exert myself in preparation and to slow down and allow the calm here to hold me. The road is leading me irrevocably forward, and I am not sure what is up ahead around that bend. For now, I think I’ll pick a few flowers and watch the clouds roll by. Maybe later, I’ll organize my closet. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, for today, I think I’ll just rest a bit and enjoy the view from here.