Journeying to the Other Side of Breast Cancer: Who Do You Say I Am?

Recently, out of the blue, Jesus asked me, “So, who do you say I am?” Startled by the question all kinds of words flooded my mind…Lord, Savior, Friend, Healer, Provider…Before I could try to put together a coherent, definitive answer, He said, “I will make it easy for you. Just say I AM. Any and every thing You need Me to be I AM.” I found myself pondering that thought the rest of the day.

I didn’t know why His response struck me the way that it did. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior when I was 5 years old. I distinctly remember making a conscious decision at that young age that I wanted Jesus to live inside my heart. I can’t say that I honestly understood what salvation truly meant at the time. I just knew I loved Jesus and wanted Him to be with me always. And most of all I wanted to see Him in heaven. Thinking about it now, in light of all that has occurred in the last six years of my life, in some ways I think I got stuck on who I learned He was in the Bible days, and who I know He will be when I get to heaven, but never fully allowed Him to be who He is in my now.

The other day I was telling one of my daughters that before I had cancer if I had to describe myself the word “controlling” would never have entered my mind. My personality is such that I can pretty much get along with anyone, go with the flow, and roll with the punches. I respect other people’s right to not agree with my opinion or perspective. I don’t argue or try to change anyone. People are who they are, until they desire to change. Even with my daughters, now that they are adults and it is no longer my responsibility to guide their decisions, I listen to their dilemmas and respond only if my opinion is solicited. Unless God tells me to say something specific to someone, I pray about what I see, and mind my own business. 

When Jesus asked who do I say He is, not was or will be, but who He IS right now I saw a conflict between who I say He is and who I allow Him to be. His question shined a light on how controlling I am when it comes to my own life. When I had the stroke I still felt like I had some measure of control over my own life. I worked as hard as I could in physical therapy and felt very accomplished when I was able to walk without a cane. Occupational therapy was often frustrating, but the first time I was able to cook breakfast for myself I knew every moment of frustration was worth it. Speech and language therapy almost always had me in tears. Julie, my speech therapist, taught me all kinds of “tricks” so I could adapt to my brain’s new way of processing information. My million dollar moment was when I went to the grocery store by myself and did not get overly frustrated trying to follow my list or cry at the cash register when I had to deal with numbers to pay.

Cancer is a whole different animal. Everything about it makes me feel completely helpless and out of control. There is nothing I can do, except trust Jesus to be everything I say He is and more. I will start chemotherapy next week and the thought of it still unnerves me inside. I have to go into it knowing that Jesus really is my Peace, my Healer, my Comforter, my Great Physician and He can be all of those things without my help. The idea that there is nothing for me to do except allow Jesus to be who He is, is a foreign concept for me. When it comes to my own life, being still and knowing He is God makes me feel so uncomfortable.

So, for today, I am thankful for the opportunity to learn how to let go and let God be God. I can only imagine the great freedom I will feel on the other side of breast cancer. I expect to be so comfortable with allowing Jesus to be the I AM of my entire life, ever circumstance, and every concern that I will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride of my resurrected life in perfect peace and unspeakable joy! 

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