Last week was an emotional roller coaster for our family (to say the least).
My father was diagnosed with melanoma and we were told it had metastasized–which basically means it had spread. The doctors explained that they thought the malignant tumor on the skin was a result from a mass internally.
When I got the call, I felt a sense of peace that cannot be explained. I later began to question– was it me going into “counselor/coaching” mode to where I hear the most devastating news and keep my feelings in check or was it God truly telling me we would be ok?
I knew it was God… because no amount of experience in counseling can give the sense of peace I had in that moment. I didn’t know if it meant my dad would be ok, or if we would be ok in spite of his diagnosis. But I knew there was peace from my Heavenly Father.
Then I called my husband to tell him. That’s when I lost it bawling. Saying those words out loud, “my dad has cancer” just couldn’t be. I’ll never forget my husband’s response “Not your dad, I mean, he’s tough, nothing ever happens to him. He is the toughest guy I know.”
My dad. He’s a tough country boy–ok so not a boy any more but I know you’re picking up what I’m throwing down. He’s tall and strong (for a 71 year old haha) with calloused hands from years of hard, physical labor… although they aren’t near as calloused as they were twenty years ago! Sorry dad- but you know it’s true! 😉
As tough as he is, he’s also a total softy. I mean, this manly man is not afraid to express his feelings and when he shares a story, it’s not a good story unless he cries… and most are good stories, if you know what I mean.
But in spite of his physical toughness, this diagnosis was real. And it took us by total complete surprise. You can be the most super spiritual person and the word “cancer” can shake you a little– at least for a minute. Everyone is human.
Our world was disrupted and we never saw it coming.
Priorities quickly shifted, things that were a big deal before the call suddenly fell off the radar and we realized what really matters.
We heard things like “stage one” and “stage four” but no official diagnosis. Phrases like “It looks like”, “I think” and “probably” were thrown our way.
A prayer meeting was called for those that could attend. We gathered together; family, close friends, church leaders and pastors. We anointed my dad with oil. Prayers went up— big, bold, faith-filled prayers.. and difficult, heartfelt words were said through tears.
As we prayed my dad began to speak, recognizing that God would be glorified through all of this– then I heard my dad’s voice quiver as he said these words “if it’s your will Lord, let this cup pass by me, but if not, Lord your will be done”.
After prayer meeting. An oncologist appointment with very little answers. Everything was happening so fast. Lots of “We think” “Should” “Probably” are planted in the beginning, smack-dab in the middle and at the end of sentences.
Last Thursday my dad had an appointment with an oncologist that specializes in melanoma. Still nothing firm. Not many questions answered but feeling hopeful. On their way home, he and my stepmom came to my son’s soccer game.
To the north it was all dark skies and on the south it was light and sunny. A common sight of a storm coming in.
As we sat there in the stands, the rain was pouring on us. So we were shifting our umbrellas to keep the rain off of us.. but then something that I’ve never seen happened.. we had to shift our umbrellas to not only keep the rain off, but to block the sun from our eyes. I’ve been a part of many storms where the sun was out just enough to make a rainbow. But I’ve never had to wear my sunglasses because the sun was so bright in the midst of a continuous down pour. So we’re all sitting there with the sun blinding us in the midst of torrential rains. The sun was out in full force yet it was pouring at the same time. And the result was a rainbow. This wasn’t just a faint rainbow, this was a bright bold, double rainbow! I’ve never been so close to such a bold rainbow! Check it out below (images are not enhanced).
And I laughed. I leaned over to my family members and said… isn’t this just a true reflection of this week? It’s been dark and rainy with the news we’ve heard, but in the midst of the storm, the son has still shined bright?
I want to tell you that no matter how dark it seems, the son is still there. He may not be shining bright in the middle of your storm, He might be peeking at you from behind the clouds.. but He is still there.
All I can say is this.. trust Him. Do your best to fight off the lies that the enemy wants you to buy. That you can’t make it, that you’re never going to beat this, that this fight will never be over, that you’ll never be good enough… I want to encourage you to stay focused on The One that matters. Let Him fight the battle for you. Exodus 14:14 is one of my favorite verses. The Amplified version says it this way.. “The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”
It may be storming, dark, and it looks bad now, but we know on the other side of the clouds is the Son, ready to shine brightly at just the right moment. It’s up to you… will you trust Him until you see the sun? I encourage you to trust Him. Allow Him to fight the battle. Have trust in your Heavenly Father to meet the need in the way He sees fit, when He sees fit. In the meantime, just keep silent and remain calm. ❤️
And just like God… when I got home from the game.. a neighbor, not knowing anything about our family’s week, sent me a photo she took of the rainbow. The rainbow was directly above my house.
This was no coincidence.
This was God reminding me of His presence and of His promises.
If you’re too busy looking at the dark clouds and focusing on the rain… you will miss the sunshine and the rainbow. Take your eyes off the darkness of your circumstances and look around for His hand moving in your situation. He is there. Look for the son.. and if you can’t see the rainbow, it could be because it’s right above you! So look up– to him!
And as I close today, I want to share the update on my dad— there were no other masses as the doctors had expected– We serve a God that is still in the miracle business!
Never give up hope. Keep trusting. And always look to the son.