It was 8 a.m. and my husband and I were the first ones to arrive at the doctor’s office. His secretary had called the day before and asked if we could come in before the other scheduled patients that day to discuss my husband’s ultrasound results.
I had done my homework and was armed with every possible diagnosis I had hoped it might be—including the ones I prayed it wasn’t. The latter won.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have good news,” he told us.
It was a tumor and it didn’t look good. The next 48 hours would be a painful waiting game until we could meet with a specialist to figure out exactly what we were dealing with.
Fear had officially reared its ugly head and taken up residence in my thoughts. Fear of the known and the unknown. A diagnosis of cancer almost always comes with a healthy (or rather, unhealthy) dose of fear—bringing with it some of fear’s closest friends: stress, anxiety and despair.
I’m guessing this might have been the same kind of fear the disciples experienced when a raging storm appeared out of nowhere as they crossed the Sea of Galilee. They clearly feared an impending doom—certain death, really—when they woke up Jesus in a terrified state of panic.
“Lord save us! We’re going to drown!” They shouted at him.
But here is where they missed the boat, pun intended. They were so caught up in their circumstances that they failed to see who was right there with them. God incarnate.
“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” He replied.
Jesus was reminding them that the correct response to fear is faith, not more panic. But isn’t that what we naturally want to do? We drown ourselves in worry. We pile on the panic. We start to imagine the worst case scenario and we linger there.
Faith, however, tells us to hold on. It gives us courage to ride out the storm. It points us toward the One who is in control, rather than focusing on what we can’t control.
I was fearful that day in the doctor’s office, but my husband was faith-filled. He was the one reassuring me that he was at peace and this was a journey that, for whatever reason, was his to take.
Shortly after the diagnosis, my husband underwent surgery and a chemo treatment. We had been hoping to have another baby, but were told that his fertility would likely be compromised.
Exactly one year later, my husband was not only pronounced cancer-free, but we also became a family of four, adding a handsome miracle baby boy to the mix.
Now let me be clear. Having faith doesn’t mean everything ends up unicorns and rainbows. We’re not guaranteed a storm-free life or to have things work out in our favor. But we are given the assurance that we never have to do life alone. God will always be there, especially in the moments that shake us to our core.
If that’s where you are right now…hold fast to your faith, friend, and let these words wash over you as you steer your way through the storm:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9