Thursday, June 7, 2012


This is a blog that I've been meaning to write for over 2 weeks now.  So, in the remaining space that I have between the 90 min conference call my friend Gindi Vincent and I just got off in preparation for the writer's conference we are attending in July (and all that stands between us and then); the laundry I have to fold so I can collapse in a heap on my bed (because I can't get in my bed, the pile is blocking me, stupid coping mechanism) before the 5:30 am wake-up call for a run before Dave has to go to work.  I want to get these thoughts down, they are so long overdue.

Tomorrow is the 4th round of scans since Sophia finished her treatment.  We are into the 10th month of remission and I am beginning to wonder where all the anxiety is this time around.  True, I've been working hard to change my mental patterns of thought because when I give into the fear, it wreaks havoc on my body.  Maybe it is because since the end of school, we have run an equally blistering pace of swim meets and summer activities.  No doubt tomorrow, when they put her to sleep and take her back for the MRI, it will just be me, Jesus and my anxiety in the waiting room.

Something sparked in me 3 Sundays ago during a sermon on Ephesians 6, particularly the reason why we need not only the armor of God, but a community to wear it in.  It is because we are vulnerable.  Even in our normal, walking around, every day lives, we are easy pickins for the enemy of our souls to swoop down and pluck us up like ripe cherries for his dastardly plans.

I have, for 18+ months now, been trying to identify this feeling we in the cancer world call "scanxiety."  The days proceeding scans are riddled with a mental battle so fierce, our adrenal system is running on overload.  It is only after you get the results back that you can unclench a little bit....until next time.  When that pastor said the word "vulnerable" a light went off.  That is what I am right now, nearly naked, emotionally speaking, to the world.  No defenses, no pretenses.  I am what I am.  Totally at the mercy of tomorrow and the results it brings.

And if I have to describe, come that writer's conference, the basis of my elevator pitch, that is exactly the word I will use.  I am vulnerable to anything and everything.  I am bereft of experience and knowledge of what is to come.  I am incapable of gaining the resources I require to survive.  In short:

On my own, I am no more capable of helping myself than a newborn babe. 

My faith is so puny, so small, it rarely ever seems to amount to much.  It seems either in abundance or completely scarce.  There is very little middle ground and when there is, it usually leads to a lack of passion for Christ.  I'm either hot or cold, so to speak when it comes to God, as I am to much of life.  I either need to be bothered by it or can't be bothered to deal with it.  That is where God comes in.

It's in that vulnerability that I realize my great need for Him.  I need it today and I will certainly need it tomorrow.  The more naked I realize I am, the more shame I have for being that way.  The more I need someone to make me some fig leaves or leather garments.  I need food, water, shelter, companionship.  I need a car to drive around in Houston and I need to mature as a person.

Mostly what I really need though is Sophia to be healed completely.  Stable results will do for now. 

As I try to make sense of this need I have, in the wake of my intense vulnerability as a human, and where Christ fits into all of that, yesterday morning, Sophia provided the answer.  She came down about 8:15 am (got to love summer!) but was still very sleepy and wrapped in a large flannel blanket.  When I called her to me, she said,
I just wanted to come rest with you for awhile.
In sitting with her on my lap, all cozy together, I got the picture of what my spiritual life really looks like.  If I choose to hold myself far off from God, I'm at the far end of the couch, shivering with no covers.  But when I draw close to the Lord, He wraps me in his flannel blanket of love and holds me close to His heart.  I might still be vulnerable by myself, but I'm invincible in the arms of God.

Tomorrow is tomorrow.  I will be as vulnerable then as I am now.  But I'm relying on God to go before us into that hospital, into the exam rooms and in the MRI chamber.  I'm relying on Him to shelter us as we drive there and back and as we walk through the halls.  I'm relying on The Lord to keep us on schedule and smooth our path.  I'm relying on Jesus to keep His arms around our shoulders as we wait for results.  And I'm relying on the Holy Spirit to give me the courage and strength to face this all again.

Maybe I'm not so vulnerable after all. 

But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. (Psalm 131:2)

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

No comments: