Saturday, August 17, 2013

War and Peace

August 17th, 2013
Yesterday I started a journal.   I want to share it with you.  It is deeply personal but it is a testimony that I am compelled to share.  It’s only two days in.  Who knows what the future holds!
August 16th Entry:
It’s been two days since Mark came down the stairs and I could see by the look on his face that the news was not good.  I had not prepared for anything less than good news, manageable news.
It’s a bad one.  This is what it means to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  I am not ready to walk through it.  I need strength for my family; I need strength for myself.  I can only cry or move about and pretend it’s not real.
Mark went to The Healing Rooms last night to be prayed over.  He will be going every week.  He is pursuing God and believing in a healing miracle.
I want to believe in that too.  I’m afraid to believe in it.

August 17th, 2013
I am a new person today; a truly new creation.
The person I was yesterday was filled with the dread of our situation, sadness, dark thoughts.  I was falling apart.  Knowing that you spouse is dying will do that to you; getting a death sentence of a prognosis.
Today I am filled with the peace that passes understanding.  I truly am.  This is not of me.  I could not break out of my grief on my own, but GOD has broken me out and insulated me from the darkness.
I must digress a little to explain how I got here:
On Wednesday we got the diagnosis from Mark’s lung biopsy: STAGE 4 CANCER, Metastatic Melanoma, two words that I am now OVER familiar with.  Metastatic means that it has traveled from somewhere else in his body.  Mark had ocular melanoma nearly 20 years ago and has his eye cut out and did all the radiation and treatments that the doctors prescribed.  What I didn’t know when we got married was that the fact he was even a live was a miracle then.  I knew he’d had cancer but we never talked about it.  I didn’t know it was a threat still, silently moving and growing.
Anyhow, Mark came downstairs after his biopsy results appointment and for a brief moment, such a small moment, he gave a little smile and I had hope that all was well, and then his face changed and I knew that it was not well.  The reality pierced me. I had not considered that things would not be okay.  Bad things like this happen to OTHER people.  Not me.  Not us.  Not MY family.
I didn’t really understand the prognosis at first.  I saw chemo and surgery in our future, a long process but a little hope was in that.  Then throughout that first 24 hour eternity I came to realize just how grave the situation was.  This was STAGE 4 Melanoma.  There IS NO CURE!  There is only a slowing of the death process.  Medically speaking, of course, this would indeed involve chemo and surgery BUT TO WHAT END???  To destroy the little bit of life, however long that be, with medical treatments that will make sick and destroy what is healthy as well as what is sick but never cure anything, never bring life, never bring hope.  Never grow old together and die with our kids and our grandchildren around us?
This is now Saturday, the 3rd day after diagnosis.  I can say we’ve been through all the emotions and worry, the whole gamut of them.  It was like this for me:
-          Hope in medicine and doctors
-          OH GOD – He’s going to DIE!
-          Despair & darkness washing over me as I imagined, almost constantly, life without my husband, my children without their father, and marking having to face death at such a young age. 
These days have truly felt like an eternity.  I am drained.  But, wait!  I am filled.  I am insulated.  I am safe in the LOVE of GOD.  The prayers of the faithful have moved the Holy Spirit to change me, to lift me out of the mire and darkness and bring me to a place of hope and peace.
Mark’s process has been different than mine.  We started out on the same page, kind of.  He’d had time to think about the reality that it may be a reoccurrence of the melanoma, though he kept that to himself and we believed the results would just be that it was a benign nodule in the lung, which is not uncommon.  At first we talked about pursuing all the medical paths AND trusting God and praying for a miracle.  As I was working through my darkness, he was being filled with faith and hope.  He went and got prayed for at The Healing Rooms.  He believes, 100% that God is going to heal him.  He is filled with joy and optimism and hope.  I have to say that I did not share that hope and optimism.  I was in turmoil and I could see that we were growing apart, being separated.
Last night was bad AND miraculous.
We talked and it was not good.  We were unequally yoked; our beliefs so different.  I just could not believe what he believed. I know God heals and that there are miracles all the time but I cannot believe 100%, that Mark will be healed.  There is the very real and looming death sentence he’s been served.
The area of healing has always been a contentious point in our differing beliefs.  We believe in the same God of the Bible and in the Bible, the Word of God.  We are both saved.  But when it comes to healing we’ve had many impassioned discussions throughout our marriage.  Interesting that healing should be a point of contention between us.
As we were discussing, I was being pulled further away from the oneness that we’d had until I felt we were truly two.  I know I was under spiritual oppression and attack.  I was angry at Mark.  I was feeling betrayed because he’d moved from the worldly position of, we’ll do it all as well as seek God, to we’ll just believe in a miracle.  He’d moved through all of that without me.  He was in a place of peace and I was not.  I felt alone, betrayed, and judged.  Judged because I didn’t have faith that God would heal Mark.  I keep clinging to the fact that God does not heal everyone.  He may not heal my husband.  We can believe and pray and he may still die. 
I KNOW spiritual oppression and battles because I feel them physically.  There is a spiritual BATTLE always going on around us, vying for our hearts and minds.  While we were talking I felt like I was going to faint and I was afraid and panicked.  I was overcome with thoughts not my own, the battle was going on for MY heart and mind and I felt it keenly.  I felt Satan pulling our marriage apart, pulling us apart, killing us.  I was so afraid.  Afraid of what might happen to me.  Afraid of being out of control.
This was the same feeling physically and spiritually that I had just before I was saved when I was 21.
I was standing there filled with all these dark things and a wave of peace washed over me.  The darkness was dispelled – instantly. 
It does not matter that Mark and I have some different beliefs.  Once again in my life the battle was waged in my very soul –
It was like salvation all over again, where I became a new creation.  The scales fell away.  I am not the same person I was yesterday.
I CHOOSE to be FOR CHRIST, FOR my husband, and FOR my family.  I will not let Satan have his way here in our home.
I share this story because there are so many faithful people out there praying for us and God has moved.  I was able to sleep peacefully last night.
As I was standing there and the scales fell away and I was changed, I felt enveloped in peace.  I felt insulated and protected from the darkness, shielded from the fiery darts of the evil one. 
THIS is a miracle.  Truly.  I wish I could share it in such a way that it could be felt by anyone who reads it, but it can’t be put into words that are adequate.
I am at peace.  I trust God.  I don’t have the answers.  I don’t know the outcome.  I just know that everything is going to be okay.

We don’t know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future.