My friend has cancer.
I found this news out in the midst of launching my new website with the tagline Peace in the Pieces,with the foundational premise being God is creating a beautiful picture from the broken pieces of our lives. My hope is to offer encouragement through my faith and personal stories that there IS a place of peace in the midst of hard times.
I’m struggling to find words to say to my friend.
I KNOW it’s true: Peace in the pieces.
I’ve experienced it.
There is that sacred moment of pausing to absorb the impact of it all.
It’s a lonely moment.
It’s a necessary moment.
Pausing to let all the ‘what-ifs’ land on you emotionally… without judgment. Feeling every emotion with all the ramifications of the unwanted news.
I truly believe this is okay AND necessary.
When my mom knew she was facing a mastectomy, she only told a few people at first. One of her friends came to me, puzzled why my mom was with-holding the information. She asked, “Doesn’t she want everyone to be praying for her healing?” I’m not sure how I answered at the time, but what I do know is that my mom was grieving the news…processing the journey ahead of her. Of course she wanted prayer, but her emotions were still trying to land.
And that’s okay.
It’s not a lack of faith, it’s a matter of adjustment.
So, to my friend I say… have your moment.
Feel all the ‘feels’. This may take an hour, a day, a week, perhaps longer.
Direct the ‘moment’ and manage your thoughts.
Intentionally choose where you will focus.
Acknowledge what is happening and what lies ahead for you, and make a deliberate choice in your suffering.
Choose faith over fear.
Choose connection with family and kind, caring friends.
Choose to have a healthy mindset.
At first, it’s moment by moment choices as the mind re-sets. Then faith grows… slowly— unwillingly at times— but, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you keep showing up to make the relentless choice: I WILL trust you.
… which brings me back to the foundational principle of my website, Peace in the Pieces: Choosing to believe God is creating a beautiful picture out of the broken pieces of your life.
When fear, doubt, and hopelessness show up, remind yourself that you’ve already thought about ALL that. You’ve already had your moment to feel the sad part.
Now the focus is hope.
Hope in Christ… alone.
‘The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain.’ Psalm 34:18a