As I pulled over to the side of the road two years ago, I knew I needed to take the call before I lost cell service on the country roads. It was my doctor calling, which was a bit concerning. I had just had some of the usual cancer screening tests, and typically the doctor does not call with results.

Unless.

Unless…something comes back “funny.”

The next clue this was not good news was when he suggested that he call me back once I got home.

Dang it!

I coaxed the news out of him: Sure enough, a biopsy had come back with cancer.

Dang it!!
In fact— dang it became my swear phrase of choice. (I know. Extreme and edgy. Hah.)

I share this next part with you because I believe it’s important to allow ourselves space to process the hard things.

 

I’m all about faith and directing our thoughts to the hope we have in Christ, AND… I’m all about acknowledging when something just really sucks.(I know. Another extremely edgy word.)

But…

Dang it.

It sucks.

 

Before heading back home, I gave myself time to react and grieve. I pounded the seat next to me and screamed “dang it” several times. I know the potential life disruption a cancer finding can mean. I know the slippery slope of tests and treatments that can unfold.

And I just have to say it one more time…

Dang it. This sucks!

 

After calling Eddie and a close friend, I could finally exhale, allowing myself to begin contemplating how I can go through this well.

How can I walk with Jesus, leaving the results to Him?

 

One thing I do to help manage my thoughts toward faith —replacing anxiety-filled thoughts (and all my slightly-inappropriate language) — is a practice that I call “Tracking God.”

I have a section in my bullet journal where I write down all the ways I see God at work when life gets really hard.

Here’s a few ways I tracked Him in that cancer finding two years ago:

 

  • My friend, Wendy, texted 3 minutes before the doctor called, asking if all the biopsies came back negative. My phone rang right after I told her I hadn’t heard anything. God had my friend praying for me, and how amazing is it that He let me know?!
  • I was driving home from dropping Olivia off to go roller skating with friends. So she wasn’t in the car when I received the news. THAT is a blessing! Not just because I needed a space by myself to hit the seat and yell, but she needs a calm mom reassuring her that God is in control and I trust Him.
  • It was really hard to communicate with our son, Cory, while he was in Basic Training for the army. A couple days after the news, we were traveling to Georgia to see him, and were able to tell him in person. His quick response was, “Mom. You’ve been through this before and you are fine. It’s going to be fine.”

 

Isn’t that so special? I have several more I could add, including a friend texting saying she was praying for me.

I’ve said it before, but…

Life is hard AND God is incredible.

 

He’s with us through all of it.

On that day two years ago when I was pulled over at the side of the road, I had my moment of being upset and not liking the news the doctor gave me. And then I moved forward with trusting God.

Doing the next thing … and leaving the results up to Him.

And…

I know in life, there will be more moments of wanting to use my edgy words, but, dang it…

 

I’m choosing to look for God and speak words of hope.

 

How does the idea of “tracking God” feel to you? How have you taken note of where you’re seeing God at work during a difficult or uncertain time?

Let me know in the comments.

 

💗 This story ends with a surprise miracle in my life. Click HERE if you’d like to see a short video of me telling the story.