Today in church I was hurting deeply. I couldn't shake the "why" question today. Why has God not taken away the cancer yet? And even though I know God is more than just a healer, I think my past beliefs still cause me a lot of pain. I still regress to my old beliefs that if God really loved us, he would heal Grace. I was overwhelmed with pain...why hasn't God answered our prayers?
During worship I heard God's still, small voice. He asked me to think about what prayers he always answers. He always answers our prayers for forgiveness. He always takes our shame away. He always softens our heart, heals our soul, gives us strength to go on. He always loves us. Always.
He reminded me that this earth is sick, but because of him, and through him, our hearts and souls are not. He always heals our souls, and that is his main purpose for our lives. He does not always heal our bodies. It's hard for me, because then it means that there's no easy formula to God. Sometimes he answers our prayers for healing. Sometimes he does not. But he always has a heart to love us, to care for us, to restore us.
What good news that is for all of us. Cancer destroys life, but there are so many people destroyed by life alone. I remembered all the good things God has done for us. I also had many friends from church lay hands on me and pray for me and all I can say is that afterwards I felt peace radiate out of me like I haven't felt in a very long time.
When I was young I also believed that in order to be happy you had to have a career that was successful, a perfect marriage, healthy kids, a nice home, two dogs and a living a life of extraordinary purpose. I remember after starting my career and my marriage I was still looking for happy. We had two children and I was still waiting to feel happy. I did feel it, but I didn't believe it was the real thing. Nothing ever felt like enough. I'm not sure what "happy" would feel like, only I knew I must not be experiencing it because I was missing parts of the equation. There had to be more. I didn't realized the sum of that equation is impossible to achieve here in life, and the pursuit of it only leads to dissatisfaction, not happiness.
Tonight we took the kids out for pizza and ice cream and before bed they played "tackle daddy." I realized that I couldn't be happier. Cancer is part of our family but we are happy. Not all the time, but today we were completely happy. And I hate to say it, but cancer might be part of the reason we are so happy. Because we've realized how precious our children are to us, and how fragile life really is.
I am so thankful God never gives up on us. He continues to heal my heart, even as he heals Grace in his perfect timing.