Life overcoming cancer is such a journey. And when your mom (who lives with you) is fighting through cancer and surgeries and healing, you feel like YOU are right there on the journey with her. Every. step. of. the. way.
My parents have been living with my husband and I for the past 9 years. Let me start of by sharing that for the record, it was Josh’s idea! And…. we love it! 98% of the time. And then there’s that 2% when my dad goes to the store for me and instead of buying coffee filters, he buys the actual coffee pot that we already have. (not helpful) Or when there are now 4 adults and 2 kids trying to all get into that one specific corner in the kitchen – all at the same time. Or when mom needs to tell me a story right as I am running late out the door with my phone ringing, I’m grabbing some snacks to go, and my kids still don’t have their shoes on!
But 98% of the time It’s been so great. My mom has made so many meals for us. Done so much laundry. Prayed for us. She was up every 2 hours with me, praying over my painful nursing experience when I had my first newborn. She and dad have watched the kids countless hours so we could go on dates. She’s cleaned my stovetop. Organized my pantry. And has listened to me process how to parent a strong-willed child for the past 5 years.
And now the roles are reversed. After the “heroic” (as some doctors called it) cancer surgery, she is now back in our home and somehow I have ended up as her caretaker. But wait! I didn’t realize that THIS was actually my “calling” this year. I wanted it to be more glamourous. Ya know. Like traveling across country and speaking to rooms full of people, inspiring them for Jesus! But this? Her un-medically-educated daughter who can’t hardly handle taking her own son to the dentist, let alone change her mom’s large wound dressings 3 times a day!
But let me tell you. When you pray. and trust. and completely surrender your life to Jesus’ plans, He makes really terribly dark things like cancer provide an opportunity to shine the love and light of Jesus in profound ways.
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Throughout this journey, there as been SO MUCH LIGHT! Jesus has given us joy. And hope! And peace! And healing! The beauty that we have seen in the middle of many dark times can only be explained as Jesus. Like when I, (the girl who has never even watched a shot go in because I can’t handle looking at the needle) finds out that I have to give my mom a VERY painful shot for 6 days in a row, and then after getting up the courage to give her the first shot and I do it, I find out that I don’t have to give her the last 5! Praise God! And when I have no time to clean my parents room and bathroom before she comes home from the hospital, a “cavalry of friends” comes over to my house while I’m not even there to clean, leaves fresh flowers, paper supplies in my closet, and food in my fridge… or when mom’s in so much pain all I can do is lay my hands on her and pray and her pain actually leaves; that’s when I KNOW the Light is truly overcoming all darkness!
So next time you find yourself in some kind of dark place/thought/experience/relationship, remember. The Holy Spirit, our true Light, SHINES SO BRIGHTLY that darkness (sin/satan/evil) will NOT overcome it!
But just because we know this, doesn’t mean that it’s always peaches and roses. I still feel overwhelmed with my responsibilities. and my kids. and my piles of laundry. and my lack of sleep. I continue to need to rehearse this truth to myself as I live this journey out with my mom. So! Today I declare that NO darkness within my circumstances will overcome the power, the strength, and the love of Jesus Christ, my Light! I walk in light! I walk in victory because of what Jesus did on that cross! And no darkness will EVER be able to take that away from me. Ever.