How do you handle life's uncertainties?
For me, waiting and wondering are a pair of words which create either great anticipation or the twists and turns of anxiety.
For instance, when Linny was pregnant and having our first child I was filled with expectation and anticipation at just who the Lord had planned for our first child. Waiting and wondering was filled with joy, guessing, and dreaming of whom the Lord had planned for our first child. We didn't take the easy way out, we didn't want to know, we just waited and wondered with anticipation. Abigail would enter our world in one moment with a sweet cry and the waiting and wondering was over. I'm good with that type of waiting and wondering. You, too, I imagine!
What I am not so good at is the other side of waiting and wondering. When you are waiting for news that could be change your whole world and wondering what the next season of life might look like! I admit I'm just not very good at this type of waiting and wondering.
We are currently waiting and wondering what the diagnosis is and plan of action is for Linny. Does she have cancer? We don't know, I am scared and we are left waiting and wondering.
By way of background Linny already has five auto-immune diseases. She has known her share of chronic illness for the greater part of her adult life. Most people do not see it because she refuses to let her illnesses get the better of her and she is certainly not a complainer.
However, recently she has been diagnosed with a thyroid disease, Hashimoto's Disease. This would be her fourth of the five autoimmune diseases. Then they found out she also has rheumatoid arthritis. I'm feeling, "OK, Lord, that's enough, cut the girl a break!" (We talk like that - and because He loves me He cuts me a break!)
That wasn't all! There was also a nodule in the thyroid which needed a biopsy. As the doctor did the biopsy he told her, "You have a very sick thyroid, it has been sick for a long time". If that wasn't enough, the biopsy came back inconclusive. The cells were abnormal and words like lymphoma and carcinoma were part of the possible diagnosis. But even still the pathologists just could not tell.
Does she have cancer? The doctors do not know. I do not know, I am left wondering and waiting. This is where I have trouble on how to respond.
It must be a man thing. My first tendency is to get quiet, pull inside myself, clam up. I place the situation in a drawer in the filing cabinet of my mind, then maybe, just maybe, I won't have to deal with it. There is a problem with this however, I've learned over the years this type of thinking leaves Linny on the sidelines to deal with her situation all alone. Worse yet, thinking I don't care.
So I've tried to change. It's not easy waiting and wondering if your wife has cancer. I certainly have the wide range of emotions. Some days, okay, maybe it's just really moments, I am filled with great faith with thoughts like, "there is no way the Lord will allow this Godly woman of mine, mentor to thousands, have cancer."
Other moments,however, I am filled with fear, anxiety, or 'what if' questions. I have learned I can not trust my emotions. They are false indicators and not trustworthy.
But I also do know that I can trust God. I trust His word; "the Word was with God and the Word was God". I can trust His faithfulness! I trust His plans for Linny and my life. I trust that He never fails. So I pray, I seek to hear a promise from His word, and then I set my heart to trust. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths".
I realize that when I am left waiting and wondering, He is knowing and certain.
I realize that when I am left waiting and wondering He is already at work.
I realize that when I have trouble sleeping while waiting and wondering, He is working the night shift.
Today we will go see the surgeon for Linny, and while we are there, still waiting and wondering, God is at work!
We only have One Life - One Legacy that we can leave behind. We will live one life and by our actions provide the written material for our legacy. However, it will truly be written and interpreted by others after we have left this world.
So I ask myself, and I ask you, what is the legacy which you desire to leave behind?What did you write today in the chapter entitled "today"? Did you advance toward your desired legacy, or did you retreat? What you will become is who you were today.
As I write this blog I will be simultaneously challenging myself, and I trust challenging my readers to leave a legacy that matters. One that challenges and changes those you encounter daily and on your journey in life. You have One Life - One Legacy - make it count!