The Longest Night

The last night I spent in Rochester was so eye opening. It was the Winter Solstice; the longest night of the year. Only fitting then that I had trouble sleeping. Longest night of the year and I am wide awake.

I knew God was with me, I could feel His comforting hand. I heard Him whispering that this is a new beginning, tomorrow the sun will rise and as the days get longer, it would be like coming out of the dark. Our night (cancer) was coming to an end. Days were going to get brighter, life was going to get better a little bit everyday.

I fell asleep (finally) and was comforted knowing everything was falling in to place and all the hard work was almost finished.

Then came the phone call that my heart was not looking like they want it to look like and I was angry, I was sad, I was scared, I was (am) in denial.

Only today (Saturday) has it hit me, I can’t turn my praise into complaints just because things are not as I expected them to be. I have way too many things to be thankful for. Not knowing the status of my heart does not erase the greatness of the last 14 months.

Maybe that longest night was not to see that the path was going to get lighter, instead maybe I was kept awake to spend some time talking with God and finding all the greatness so that I would have the strength and determination to cover this next phase as strongly as I did the last.

After sharing my limited information with family, friends, and (let’s be honest) anybody who wanted to listen; I started to wonder just how much more amazing my story was becoming. I see it as a tool to slow down going back to work, a catalyst for writing, a facilitator for allowing people to serve each other.

Although I already think my priorities are clearly set, I know I need to allow people in even more. I need to allow for others to help with day to day activities if I want to be able to enjoy every available minute with my boys.

When people ask what it is about the church I attend I tell them that we are much more than one hour each Sunday. We are a community every day of the week and people practice what they preach. They put their money where their mouth is. There is hardly a break between opportunities to serve each other whether it be a community member that is hospitalized and needs meals, somebody asking for prayers, serving each other is not what we do, it is who we are. We are servants waiting for the Lord to call us. When we are called to serve we jump in, usually both feet.

Our small groups complete service projects such as benefits, cleaning, yard work, and small construction projects. We are friends outside of the hour and a half we spend together on Sunday.

These are the people who surround the kids and myself. Not only do they go out of their way to serve each other, they also still allow me to serve them in ways that I can. I am a substitute Sunday School teacher…that hour with the kids is so uplifting and always much too short. I know though that I cannot commit to a regular schedule as I am still getting back on my feet energy wise.

Everybody takes responsibility for serving each other. There is not an atmosphere of somebody else will get that. It is more several people stepping up to make sure it is covered.

For those who feel called to serve, there are several opportunities and all it takes is a call or text to somebody to find where our gift would be best used to bring blessings to others.

I like to find little ways to help out here and there, checking in children for Creation Station, resetting/cleaning between services, substitute teaching, hosting, as well as just being present and real.

The tears flow much easier lately. I find myself not taking responsibility for protecting others from the reality that is my cancer. Officially, cancer sucks, and I’m no longer keeping that little secret to myself.

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