I strongly believe that we are not a victim of circumstances. We always have a choice. But what about when life throws us curve balls that we can’t control? We do not choose these events and frankly have absolutely no control over the outcome. As we were driving back from our recent vacation to South Dakota, I was thinking about the choices I am making in regards to Dennis’ cancer and the impact it has on our lives now and may in the future. I certainly cannot control this and did not choose it. However, I do have a choice in how I respond to it.
You see, at times, it is overwhelming. I dearly love Dennis and my picture of our life together included growing old together. My picture looked something like this – two elderly folks, sitting together on a porch swing, holding hands and just being together. After adopting Brooklyn that picture included grandchildren and a son-in-law. With Dennis’ diagnosis, that picture changed. Short of a miracle, he won’t be part of that picture. So what does that picture look like now? I think there are two distinct pictures that could develop and my choices will determine which one occurs. If I choose the path of bitterness and regret, that elderly lady sitting on her porch will be bitter with a frown on her face and most likely will be very lonely because who really wants to be around someone who is bitter an angry. On the other hand, if I choose the path of thankfulness for all of the years God has given us together and look with anticipation for what is ahead, that picture changes drastically. No longer is there a frown but in its place is a smile and a sense of peace and joy. There are people there, and not just immediate family. Others surround her as she shares her joy, peace and love that develops from a heart fixed on her loving Savior and she realizes that this life is only for a moment and what lies ahead is far greater.
I am choosing to trust God for what lies ahead. I’ve had several passages of scripture challenge me in how I approach the days ahead.
Matthew 6 ends this way: Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. In light of this, I am enjoying today and the time we have as a family. Tomorrow will come and God’s grace will be there when we need it.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Although this load seems so heavy at times, in light of eternity it is momentary and light.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Wow, this is a challenge to keep my thinking right. So I will focus on what is true – Dennis is doing well right now and God is fully in control of every aspect of this journey. God loves us and knows what is best for us even when it makes no sense to me. God is good – ALL THE TIME!
Although I often cannot control or change what is happening in life, I can choose how I respond to it. I’m choosing to trust and to be thankful!