Thursday, May 16, 2013


Back in November, my mama was diagnosed with cancer. In December she had surgery to remove tumors in her abdomen. The surgery was successful, with only cells remaining. We were told by doctors that the rare type of cancer she has does not respond to treatment, but that they were going to try and treat it anyway. About a month ago, half way through her chemo treatments, they did a scan to determine how her body was responding.

We didn’t get the news we were wanting. Not only had the cancer returned, but it had also spread. She was sent to a group of specialists who all concluded that there is nothing they can do for her. However, her local oncologist doesn’t want to give up, so she is two rounds into another type of chemo.

Reading those paragraphs seems so blunt, so matter of fact. But, really, there is no use in fluffing it up. It is what it is. Cancer. It is blunt and dark.

I have felt just about every emotion possible through this time. At times I am so proud of myself for being strong and believing for a miracle. At others, I have wallowed and found myself already in mourning. The balance is a difficult one. I know that I have to believe in a miracle, while at the same time accepting that she may not be healed. And that no matter what the outcome, God is good.

After we got the news that her cancer had returned, I came home in a fog. Complete desperation and sorrow. I came across a photo of her and my dad from a few years ago and I fell apart, almost as if I had already lost her. Later that afternoon I got an email from a friend. A friend that did not know the latest news or my state of emotions. It opened like this...

“Nurture and protect your hope for your sweet mom. Hope is a driving force. Hope’s power is in its ability to transcend logic, facts, circumstances… and time itself. Hope is a sweet gift from the hand of God.”

I fell apart. It was exactly the words I needed to hear. I had done such a good of job of hoping and I had just let it go. The email couldn’t have come at a better time.

Later that night, I got into bed and picked up the book I had been reading. I had started the book weeks before and, not having a proper bookmark, had just grabbed a piece of paper from my desk and tucked it inside. Weeks had gone by with me pulling it out and laying it aside while I read, always sticking it back in without much thought. But that night was different. I realized that the paper had always been upside down and I didn’t even know what was written on the other side. And I felt moved to turn in over to see just what piece of paper I had grabbed all those weeks ago. My heart seemed to stop.

Every Christmas my parents give me and my sisters the same small gift with money hidden throughout the present. This Christmas we each received a set of Rubbermaid containers. As usual, money was hidden throughout the containers, but this year my mama had decided to write a few notes and hide them as well.

On that night, I realized that the piece of paper I had tucked in my book, was the one on which she had written the word, “Hope.”

There, in my own mama’s beautiful handwriting was the word God was speaking to my heart. It washed over me. This beautiful, tiny little word with so much power. 

Hope, v.
1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
2. To have confidence; trust.

Hope, n.
1. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.
2. Something that is hoped for or desired.
3. Trust; confidence.
{from the free dictionary}

The following week, we went back for a short visit, and before we left, Michael and I laid hands on my mama and prayed with her. A big prayer. A prayer that asked for a miracle.

Later that night, as I got in bed, I noticed Wonderstruck, by Margaret Feinberg, on my bedside table. I started it a few months ago and hadn’t read any more since our move. I felt like it was a good time to pick it back up. It didn’t have a bookmark in it, so I was just going to open it up and scan until I found where I had left off. The page I opened up to had two sentences underlined, “A prayer marked by faith is never about what happens on our terms or time lines, but God's. Faith-stained prayer brings us to a place of trust and hope.”

Hope. Again. Still.

I know that God is giving me hope. And I’m clinging to it. That I can trust him. Its really all I can do. Just live in obedience to Him and know that He is good. No matter our circumstances. No matter what happens with my mama. He is good. He is always good.


Lacey said...

Oh Amy, my heart hurts for you, sweet friend. Don't loose hope, but don't forget it's ok to cry too. Praying for you and your mom!

RandB said...

I'm so sorry about your mom, and so thankful for the faith and hope that you have. Our family will be praying for her and for you. He IS always good. Much love, Riki M

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...