December 9, 2015. My husband, father of my then six week-old, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
August 31, 2016. My sister-in-law, 24 years old at the time, underwent surgery to remove a non-cancerous, though fatal if left alone, tumor in her brain.
September 9, 2017. My 61 year old father-in-law, one of the greatest men to walk this planet, passed away only one and a half weeks following diagnosis of melanoma on his liver. And only one week after witnessing his daughter get married.
February 16, 2018. My 57 year old mother-in-law, one of the strongest women I know, was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia.
I often wonder, who will be next? What will be next? What will the next phone call reveal to us? Will I once again do everything in my power to keep myself together while on the phone with my brokenhearted husband who is doing everything in his power to stay strong for his parents and sister? Will we have to share bad news once again with my parents, our friends, our co-workers?
The answer to that last question is likely, “yes.” Yes, we will likely have bad news to share with those in our small world at some point again in the future. Because life is not full of good news, which sounds so cliche but it’s just frankly so true. Frontotemporal Dementia is not full of good news. In fact, it is depressingly full of bad news, and at some point we will likely have to share how much my mother-in-law has declined in her basic functionality. And that is not good news. Again.
This past week, after I shared our bad news of my mother-in-law’s diagnosis, my boss prayed over our family…because, side note, I work in an amazing place where we pray together every morning. He is a person of many words, and I know he said some very heartfelt words as he prayed, but the words that I remember most and that stuck out to me the most were something along the lines of, “Lord, give them some good news.”
Yes, the Lord can give us some good news. He can miraculously take away the dementia. He can take away any side effects my husband’s and my sister-in-law’s radiation treatment may have on them. He can keep all of us from ever getting sick again and keep tragedy from affecting our family. These would be incredible, non-disputable ways to reveal His glory, and I one hundred percent believe He can do all of the above.
He can also reveal Himself in the small, not so miraculously incredible things. In the belly laugh of my toddler, in the hilarious text from my friend, in the good conversation with my mom, in the spontaneous get together with good friends. Looking through the right lens, those are good things, they are favor shown on us, they are good news. As He reveals Himself through the laughs, the dinner, the good conversation, He also reveals His good news – His faithful and steadfast love for us.
So from today forward, I challenge myself, and whoever has stumbled on this blog, to take note of good news because it’s there. It’s there in my two year-old praying for Goofy and Donald Duck, and it’s there when your co-worker buys you a cup of coffee, and it’s there when your spouse texts you just to say, “I love you.” It’s there because He is there, He is always there, and His love is relentless. That is good news.
I am not in therapy. I don’t have a life coach. I don’t know how to do this life chock full of medically bad news other than to take it one day at a time, and when I feel as if I’m drowning – as I often do – I lean into the Father’s arms. I literally pretend I’m leaning into Him as He embraces me. Call it crazy. I call it surviving.
As I strive to find one piece of good news in each day, I pray I move from a place of reminding myself of His unstoppable love to a place of knowing His love is unchanging. I want to internalize that, not just remind myself of that. I want to know it to my core, not remind myself as needed.
So here’s to tomorrow’s good news and resting in His love in ALL times.