A note from Connie: God’s invitation to sit
In some ways, it seems like I have the easy job: to sit. I sit in waiting rooms, by bedsides, and next to my husband as doctors explain his condition. My role is to be present, to listen carefully, to research, and to learn everything I can about the battle against cancer. I wait as he endures tests, scans, and procedures; take care of the paperwork and scheduling; keep track of the details; and consistently remind him how strong he is, how brave he is, how kind he is, and how incredibly loved he is.
None of these things are beyond my physical or cognitive capabilities. Some stretch my strengths, like details, but they’re not beyond me. My husband has to endure tests, procedures, surgeries, diagnoses, prognoses, side effects, pain, suffering, and weariness of a slow healing journey.
He has the hard job. But you’d never know it.
Instead of complaining, whining, or demanding, “why me?”, he asks others how they are doing and works to bring a smile to their face. In a time when selfishness would be significantly justified, he leads with absolute selflessness, thinking and caring for others first. And he starts with me. It’s generosity in its most pure form.
Even when his tank should be below empty, he gives hope, encouragement, and love. He remembers God’s sovereignty. He sees every challenge and speed bump in the journey as an opportunity to shine for Jesus.
It doesn’t mean there aren’t bad days. It doesn’t mean that fear hasn’t crept in, intending to create a stronghold of doubt. It doesn’t mean there aren’t times of frustration–and even anger–as the situation seems so unfair.
But it does mean the good days outweigh the bad. It means God has not left us or forsaken us.
While my part is undoubtedly easier than my husband’s, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. Why? Because I can’t fix it. I can’t make his cancer go away. I can’t endure pain for the person I love. And when I let what I can’t do overshadow and discount the things I can do, the hard things get heavier.
Because guess what? Good things are hard. Great things are really hard. But walking hand-in-hand and sitting with the one you love through the fight is the best ‘hard’ you can live out and the greatest gift you have to offer. That’s the thing about generosity: giving isn’t easy. It usually costs us something. It’s an invitation that the Lord gives us to choose and respond to.
And when you dare to believe that giving is one of the most intimate ways we receive the Lord’s goodness, well then my friends, you just might find yourself in similar shoes to David when he wrote,
“Lord, who am I and who are my people that we would be allowed to give to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you have given us.” 1 Chronicles 29:14 (NIV)
Lord, who am I that I would know love so deep that it can transform the simple act of sitting into a significant gift? A gift that costs time and convenience, which I can offer to the man I love and, in turn, receive the sweetest gift of Your peace and presence in return.
When I remember God’s presence as I sit, waiting isn’t difficult. There is no place else I’d rather be than by my husband’s side. Together is always better!