We sat without talking, while listening to Pastor James MacDonald talk about peace in a sermon he did late last year.
Peace in the midst of personal conflict.
Peace during the storm of chemo.
Peace while in the fire.
As we drove home from the hospital, I started to envision losing everything in a fire - all of my possessions, gone in a moment's time.
Poof! Up in flames.
Me, standing there, watching it all burn down without being able to control any of it. Then after time, I see myself salvaging what I could out of the smoldering wreckage. But not much would be the same.
I have never experienced a house fire. Nor do I know what it's like to lose every physical object I've ever known. But there are some definite similarities to living with cancer.
There is the initial shock, the unimaginable horror of watching your life as you have known it up to this point, go up in flames, and spending time trying to salvage something from your old life from the mess that's left.
Then, there's rebuilding.
Today marks 41 rounds of chemo for Ryan. It's a fight I just cannot imagine enduring personally. I stand on the sidelines and watch helplessly. I, like everyone else, just want it all to get better - want the fire of cancer to be contained and put out, for good.
Ryan and I have been rebuilding our lives since that dreadful diagnosis almost two years ago. We have made some startling discoveries about what really matters in life. We watched everything being torn down by the enemy of our souls, but learned to rely on the God, described as a "consuming fire," who created everything in the first place.
Rebuilding takes time.
Things look different than before.
New people enter in.
Life changes, forever.
I've been reading and talking a lot about contentment. My Tuesday Mom's group is talking about it during devotion time. I hear about it on the radio. There's definitely a learning curve and I'm at the very beginning.
But the idea that threatens my daily, personal desire for contentment is the threat of a future fire, or rather a twist in the cancer road.
I now know what it's like to lose the facade of a "normal life" and rebuild. I know what it's like to bounce from chemo round to chemo round and the two month wait to see what the next scan shows. I know what it's like to hold your breath as each page on the calendar turns over, wondering, always wondering. I know how to rebuild after watching my husband endure a year-long bout with depression.
I know I will be very excited to hit the two year mark a month from now, and will rebuild my dreams past the two years the first doctor gave him at the other hospital.
As we rebuild those dreams, I know we will have to continue to rebuild our lives because the cancer "fire" took away everything as we'd known it before. And as I look back on all our previous rebuilds, we have always had Someone supervising it all.
No matter what, with God as our Supervisor, I know today's and every day's rebuilds will work according to a good plan because:
"...we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."