Every one of us hungers for certainty. It allays the fear of the unknown. We can quiet our thoughts when we know what lies ahead. That knowledge doesn’t have to be true for it to be an effective balm. How often have we been hit with the truth that belies the certainty we held for so long? And it sends us reeling until we can find our way once again.
That is what it’s like to live with cancer: no guarantees, not knowing what the future brings. I know what I hope for, and I vacillate between the highs of hope and depths of fear.
Will God answer my prayers and the prayers of so many dear friends? Yes. But will it be the answer we want to hear? We’ll see. I’ve been thinking about God’s will for me. If His plans for me include an early death, don’t expect me to like it. I have things left to do, not least of which is to watch my children grow into their adult lives and be by my husband’s side well into old age.
While living with uncertainty is sometimes frightening, most often it is enlightening. I have come to accept ambiguity as a path to knowledge. Not knowing keeps me open to new information and growth. This is especially true in my faith journey. The mystery of God unfolds continuously and my faith continues to change and mature.
In between hope and fear is the middle ground of acceptance. It brings peace because it limits expectations, the source of so much disappointment and pain.
I await that sense of acceptance about my future. I’m probably on some well-defined stage of emotional progress as I deal with my diagnosis. It is important to be allowed whatever feelings are part of my journey, even if they cause discomfort. I’m okay with all these feelings as I process them. I’m okay with being angry, sad, hopeful, enormously grateful, and uncertain—often all at once.
It’s all part of life, and I cherish every minute of it.
Cross-posted to CaringBridge.org.