New reality

Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
~ Victor Hugo

Tonight my body is worn from a day spent catching up on a million things that had been laid aside for cancer treatment. My heart feels worn, too, the jagged edge of fear wearing away at the veneer of Christmas spirit I've thrown over my eyes. As though the dam might break if someone saw too clearly what lies beneath the surface. Waiting is so hard. In Deep Survival, I read that survivors are those who adapt to changes in reality: absorb new truth, and act on it, rather than the old truth with which they are more familiar. I struggle to integrate this new truth, cancer, with all my old truths, mother, wife, student, daughter, friend. I have made many decisions in life based on a simple algorithm: if I gain more information about this, will if affect my ultimate decision? I can't seem to fit that with my current circumstances. If I learn that I have more cancer, or less, than currently believed, will it change my ultimate decision? Of only one thing I am certain, and on this rock will I rest my weary head tonight: knowing more or less about my cancer will not change where I am going when I die.

In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine." "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief." Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. ~ I Samuel 1:10-18

So much to learn from such a small passage: I can pray out of great anguish and grief; I can expect to feel those things in this life. I will be deeply troubled. I will pour my soul out to the Lord. And then I should go away, go back about my business, and my face should no longer be downcast. I pray the clouds in my spirit lift tomorrow.