I can see clearly now (the rain is gone)

...I can see all obstacles in my way.
I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin' for
It’s gonna be a bright, bright
Sun-Shiny day.
~ Jimmy Cliff

The sun dawned mildly today, as the iciness of January's deep freeze gave way to the balm of warm winds and snow melting soft underfoot. A picture in seasonal clarity of the week I've had. As the news sunk in, and I allowed optimism to absorb deep into my soul, something inside rises dark and desolate and full of fear. The edge is taken off of cancer, death runs quickly into the shadows as my new doctor speaks healing and remission and freedom. With that new-found hope, the fears step out of the shadows, finally, to be processed and identified. To be named and no longer ignored. Those fears have been the white elephant in my room for months. Now they are safe to acknowledge.

So what is a 29-year-old Christian woman with cancer afraid of? Just like the rest of humanity, I am afraid of death. I am afraid I will be afraid. I am afraid of being in an unfamiliar place. I am afraid of falling through a black hole of the universe without a guide to tell me what to expect. I am afraid of the seconds that intervene between my last breath here and my first breath there. I am afraid that it can't be heaven without my husband and children, and parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends. How can I love a place where there is hardly a face I recognize? How can I navigate a crossing that I know nothing about?

Really, it all boils down to faith. Here is that great question of the ages rearing it's ugly head again: do I trust God, the maker and ruler of all, or not? He didn't give me all the answers - not even whether this good news will hold or dissipate like the snow on my front lawn, melted before the strength of a weak January thaw. He doesn't tell me how it will feel to die, much less how it will feel to live eternally in heaven.

The fears persist. They have been there, in the corners of my mind, since I was a small child. And today, like so many days gone before, I put them aside on my shelf of faith, issues for God to take care of. I put aside my inability to understand the intricate details. I close my eyes. I wrestle my shoulders out of their hunch, shake loose the bands of tension. I sigh, I breathe in deep, and face the warm January sun, and leave the details to Christ.

"I shall not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord. My heart is established and steady, I will not be afraid while I wait to see my desire established upon my adversary." (Psalm 112:7-8 Amplified - paraphrased)