Sunday, October 28, 2012

Please stop the ride, I want off

I'm afraid.... I'm very scared.

Those were the tear filled words I prayed tonight at church during an incredible evening of worship and prayer.

The news I got this week was not what I wanted to hear. I try so hard not to have expectations before scans. I try to stay neutral. Sure I pray for healing, and believe it could happen, but I try not to expect it. Don't get too high or too low. This time was harder though. I wanted so bad to hear the word remission. I caught myself daydreaming about how I would respond.

I was going to walk back out into the lobby of all these cancer patients waiting to see their own doctors and share enthusiastically that 18 months ago I was given a death sentence. Today I'm in remission. Praise the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me! Bless His holy name!

I didn't get to live out that fantasy. Instead I received another one of those gut punches that are so visceral and raw they make you nauseous and dizzy. Instantly my mind started to go down those familiar yet destructive pathways.

Tonight Kendra is staying with a friend in Kalamazoo. So Colton and I literally drove straight from Chicago to our church's evening service. I planned to take Colton into the sanctuary until he started getting fussy or anxious then he'd go to nursery. Instead he curled up on my lap and sat so quiet and still for over an hour and a half. I think he's picking up on the emotions in my family. He doesn't know what's wrong, he just knows where a safe place is. This little boy with his head against my chest and my arms wrapped completely around him. I kissed his head, smelled his hair, and sang quietly into his ear. I stopped paying attention to anything else around me and Colton and I had our own worship experience.

It's hard to praise God when one of the things you're most afraid of losing is sitting on your lap. This innocent (most of the time), soft faced, little joy of a human being is so important to me. I'm terrified about what my absence might mean in his life. I'm angry that I might not be able to love him like I want. I'm bitter that I might not be able to do the things with him I want to.

I'm very scared about the future.

I'm afraid for Kendra. She has so much on her plate now. She spent last week working till 7, 8, or later with parent teacher conferences. No big deal you might think, but the week before scans everything becomes more difficult. Time away from family is a big deal. Yet she faithfully serves in whatever capacity God puts her in. I'm afraid about what my health might mean to her though. Life is so much work for her already.

Cooking, cleaning, taking care of a baby (me), taking care of a toddler, working, commuting, being a part of a small group, doing the bills, coordinating medical appointments and travel arrangements every other week. This just the short list. It is exhausting. What will happen if I'm even more hassle? What will happen if I'm gone? Who will she have to lean on?

Tonight at church we sang a song that may have been the straw that broke Ryan's back.

I don't know what resonated with me but I was almost breathless trying to sing the words that just wouldn't come out. Then they showed a video by Francis Chan that I'd seen before, and again for some reason tonight it just jumped off the walls at me.

Right now I have a choice to make. Am I going to shrink back down and cling to the beam? Is my faith so lacking that one test result would knock me off this journey of learning about radical obedience I've been on? All I want to do is crawl up on my daddy's lap and have him wrap his arms around me and tell me it's all okay. That He's got it all under control and I'm going to be fine.

Sometimes we don't have the faith that we desire. There's a reason God calls us to work out our faith with fear and trembling. It's a process. As the father in Mark 9 says, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief".

Right now I want to perform on the balance beam. I know that's where I need to be. I sure don't feel like getting up and doing flips though. My emotions tell me to lay back down, strap myself to the beam, and just survive.

Dear Father,

I'm so scared. I'm so scared of what you might have ahead of me. I want off this ride. I'm tired and exhausted. Lord please I'm begging to let this cup pass. God there are things I confess I'm holding on to. I've been holding on to my son, and my wife, and their futures. I know that you are in control, and will take care of them, but yet I still try to hold on to protecting them. God it's so tiring trying to do my job and yours. I can't do it anymore. I'm raising the white flag. To you I surrender again, all that I have. God when I can't pick myself off the beam, please pick me up. Please hold me not in safety, but in obedience. Use me even in my brokenness to serve you.

Lord please don't let the things I hold onto prevent me from serving you. I pray my moments of unbelief will not keep me from what you have ahead of me. God I know all of this is so minor compared to the pain and anguish you and your son shared when you took my sins and paid my price for me. I feel selfish and embarrassed that I'm struggling with this. Lord thank you for loving me no matter how I feel. Lord I lay this before you once again, and praise you.

Lord I'm not in remission, but I will still choose to say,

Praise the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me! Bless His holy name!



Thandi said...

Praying with-and for-you.

Mark Looman said...

It's when we don't get what we want that we really find out who is God. Plenty of 'Christians' appear to say, 'LORD, as long as You give me what I want, You can be my God.' He says to us, 'Dear one, when you said that you would follow Me your words didn't mean anything until you came to the fork in the road where you wanted to go in one direction and I pointed in another.' God Bless all three of you.

Forever His said...

Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your glorious name
You give and take away, You give and take away
But my heart will choose to say Lord blessed be your name.

Praying for you and your family Ryan.

Connie Lossing said...

Praying for you with tears in my eyes. Thank you for your honesty that cuts to all your readers hearts and encourages all of us to lift the white flag and get back on the beam. May the Lord bring that beautiful word remission to you soon.

William Nelson said...

Cricket Nelson & I continue to pray for you , your family and doctors!!!

Ryan said...

Thank you o much guys. Kendra and I are doing much better the last couple days. God is good. We feel so blessed by all ouf you.

Ryan said...

Thank you o much guys. Kendra and I are doing much better the last couple days. God is good. We feel so blessed by all ouf you.

Jordan said...

You came to my church (fellowship reformed in hudsonville) and spoke at one of the services I attended. Me and my wife have been trying to pray for you and your family on a daily basis since you came there and gave your testimony. I just felt moved to share these lyrics that speak of surrender to Jesus by Rich Mullins - "So hold me Jesus, cuz I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been my king of glory, won't you be my prince of peace." Praying through tears for peace and reassurance for you and your family, and a strengthening of hope and faith.