I remember where I was sitting when I first caught glimpse of her story, and my heart panged.
I also remember the day, 3 months ago today, my family of 5 became a family of 4, all help to the same monster she knew as GBM, stage 4 brain cancer. Unfortunately it’s not something I had to Google after reading her story. Our family is well versed in the horror that is primary brain cancer.
Sure there were stages. I thanked God for something that brought my family closer than ever, than the division and heartbreak that is divorce. I thanked him for the awareness of our short time together. There were sleepless nights, weeks even. Sure your way was easier, but it was a shortcut that bypassed grace, joy, and most of all mercy. I absolutely found myself in situations I never would have dreamed, never could have imagined, and still will never comprehend. It was-in every sense-a living nightmare. But you know, it was a nightmare I would live again, because I loved her, and she passed knowing how wide, and deep and how far my love, my dad’s love, my family’s love, stretched just for her, how encompassing her gentle Saviour’s love for her reached. More than that, she found depths of grace and reflected depths of grace I never would have found on my own, in Christ’s love for her when her very life was challenged. She rose to the occasion.
You’re right, Brittany-it was scary and horrific. But more overwhelmingly it was sacred and heroic.
Everyday, my mom is my hero. What a legacy.
But what makes me most sad is when you say “whatever is next.” My mother passed anxiously awaiting the glory that was coming—which brought certain, ruling, dwelling peace. Convinced in the midst of uncertainty of a certain savior. Bravery is looking fear in the face and living in spite.
Bravery is facing something head on—rejecting God-breathed life, no matter the quality, is cowardly and the loss of opportunity for grace and love He alone grants and denying Him of His power. Bravery is looking fear in the face, and declaring it powerless to Christ. Bravery is placing hope in a savior to give you enough grace for every step.
It is not ignorant. It is a faith-filled-brave.
And He is faithful.
The truth is: we’ve all got a cancer. Not statistically, not medically. Mine isn’t visible on a CT scan. My pride and sin rage and swell so uncontrollably and exponentially some days that it’s a baseball-sized tumor in my heart before I even drink my first cup of coffee in the morning. If you’re human, you’re a sinner, and you’re constantly in need of a Saviour. But I don’t choose to let these sins overtake my beating heart, I resect and radiate them every day so he can resurrect my heart. A daily offering, daily surgery to cut out these sins and lay them at his feet. I try not to give in and overcome them with my own “humble dignity,” succumbing to cancer, letting it have it’s ravaging way, disposing of it with treatment I deem acceptable. No, we fight. I throw my hands up in adoration, and lay at the feet of my king, knowing that Jesus starts new everyday, and though for today he may rid me of my pride and selfishness and bad behavior, surely tomorrow the sins will exponentially multiply, again. And again, daily, he will be there steady. His surgeon-hands to carve away my sin and start again unmarred.
Surely this, is the great Physician.
This post is not meant in any way to spark a discussion on physician assisted suicide (if that is the case, please keep your comments to yourself or write your own blog #mericuh), but rather to challenge you to think about how you would react, or what your hope is in if “the worst” were to happen to you or your family. Do you decide when you come in this world? Do you decide when you leave? Or your hair color for that matter? Or if you have diabetes or autism or if you don’t, or if your kids are smart or if they love drama or football? You could eat gluten free and acai berries your whole life and you will still perish. How do you want to be remembered?
Where. is. Your. Hope.
My greatest hope for Brittany was this:
“Brittany, my deepest wish, and prayer, for you is that your last 19 days are as full of life, and love, and joy as the last 21 months with my mom was. We made memories that I will never lose grip of, because they were so beyond sacred, we lived lasts, and cried, and laughed. Oh, did we know gut-wrenching tears, but how strong did we feel the deep belly laugh of joy with God. But beyond well wishes, I hope someone looks you in the eyes and shares with you the miracle of Christ, which is truly nothing short of a miracle—because I think if you found him, you may have the courage to endure and sustain more time with those who love you and realize He alone is our hope.”
**On a personal note, which I rarely interject, I have long-dreaded mentioning Brittany Maynard’s personal choices. However, I feel compelled and grateful to have gone through something so similar with Christ, that I wished to speak to His power when allowed to dwell in the midst of suffering. So that’s that.