"Do you still believe in God?"
* This blog post is gonna have a little salty language. So if you don't want to read any four letter zingers, you might want to skip today's post...
Last week, I sat with a dear friend and told the story of the current leg of the journey I'm on. She listened, asked questions, gave me invaluable information, advice, and suggestions.
Then she asked me, "Do you still believe in God?"
I said something to the effect of: "I can't prove that God exists. I can't. But I can tell you this: through every major crisis in my life, it has been my faith in God that has sustained me and brought me through."
The truth is that my faith has carried me through every circumstance of my life, good and bad. I'm not one of those people who only prays when the shit hits the fan (like right now), but I'm somebody who you might see mouthing words in my car - and I'm most likely praying. Just telling God about my day, my needs, my desires, my anger, my everything. I lay it all out there. I don't hold anything back. Someone recently told me that she thinks of me and God as BFFs. Best friends forever. I laughed. I hadn't thought of it that way.
I do still believe in God. I believe that God loves me and loves all of us.
I believe that there is a path for each of us to follow that leads us back into God's loving arms.
Do I understand why kanser happens? Why superstorms destroy entire neighborhoods?
Why tsunamis wipe out entire villages? Why earthquakes open the ground below us?
Do I know why mental illness ravages so many lives? And then others are left unscathed?
Do I know why children suffer from rare illnesses and never live beyond early childhood?
Do I know or can I explain why there is any suffering in the world at all if God is truly almighty?
Nope, I do not know. I do not know.
Yesterday, I had an MRI, my first one - and hopefully, my last one.
The noises were startling at first. But I settled my rapid heart beat by singing songs to myself.
Before long I fell asleep.
Apparently, not many people fall asleep in that tiny tube, but I did.
When I woke up, I was reminded of a verse I love from Psalm 3 -
I laid me down and slept;
I awaked, for the Lord sustained me.
And yesterday, that was the perfect verse for that awful moment.
Today, as I lay in the bone scan machine, I tried to think of what to sing to myself.
I tried to think of a way to pray, something to say.
"Lord, please don't let me have kanser anywhere else.
But then again, I asked to not have kanser at all.
And that didn't work out like I'd hoped.
I'm not sure what to pray today."
No nap in the machine today. I just lay there wondering. Hoping.
Trying not to move. Trying not to cry.
Today, after drinking something radioactive and having something nuclear injected into my veins,
after being told to wait an hour and a half for the first scan,
then escaping for a quick lunch at Panera
(Gibbs, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU KNOW!!!)
before being subjected to another scan,
a new thought crossed my mind - Shit, shit, shit. I have kanser. And this shit sucks.
That wasn't the first time that thought occurred to me, but it's been rolling around in my head a lot today. A whole lot.
Do I still believe in God? You bet I do.
But the rest of the shit that's swirling around in my brain and in my body,
this body that has carried me, carried two children, and been such a joy to live in,
all of that other crap, I cannot believe it.
Not even one little bit.