Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Rough Week

Sometimes the things you're looking for just fall right into your lap.  As I searched this morning for some kind of illustration to go with today's thoughts, a picture popped up on a friend's email.  It's a rooster, standing upright looking like he's been blasted by tornado force winds.  He's a mess...half his feathers are gone and the rest are bent.  The caption was: I made it through the week.  How about you? 


This torn-up bedraggled chicken says it all.  Things have been happening in my life that I've been hesitant to speak of here or to put out to the world at large on Facebook or Twitter.  I'm a firm believer that we're to share what our experiences teach us about life and faith so they can help others.  In the 22nd chapter of Luke, Jesus speaks to Peter about using his denial experience to strengthen his brothers.  It's hard to share when body, spirit and emotions are so raw.   However, the time has come. 

On May 14th, my body was changed forever when I had a double mastectomy.  That was the same day, coincidentally, that Angelina Jolie announced to the world that she had also undergone a double mastectomy.  Me and Angelina...what a pair!  While she had hers because of a family history of severe cancer, I actually did have cancer.  I got that news in April a week before my birthday.  The good news was that it was very tiny...stage 1.  The decision as to how we would deal with this was not easy.  But in my case it was the only logical path.  And at this point, being logical was the only guide I could find.  If this is what it takes to have the best chance of being here to dance at the weddings of my grandchildren and - like Naomi - to place my great-grandchildren in my lap and care for them...if joining the ranks of the boobless might make that possible, then so be it.

It is done.  I am home under the expert and loving care of my husband and my friends.  But I have to admit, I feel a bit like that chicken.  The best thing I know is that today and tomorrow will pass and I will move on into my new normal.  Obviously, my path has taken on a new dimension.  I'm not sure what that looks like, but I know God knows. 

This morning, as I read again from a familiar and much-loved book, The Monastery of the Heart by Joan Chittister, I read these timely and encouraging words about our search for God:

The search for God depends on the desire
to grow to full stature as a spiritual adult,
to come to know the God
who is as present in darkness
as in light.
It depends on the willingness
to let God lead us
through the deserts of a lifetime,
along routes we would not go,
into the Promised Land of our own lives.