My friend, Ford, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer ten years ago. He was given a few months to live, but has survived for ten years. Today he and his wife learned that recent chemotherapy treatments have failed to stop the tumors that are growing in his pelvis and lungs. After enduring multiple surgeries, rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, and years of suffering, Ford and Dianne now face the hard reality that Ford’s options for being physically healed are running out.
So what do Ford and Dianne do after hearing this terrible news? They walk over to my home, knock on my door, and sing “happy birthday” to me. They bring me a card, homemade raspberry jam, and their priceless gift of love. Amid their unspeakable sorrow, they bring me joy and love.
Dianne recently wrote a book about the experiences of the past ten years. It’s entitled “Each Day Is a Blessing,” and I can’t wait to read it when it is published. Dianne keeps a journal, and she referred to it as she recounted the grief, despair, miracles, joys, and learning experiences that have filled the past ten years of her life. She talks about how prayer, laughter, faith, a positive attitude, and patience have helped her through the tough times. She writes, “Find joy in the simple and beautiful pleasures of life: a glorious sunrise, a breathtaking sunset, a rainbow, God’s creatures in all their varieties, the different seasons of the year, the list goes on and on! These are the things that just make my heart want to burst with happiness. When I experience one of these moments, I say, ‘Now this is living!’”
Imagine your life as a tapestry. From the back side of the tapestry, you see God weaving in a brown thread here, a beige thread there, then a grey thread, and suddenly a blue one. Because you are looking underneath the weaving, you can’t understand why God is choosing to change the colors and the yarns. Then you see a knot, a tangle, a frayed edge, and you think, “God doesn’t know what He’s doing. He is making a mess of life."
Eventually, you see the tapestry of your life from the top. You view a magnificent work of art with every thread woven perfectly in placed. You realize that during those times that you thought your life was a mess, God was making a masterpiece. You see that with each stitch and with each piece of yarn, God was weaving a beautiful work of art.
After their valiant and courageous battle with cancer, Ford and Dianne are learning a final lesson: acceptance. They realize the life does not always work out as we would choose. They know that although God sees the big picture, we do not.
Dianne says, “I have learned that God is the One in charge of Ford’s life. I don’t have a say in the Lord’s decision, so to accept whatever He feels is best for Ford, I need to be on the same page and not fight against His will. After all, I want what is best for my sweetheart too! This is the toughest lesson for me to learn, and I’m still working on it."
When we place our lives in God’s hands, none of our threads of experience are useless. God weaves our suffering, sorrows, and joy and love into a glorious creation. As we surrender to His will, He will make masterpieces of our lives. As we give our hearts to God, we allow Him to transform us from sinners to saints. We allow Him to make us whole.
© Carol Brown