Peace In The Unknown
The only thing I know, is that I know nothing.
Amen, Socrates! Yet despite this, I still like to pretend I know everything, especially the outcome of my life. I like to think that if I control all the right things, in all the right ways then I will achieve what I want. Except God always throws a wrench into my system by not letting me in on His plans. He has basically forced me into submission because I cannot control what I do not know. For the life of me, I cannot understand where He is leading me. Just a year and a half ago I had it all figured out, or so I thought. I had a great job as a high school teacher with the opportunity to teach my ideal courses. I had just become married to the man of my dreams and the excitement of the life we would create together hung in the air like bacon in the morning. Then cancer decided to disrupt my plans. Don't they say if you want to hear God laugh tell Him your plans for the future?! Well God must have been laughing hard looking down at my perfectly color-coded mapped-out plans.
Now all I am left with is the unknown - knowing that I know nothing. Even with this knowledge, it hasn't taken away my attempts in the past at trying to control. I tend to convince myself that if I create just the right plan, stay up late enough tossing and turning in thought, and give myself a big of enough headache trying to create answers to all those unknowns then my life will be figured out. It has taken me years to see that I am searching for fulfillment in what the world tells me to. Instead of finding joy, peace, and comfort in Him. It wasn't until my fear that I am missing out on His will for my life, became bigger than my desire to please the world that I have begun to let go. I am (working on) letting go of control, understanding, perfection, and the most challenging of them all, my desires to be enough. Let me tell you that is a hard one and deep-rooted in so many of us. For me, I try to fix my feelings of inadequacy by receiving approval from others and perfecting (or attempting to) all areas of my life. This has looked like trying to perfect my nutrition and my working out habits but instead turned into obsessive behavior and an unhealthy relationship with food that has taken years to fix. It also has taken on the form of creating the most ideal schedule/life. Overcommitting in life to receive that approval I sought from others and becoming stricken with anxiety when I couldn't manage the schedule I created.
So what did I do to become enough and let all of this go? Well like I mentioned, this all is still a work in progress for me, but what has gotten me closer has been two daily truths I ask myself each morning. First, what does God say about me? My God tells me I am enough! I am enough not because of what I do, but because of who I am. Second, what do I need to let go of today? This usually consists of handing over my to-do list and the desire to control over to God. Or maybe I need to uncommit to something and rest more that day. Whatever it is, there is always something I am trying to do that needs to be given to Him. Once I do I am usually filled with more joy and peace. That is my ultimate goal...to be consumed with so much peace and joy because I rest in Him and not in the world. I know I am one step closer because I have handed over cancer to Him and for me, that is a big one. Yesterday, I put myself through the ultimate test. Every 3 months I receive scans to make sure my cancer hasn't progressed and yesterday was scan day. Leading up to it I felt like I had handed over my fate in regards to cancer to Him, but hadn't been thrown into that environment since this submission. Let me tell you, usually, these are filled with anxiety and crippling emotions that last for days. When I stepped into that hospital and was then taken back for scans I just felt...cold. Not because I was voided of emotions, but because for some reason hospitals feel the need to make it seem like the artic inside. I don't know if this is to make those warm blankets they give you feel like a slice of heaven or what, but it can be a painful experience until they wrap that banana cream pie (a personal favorite) around you. The point I am trying to make is that for once my concern was not in the outcome. Instead, my focus was on peace and not letting my circumstances control my emotions. While I would consider yesterday a success, I know there is still room for improvement. Eventually, I would like to be more like Paul and find joy in this circumstance. "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21) However, I am grateful for this improvement and only look forward to the changes God continues to place in my heart!
Don't get me wrong, patience with God has never been my strength, even after all His attempts at teaching me. I would love for Him to change my heart to be more like Paul's today. Or heck, why not just make it easier for all of us and change my circumstances. Yet, I know that immediate gratification will teach me nothing and bring me no growth. So today I choose Him. I choose to allow not knowing to be enough. I choose to trust. And above all else, I choose peace in the unknowns!
**Side Note: I did receive good news from these scans. I have no new growth, which means my body is continuing to respond to its current treatment, Alectinib.