Monday, June 27, 2016

Ordinary Days

Just an ordinary day. I received a phone call. The answering machine was blinking as I pushed the button. It was Erica. Why is Erica calling me? We don’t usually call each other. But there is her voice telling me there is something wrong. Call her. It is about our mutual friend. Erica and I are like day and night. She runs one way, I run the other. Our mutual friend, Amy, is in the middle. Loves us both. So I call somehow knowing it is going to be bad news. I wasn’t expecting it to be the worst possible news. 

Our friend has cancer. Stage 4. Untreatable. She is in pain and too tired to call herself. Erica is flying out to see her and suggests that I should start looking into flights and plan our final visit. It doesn’t sound like she has much time left. Shock. Anger. She is only one year older than I am. I start thinking about my plans. I go to work. My job is important. It helps people, but I can’t stop thinking about my friend. She is in pain, she is suffering. I am trained to help people in pain. I can’t get her off my mind. 
Why her? She is such a gentle person. We have been friends for so long I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t a part of my life. Why her? She eats wheat germ every day. She doesn’t smoke. She hardly drinks. She exercises. What is going on? I continue working, having to keep up with deadlines. People are counting on me. Yet, I can’t get Amy off my mind. I can’t sleep at night; I wake up and pray. I talk to my friends at work and tell them my friend is such a close friend that I wish I had cancer instead of her. A little voice in the back of my mind, quietly, barely audible, asks, “Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is?” What? Where did that thought come from? I push it away and focus on what I need to do. 
God is speaking to me. He wants me to do something. I keep praying. My husband is praying too. “I want you to go.” God is speaking. He wants me to go, and take care of my friend. This involves quitting my job, traveling across the country, going to an unknown place to take care of my friend during dark days. I know I don’t have the strength to do this, but God gives me peace. This is the right thing to do. He gives me His peace, His call, His strength. 

Deuteronomy 31:8: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

When God gives a task, however daunting it may appear, He makes this promise. He goes before you, and He never leaves your side. It is easy to become afraid and discouraged, to see the dark task ahead and to balk. But He knows this path, and has chosen it. He will lead you, sometimes with clarity, sometimes by trust alone. He is a trustworthy guide and has created the path that you are now navigating. He will not leave you. You can put your trust in Him.

“Ordinary Days” is excerpted from The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama’s Devotional Guide for Women Battling Cancer & Those Who Love Them – 31 Days of Devotions -  © 2013 by Sara Nelson O’Brien.

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