Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL (don't write about the song) (04/02/15)
- TITLE: Whatever My Lot
By Linda Crowley
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The surgeon appeared at the door and beckoned her to the seclusion of the consultation room.
“Your husband is in recovery now, you can see him shortly. We were slowed by old scar tissue, but we were able to get in and remove everything.”
“Then the cancer is gone and now he just has to heal!”
“We can hope so, but there is still the chance that we didn’t get it all. We’ll know better when the pathology results come back.”
He slumped in the chair of the doctor’s office like a deflated balloon. He barely heard the doctor’s words, continuing the detailed explanation. The pathology reported the story of an aggressive cancer that had spread beyond the bounds of surgical removal. It was a repeat of the scene he had gone through with his father ten years earlier. “They told Dad his odds were good, but he died anyway. Why should I believe it will be different for me?” he questioned.
“You’ve got to have faith,” the doctor replied. “We’ve learned a lot about treating prostate cancer in the years since. Have faith in modern medicine, in me, and in yourself.”
What about faith in God? How can I have faith in a God who lets this happen to me? To us? He gave a despairing glance at his wife and touched her hand momentarily, barely recognizing it was for him to feel her strength, not for her to feel his. He wasn’t sure he had enough strength left to offer, anyway.
She took refuge in her room and sobbed out her fears to Lord. Ever since the first diagnosis her husband had been adamant that to remove such an essential part of his being was a form of death from which he didn’t think he could rise. Now it seemed like that was only going to be the beginning. She wondered if she had the strength to support him through the days ahead. She wondered how she could carry on if he didn’t survive. “God only knows how we can get through this,” she spoke aloud to the darkened room. “Surely, Lord, you can help us. Please, help us get through this!”
The weeks that followed were miserable for them both. The gloomy skies and cold rain seemed a reflection of their spirits. Each time he looked at her he saw her pain, her fears. How could he, now only half a man, keep her world intact? How many more weeks before he would be able to be up and about again, helping her with the daily chores and heavy lifting instead of weakly lying in bed, holding back the moans of pain?
It wasn’t the physical pain that was getting to him as much as the emotional pain – the pain from watching her struggle with the additional burdens, the worries about the financial repercussions, and the recognition that this was only the beginning. How much more could they take? She didn’t say anything, but he knew every night she saturated her pillow with tears, and heaven with her prayers. He longed to relieve her of her burdens, but didn’t see how.
In the end, it was she who broke the heavy silence that walled them apart.
“How much longer will you deny that God can heal you? You used to be a man of faith.”
“I have faith - faith that I won’t get better.”
“And I have faith that you will recover. As they say, ‘what God leads us to, he’ll lead us through’. Look, this isn’t just happening to you. We’re in this together, you and I. ‘in sickness and in health,’ remember?”
Stunned, he grabbed her hand and held it, not letting her pull away. “I’m sorry. It’s just that I love you so that I’ve let my concern for you get in the way. I guess I need to focus on the faith needed to get us through this, regardless of the outcome.
She held him close for a few minutes while they mingled their tears and prayers. As she turned away, he heard her humming, “All’s well with my soul”. Yes, he thought, all is well with my soul now.
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