Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: RESOLUTION (01/07/16)
TITLE: Taking it to the Mat
By Wanda Draus
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There was a definite cold chill in the air as we climbed out of our Envoy. The trees on the trail had shed their beautiful leaves and the pebbles were now all covered with snow crunching beneath our feet. All was quiet and almost right with the world.
The quietness, however, was deafening. My husband tried to keep the conversation upbeat with talk of retiring to Florida and getting away from the tough winters in Illinois but my thoughts were somewhere else.
I had just been diagnosed with cancer and would be having the first of three surgeries the day after Christmas, to be followed by chemotherapy and radiation. It was a shock to all of us when I was diagnosed with cancer. Even the report stated, a healthy 58year woman with triple negative breast cancer.
All I could think about is why are we planning anything? I may not be here in five years or even next year. I didn’t speak those thoughts out loud, I didn’t want to impart my doubts on him.
The fear of cancer gripped me like a vice that wouldn’t let go. Sadness invaded my heart at the thought of not growing old with this beautiful man, not seeing my grandchildren reach their dreams or dance at their weddings. The joy that was so much a part of my life had been ripped away with one phone call.
I was into my second round of chemo, when one day after church my husband insisted on stopping at Walmart for some much needed groceries. Trying to adjust to the new wig, and not quite feeling up to it I was less than happy to comply.
Since he wasn’t familiar with this task, every aisle invoked yet another inquiry—what kind of fruit, what kind of spice, is this a better deal? Every aisle I snapped my response. By the time we had arrived at the cereal aisle and sweating horribly under my wig, he was weighing all the different choices of breakfast options, I said my final snap, “SERIOUSLY.”
Apparently, my gentle, good natured, husband had had enough of my less than cooperative manner and with a cold stare turned to me and said, “If you snap at me one more time, I will knock that wig right off your head!”
With a sound of shock coming out of my mouth and a look of who do you think you’re talking too, I envisioned my wig flying past the Cheerios, landing in the elderly lady’s basket or on top of the oatmeal container and with that I erupted with laughter. To my husband’s much relief he began to laugh, and right there in the cereal aisle we hugged, we laughed,we cried.
Feeling tired, I told my husband I would be waiting for him at the front when he finished. It had been months since I felt the joy of laughter and sitting on the Walmart bench, I knew I had to do something.
It wasn’t the cancer stealing my joy but the fear of what cancer could do. I resolved at that moment to “take it to the mat” begin my war and take my stance against fear. What better way to accomplish this than with prayer and employing the One who would provide me all that I would need to fight this enemy, Jehovah-Jireh.
It has been seven years, since I took to the mat, and in His Grace, He has allowed me to enjoy this season of my life. My husband, Bailey and I are walking a different trail these days. The sand beneath me is warm and the sound of the ocean is music to my ears.
Now and then fear wants to sneak back in when my annual check-up is due or a new pain pops up, but I am equipped with a secret weapon—His Word. That day in Walmart I went and purchased colorful index cards and wrote encouraging scripture. Placing them everywhere in my home and in my heart, replacing my fear with faith.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
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