Surprises don’t rank very high on my list of favorite things. I’m a fan of a timely heads up and the opportunity to prepare for what’s coming—the good and the hard.
While I’m not a flip-to-the-last-page-of-the-story person, a part of me has always wished life had that option. Wouldn’t it be great to get a sneak peek at what’s to come? Nothing too drastic, maybe just the end of the chapter I’m in right now. Because I’m sure everything would make more sense if I had advance warning for some of life’s plot twists.
I’ve even prayed for it: God, can you please show me how this is going to turn out?
But not any more. I don’t want to know.
If I’d skipped ahead a mere four months ago, I wouldn’t have believed what I read—I wouldn’t have thought it possible to be in this reality. Catching an incomplete glimpse of today would have made me anxious and angry and incredibly confused. Words like gliosarcoma, massive infection, PICC line and platelets would have rocked my world. They would have raised more questions and fears than they’d answered.
If I’d been tipped off that Dad’s lineup of doctors would be big enough to field a basketball team with a bench of reserves, I wouldn’t have understood why he needed neurosurgeons, hematologists and an infectious disease specialist, not to mention the neuro-oncologist and radiation oncologists.
If I’d read the page where I had greater appreciation for doctors saying “I’ve never seen this before” or “I don’t know” than for their hypotheses and possible timelines, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’ve always preferred an abundance of information, so how in such a short span could I become comfortable with—and even grateful for—the admission of limited knowledge?
If I’d known I would come to see waiting as a gift because I’m not ready to hear it all at once, I would have scoffed. I thought knowing was better than not knowing, but I was wrong. There’s beauty in patience. There’s wisdom in waiting. There’s peace in being present in answerless suspense.
Most days I can’t figure out the whys and hows and whens . . . and they just keep coming. But reading ahead won’t solve the riddles.
Today is all I can handle. My soul can’t carry another day’s worries or reassurances. I’ll take tomorrow’s surprises when they arrive.
Turns out, there’s great mercy in the mystery of living locked in this moment.
Beautifully written Kristen. “There’s great mercy in the mystery of living locked in this moment” is such a testimony of seeing God’s goodness while facing such heartache. May He continue to walk closely with you and your precious family in this very different and challenging chapter of life. My prayer is that you will continue to see God’s mercy and love in ways as never before. Thank you for sharing from your heart Kristen. I love you.
I love you, too, Joyce! Even in some of our hardest days these past days, weeks and months, He has been incredibly evident. Such a gift to see Him showcase His goodness in hard circumstances!
Kristen, another heartfelt writing. It is a hard place you are all in right now and I appreciate you sharing your heart. We love you all and continue to uphold ALL of you in our prayers.
Thank you, Denise — so grateful for all your support, encouragement and prayers!!
Thank you for this, Kristen. I, too, am one who doesn’t like surprises and have wished many times over the past year and a half that I could know the outcome of what we are going through. I had not considered the fear and confusion knowing just the ending would cause. You have made me look at this in a whole new way. Thank you! And know that we are fervently praying for your dad, mom, you, and the rest of the family! Your family is special to Terry and me!
Oh, Debbi, you know this all too well! I’m glad I could offer a little perspective that selfishly I wish neither of us needed right now. Who knew our families would be learning these unwanted lessons through cancer? Praying for you and Terry every day, too!! Love you!
Love this Kristen. I pray for you along with your mother an father in these days. We too are in an unexpected (unwanted) time of suspense in our lives. So your words “There’s beauty in patience. There’s wisdom in waiting.” are something for me to cling on to. God keep you as you continue to care for our folks. I know you’ve shown a constance and a faith that have meat so much to your mom. God keep you, xo
Thank you, Rhonda! Yes, you know suspense too well right now; please know I’m praying for resolution and peace for you. So grateful for you and what you mean to not only my mom (and dad), but also to me.
Loved your post Kristen. You have a gift. xo