1. The landscape changes
I’ll never forget the frightened look on my husband’s face, or the shaky change in pitch to his usually, strong voice. ‘I think you need to get this checked out urgently’, he had said. We’ve always called him ‘Doctor Simpson’, for his uncanny ability to accurately diagnose all manner of ailments, using layman logic and a good grasp of biology as his oracle. But this was no common cold we were talking about. It was cancer.
Fast forward 48 hours and we find ourselves in the local G.P’s surgery, hearing the same concerning words. Breaking all diagnostics first protocol, the doctor confirmed our worst, finding two deeply embedded lumps, already well established in size. This needed attention – and quick. Within ten minutes, the conversation was over and I found myself standing outside in the car park, feeling the icy blast of a January Scottish winter brush my face. There and then in that moment, I knew I had a choice: To tumble into the emotional abyss of what my thoughts and feelings wanted to say. Or to fall into the higher wisdom that doesn’t come from my own mind – the perspective that comes from God – wisdom that comes through my spirit. In this moment, was it The Word or was it the worry that reigned supreme?
As if in slow motion, I recalled the time a few days before, when this possibility first came into being. Even then, somehow, I seemed to have that sense – that knowing sense. Looking back now, God had readied me for the news. The news that I had been invaded by a cancer. At the time, I remember confidently and clearly thinking ‘if this is cancer, God has me covered.’ That night I rolled over and went to sleep with the contentment of a baby. You see, I have witnessed so much of God’s mighty hand in my life. Over the years, He has shown me His faithfulness. I know Him – God’s character can be implicitly trusted. He will work all things for good, regardless of the havoc that life, the enemy, or our own choices can cause.
But it’s one thing to say this, when the odds may still be on the right side of positive. Now, with the real horror merging into view, did that same conviction still stand strong? I was back to that choice.
The internal voices were already banging on the door of my mind – and yet, something was preventing me from tuning into them. I knew that something was the Spirit of God, holding me closer and tighter than I had ever known before. In an instant, it was as if the cloak of His presence, swathed me in His love and reassurance. A peace fell that was both beautiful and incomprehensible. The decision was made – In that moment, I chose to believe The Word of God, I chose to listen to His spirit and not to the cries of my soul.
‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.’ Isaiah 26:3 NIV