Friday, July 1, 2011

The Middle of a Miracle

by Joy Brown

“I’m sorry. You must have the wrong number.” I wish I could force those words out of my mouth. It’s the way I longed to respond to the voice on the other end of the phone. She must have dialed incorrectly. This call couldn’t possibly be for me. My name in the same sentence as “cancer” was inconceivable. This wasn’t part of my plan.

Months earlier I had found myself sitting with my family doctor as he explained some urgent and worrisome findings. Still, my mind remained positive. Yes, there was a mass on my left ovary, but it would be surgically removed and life would carry on. During this same time, a routine mammogram showed areas of concern and a biopsy was scheduled. Suddenly my safe and quiet life was plunged into a whirlwind of appointments, hospital visits, ultrasounds and a world of unknowns. Doctors and technicians whispered quietly in my presence, pointing at images on screens and using terms I didn’t understand.

My life is defined right now by instability. The wind is blowing. It's not a gentle wind that lifts wisps of hair and caresses my face. It's a billow, desiring to force me off my feet. A current from an area of high pressure air to an area of low pressure petitions to move joy to despair. A gale of doubt longs to bend my attitude and carry away all strength in its movement.

The big bad wolf is huffing and puffing and threatening to blow my house down. Is my faith made of wood, hay, straw or brick? As I watch the flag outside being whipped in the wind’s embrace, my life feels so beaten and defeated. How can one stand against such unrelenting power?

A call to the surgeon's office brings winds of change. Uncertainty collides with faith.

Test results return. Surgery dates are changed.

A violent storm of impending danger is on the horizon.

I pray for the weather to change and the forecast to be kind.

Yet, there are whispers in the wind. Whispers rise up to stay the blast of feelings and emotions which aspire to knock the life out of me and isolate me inside for fear of such flurry. I'm carried away, not aimlessly, but deliberately. Wind’s path has a purpose. Contrary to appearances, there is direction in the seeming chaos. It is not an arbitrary impulse, but an intentional appointment.

Listening, I giggle and rub my ear from sounds as soft as a feather's touch.

Amidst the howling, God and I share a secret.

He speaks tranquility in the turmoil.

The wind shifts my focus and God keeps me occupied with gladness of heart (Ecclesiastes 5:20, NIV).

With the wind, the seasons change. Spring is budding growth. God is moving me to a new place and a deeper faith. Although at times feeling forgotten and abandoned, God reminds me that He sees me.

He speaks words of encouragement from His Word. “I am your strength, joy, your personal bravery and invincible army. I make your feet like hind’s feet and will make you to walk [not stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon your high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]” (Habakkuk 3:19, amplified).

I lose my breath as a rush of thankfulness lifts me off my feet and I am carried to heights not experienced prior, choosing to make that sacrifice from a tender heart.

I let go.

Surrendering to soaring.

The letting go of what was to what is ahead has not been easy. As I write this, I am in a place of waiting. I am standing in the middle. The middle of a miracle.

Waves crashing all around.

The sound of the wind whirling.

I'm standing in the middle of my miracle. My feet are planted in the center of my impossibility, but God's possibility.

Firmly planted? Not always. Waves of doubt, despair and discouragement threaten to drown my heart. I ask the Lord to fix my feet on the Solid Rock.

Leaning in, I listen to the swirling flow of nature’s energy. I have a loving, powerful God who can produce vineyards and fruit in places of wilderness. There is growth to be born and birthed in this current climate. He will come to me like the spring rain, bringing a downpour of peace and joy. Fear wants to leave the soil barren, but hope issues an invitation, whispering that God is creating a fresh faith in me, one whose season it is to bloom in the middle of a miracle.

Joy Brown is a homemaker who lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband Gord and 19 year old son, Chris. Having being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she is now receiving chemotherapy treatment and is trusting God from the "middle of a miracle". She believes that God has purpose in allowing this "storm" to touch her life and refuses to settle in this season. Believing God, she's listening for His whispers.