Several years ago, I wrote a blog post on my old blog (The Knightly News), “Hard Words”, and I thought not of the blog itself, but of the words that are hard to hear.
Most people have experienced a time in their lives when they heard things that were hard to hear–I’ve had my share just like the next person. When my doctor told me on August 2 that she didn’t have good news for me–I suspected the next words would be “hard” to hear. I was right. Cancer. The word itself is ugly and suggests pain will follow.
Yesterday as my husband, Jeff and I were driving to Mayo, Florida to share our heart and passion for Bolivia and our calling there, God reminded me that the words I had heard, breast cancer, were not the hardest words to hear. Neither is any other kind of cancer.
WAIT a second before you get aggravated with me–I know you just said to yourself and possibly the computer screen, “she does not know what she’s talking about”. No, you’re right. I don’t know your circumstance. But I do know–beyond doubt that you- nor I have ever heard the hardest words to hear.
Hearing the words
- your husband has been in an accident;
- your son is in jail;
- I’m leaving you;
- you have cancer;
- I hate you;
- you’re fired;
- we’re broke;
- your son is gay;
- your daughter is a prostitute;
- your wife is on drugs; or
- your parent is dying”…..
those are all hard words to hear. Harder still to walk through. But the hardest words–in the world to hear will be:
Depart from Me, I never knew you….
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
There is no going back and re-doing anything. No rehab, no new job, no hospital, no surgery, no amount of praying, nothing–can change or fix this…
“depart from Me”...that’s an eternal shift in your destination. That’s the hardest words ever….That’s permanent. It wasn’t what you thought. YOU imagined that everything was okay. YOU fixed it in your mind that all was well…when actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
After my 2nd mammogram of the year came back with good news that “whatever” it was (cyst we thought) was shrinking–and the radiologist felt confident there was no need for a biopsy or further tests–I gave a sigh of relief. God was working on my behalf and taking care of this and I need not fear.
Then in just a tiny little-old week it seemed a small knot, or area of discomfort was aggravating me at times–admittedly, I tossed it off as just bruising from the mammogram. And it seemed to come and go in being tender and sometimes painful–but as weeks turned into months, it grew and so did the aggravation. Many mornings I would put my hand on it and pray and ask the LORD to take care of it. I felt completely confident that He would. I was not afraid. I chalked it up to a cyst and knew I had another appointment coming up and it would be cleared by then.
Then the week before that appointment came, as I was praying on the back porch during my quiet time, I was assaulted by the enemy. He threw everything at me. Every fear imaginable. The biggest fear was that I would leave this world without accomplishing what God had assigned me.
God quickly reminded me “fear not”. He didn’t create the fear–and He was not a giver of fear. He was ready to give me peace, life and love–all I had to do was open my hands and heart, release the fear and take hold of the faith. I did just that. Peace flooded and remained-even on the day I sat in front of my doctor as she gave me the news. Peace. It was surreal–how I could have peace in the midst of such news.
I did weep– but I held the tears in check as I left the office and waited until I had gotten in my car and was headed out of the parking lot. I didn’t cry a lot then– God was truly holding me up! I didn’t want to cry– I wanted to hear from God. I wanted Him to assure me that this was all a part of HIS plan…and that’s exactly what I got. Not all at one time of course, but over the next few days–God let me know through HIS WORD–this was already covered.
Believe me–I’ve cried some since then–there was the scary things in the hospital that I’ve already told you about, there was the emotional feelings when the bandages were removed…there was the fear and feeling of weakness, insecurities of all kinds, but then, on top of all of that, there has been love. Tons of it. From friends, family and most of all, from my Abba Father. God has simply amazed me.
Some people think (as I have been guilty of) that tears are a sign of weakness. No. Cry. If you are afraid, cry. If you are hurting, cry. Tears relieve stress. I never was a big crier–and actually find it difficult to tolerate a cry-baby attitude in an adult, but I have learned my tears do have a purpose. Crying during praise and worship is healing… Crying in prayer…healing.
Unfortunately (or maybe not), I do tend to hold the lid on tighter than most so that when they do come–it’s a gusher. But through this journey–I have given myself leniency to cry. Whenever I feel it coming on–I let it happen. Remember that old song, “Tears Are A Language God Understands”… true.
When the hard words come–tears often join. Almost always.
About a week ago, I encountered something that brought the tears hot and fast. My emotions sank to the bottom of the ocean. I didn’t understand–but God did. He sees all, knows all and is always able no matter the cause or reason. I’ve needed Him as never before–and HE has proven He’s able and available.
Tomorrow I will visit the chemo plant and radiation store. (Not really a plant and not really a store) I will get set up for the next leg of this journey and I’m expecting those days to flow with the presence of God as I’ve yet to see….I’m looking for Him to be there–every step.
As our youngest daughter reminded me–the enemy meant for this to be a road block, but it’s just a speed bump–God has everything under control. Bolivia is still in sight. It will take more than cancer to remove the call on our lives.
So, what about you friend? Have the hard words in your life completely stopped your progress? Are you faltering, flailing about in confusion? Those hard words aren’t the end for YOU. They could be the beginning of what He has NEXT… Maybe a new assignment… A new purpose… Either way, let those be your reminder that you are still living and breathing and able to keep your hand safely tucked into the hand of Jesus. Invite Him to take charge of your life if you’ve been doing it solo. There is nothing you will encounter in this life that He cannot handle…and He will strengthen YOU in your weakness….He has done that for me.
Don’t wait around for the “depart from Me” words…Cry out to Him today. Now would be good.
Can I pray with you?
Heavenly Father, You are ever mindful of each one of us…of our circumstances and those arround us. You know our thoughts before they become words from our mouth. You know our hearts–every tiny detail of our lives is not hidden from You. Even in our worst condition You love us–so much that You sent Your only Son, Jesus for our sins. To pay our ransom. To give us life. Thank You Father for all You’ve done for me. I pray for the reader today–that You would flood them with an urgency to know You and submit their life to You today. Grant them the peace that only comes from You-right now. No matter their situation, sickness, disease or cirmcumstance…show UP for them right now. In the holy name of Your Son Jesus I pray, and believe–Amen.
© Angie Knight 2016. All rights reserved. Photography © Angie Knight 2016. All rights reserved.