By Jessica Wilde
All Fall my friends have asked me the same question... "How are you doing?" I always responded "good". But having cancer with a young family is like running a marathon. And while Jason and the kids took care of my physical needs 24/7, I took care of their spiritual and emotional needs 24/7. Unfortunately, I never really had the time to sit down and process the hard realities of cancer and the weight of its cross on myself. I was just surviving day to day. The last two weeks we participated in FMC's Year In Review retreat. My personal goal was to see how I was really doing emotionally and spiritually.
On the first day, they had us pick out a picture that described our present state. The picture that captured my heart was completely gray with what appeared to be a lifeless tree in a field of dead grass with a cloudy gray sky. The picture was quite depressing. "So why was that picture me?", I wondered
As I looked at the picture, I remembered all the losses I had experienced this year. There were times when I had to fast from all the things I love like chocolate, Dr. Pepper and coffee to times of isolation from neutropenia when I couldn't be near or hug my family to times when we couldn't join in my favorite community events like Lord's Day or Praise & Worship. Out of his intense love for me, my beloved husband stopped kissing me to prevent me from getting sick. I had to hide behind a mask. I lost my hair. We had to leave our home and friends in Costa Rica. I suffered cancer pains and chemo pains. I imagined my losses and sorrows as the leaves in the picture falling to the ground, the grass dying and the sky turning gray.
But then I looked at the tree again. It was standing strong amidst everything it had lost and endured. Despite all these real hardships, Christ was always there for me, thus my love for Him and reliance on Him during this time grew more and more till the time when He was all the pleasure that I had left in this world. And praise the Lord, the joy He brings is not temporal but eternal. Thank you Lord for allowing all the temporal pleasures of the world to disappear this year so I could focus on You.
As I looked back at the tree, it wasn't depressing at all but beautiful, just like me. In fact, it reminded me of some of the scenery from our first international date to Ireland many years ago. And I realized that I am not just good but great. Not because my cancer is in remission, (although that is awesome!) but mainly because the cross of cancer drew me close to the one that I love the most. That night when I used the bathroom, I looked at the cross that I had fallen to my knees in front of so many times with cancer pains. Now that the cancer pain is gone, I miss the times on my knees talking to Jesus. I locked the bathroom door and fell to my knees this time in praise and Thanksgiving.
Nothing whatsoever but the love of Jesus could have made me face these difficulties and others which followed, for I had to purchase my happiness by heavy trials. (Thérèse de Lisieux) 🌻
On a Mission
Two passionate parents and their four children are excited to bring His Word to everyone in need while living a life of Gospel poverty as missionaries. They invite you to join them on a journey to encounter our global neighbors that Jesus commands us to love through works of charity and service.