The past 6 weeks of my life have been a roller coaster of emotions and events. My first book was published and released at the end of February, which was extremely exciting and surreal. But then just a few short weeks later, we found out that my mom’s breast cancer has returned and metastasized to her bones and a few spots on her lung….it’s stage 4.

Hearing that, talking about it, and even writing it knocks my breath out a little. Then this past week we found out that one of the tumors in her lung has grown and is now pushing on her airway. Her voice is very weak and raspy and every time I hear her speak I’m reminded that she is battling a nasty, scary, disease…..and truthfully I’m scared. I’m scared that I might lose her soon, I’m scared of the effect all this will have on my boys who are young and really love their Nana, and I’m scared of the effect if will have on me. Fear creeps into these moments very easily and will take over my thoughts if I allow it to. However, I know I have to fight it even when it’s hard. She has gone through radiation, she is on oxygen to help her breathe more easily, and she will begin chemo on Monday. Definitely stuff I never wanted to write about my mom.

In these moments we always want God to speak to us, to let us know everything is going to be alright, to tell us how it’s all going to turn out, but so far He hasn’t told me those things yet. I have however felt a strong invitation to “draw in close.” To draw my strength from Him, to breathe in His peace. And also a reminder to not let go of hope. The hope that God sees the whole picture, the hope that at any moment He can heal…whether miraculously or through medication, the hope that He is found in the process of it all and we are not alone, the hope that she can still have more time, and even the hope that God could use this time to mend fragmented parts of our relationship.

I am deeply encouraged by Romans 4:13-25 every single time I read it. There are so many great truths in that passage that remind me to give whatever I’m carrying around to God…A portion of verses 17-18 from The Message Bible read like this: “When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do, but on what God said he would do.”

This verse reminds me to leave the things I’m going through in the very capable hands of my Father, to trust Him with the outcome, and pray for wisdom in the decisions that I have to make in the meantime while waiting and going through this process.

We go through hard times and we can kind of get in a funny place with people. For me personally I get to the point where I don’t want to be around people because I don’t want to talk about it…….I worry that people will think I’m not handling it the way they think I should be handling it……Then on the flip side of that, it’s hard because when you know that people do know and yet they don’t ask you about it, you can start to think they don’t care or even remember. So to avoid all those thought processes it’s easier just to stay away. I mean I have enough to think about already, I don’t need my mind going in all these directions!

But these are seriously some of the reasons why people pull away from friends, family members, church, and social groups when they are walking through hard times. We aren’t sure how to navigate it gracefully all the time, so we isolate ourselves, but that’s where the enemy can really get us down….in isolation! This is where he can steal our hope.

So during this process I’m keeping this verse front and center so that even when things look hopeless I remember that with God there is always hope. Even if the outcome is not what I would choose, I know that the hope found in my relationship with God is the anchor for my soul. And that is a big part of what Living Freedom is about….living in faith…..which keeps us free from being overcome by worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, hopelessness. And…I’m choosing not to isolate myself. If I can encourage any of you reading this, I would also say, hold onto hope, don’t let it go, and like Abraham, BELIEVE ANYWAY, not on the basis of what we see, but on the basis of what we know God can do.