He spent an entire week in the hospital. The first three days were lots of waiting. The last few were test after test after test. It was definitely cancer, but they needed more tests to determine what kind it was. I went to the hospital, then I went home. Every. Single. Day. I tried to explain to the boys that Daddy was sick and had to stay in the hospital for a little while, but how do you explain cancer to a five-year-old and a four-year-old? I couldn’t make myself sleep in our bed, so the boys and I camped out in the living room – with the baby in his bassinet – the entire time he was gone. I stayed strong until they went to sleep, then I would lose it. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I hyperventilated. I was nauseous. I barely slept.
And anxiety attacks. Oh, the anxiety attacks. I had recently started a new anti-anxiety drug, because, after an incredibly difficult pregnancy and losing my father less than a month before, I was having attacks almost every day and sometimes several times a day. I couldn’t deal with them at all. Talking didn’t help, and I was mostly alone with the boys anyway, so I picked up my phone, opened my Bible app, and started reading. I read and read and read. Then I kept reading. “God loves you.” “Don’t be anxious.” “God will give you peace.” “God will give you the desires of your heart.” My anxiety started to fade away. When it came back, I’d start reading again. I’d read, then pray. I would read until the anxiety was gone again. I have never in my life felt that kind of peace. It’s amazing. Now, I’m not saying that this is going to get rid of everybody’s anxiety. I still take the meds. BUT I have a peace that I didn’t have before. Two months later, and I haven’t had another attack. I start feeling anxious, I start reading. I read until I’m calm again.
Peace is a funny thing, I guess. I don’t like this crappy situation, but I can’t change it. Even so, I know that we’re going to be OK. God’s not going to leave my side. When I turn to Him, He’s there. And He always will be.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7, ESV