By Linda Buice
A few years ago I got the diagnosis that everyone dreads – you’ve got cancer. When the words were said I felt like a frozen statue. The doctor continued talking but I didn’t hear or comprehend much of what followed. Luckily, I wasn’t alone. My friend insisted on going with me and I am glad she did. How does anyone face that news alone?
Tears started flowing and crazy thoughts flooded my mind. I was unable to process anything. I felt numb and anxious at the same time.
The next year was the most difficult period in my life.
My life has always been busy and full. I was one of those people who had faced other very difficult times and was so proud that I got through them. Times like finishing college as a single mom and learning to juggle career with motherhood alone. I found strength to persevere and faced life one day at a time. Living below the poverty level without a spouse seemed like an insurmountable mountain, too. Yet God used those things to help me grow. I was never alone.
Life went on and the shame of divorce was buried. To others, I looked like an overcomer.
Remarrying, I felt safe again until…unemployment. More testing and burying insecurities so my husband would not see. You see, the fear of losing my home or my husband resurfaced. Once again, I relied on God’s strength.
Each period of peace was followed by another adversity as I traveled this journey called life.
As I handled each situation, I never let on I was in pain. I never admitted I worried and wondered if my mothering caused some of the difficulties my adult children faced. More insecurities and more shame to hide!
Breast cancer changed all that. The tears started falling… more than I thought possible. Where did they all come from?
My nurturing nature and my quest to be viewed successful had not allowed time in life’s busyness to deal with my own emotions. I had stuffed my pain so far down, I thought it was gone.
I had no choice now…it came out. And you know, it felt good! My friends just listened and were there for me. God listened and placed new hopes and dreams in my heart.
I can’t say cancer is good – it is not. I can’t say treatment is easy – it is not. Losing your hair is hard. You feel so unattractive and weak.
I can say God used tears and this terrible disease to help me finally let go of the pain hidden so deep inside for so long.
People had let me down in the past, but I learned to trust again. It is true that in your weakness you do become strong.
Friends and family now took care of me. I became more transparent to them.
Journaling helped me find beauty in each day despite what my body said. I forced myself to write each morning until it became a habit. Christian music lifted my spirit. Better days did eventually come. God provided.
Everyone’s journey is different, but we all are on one. If we look closely, the path will have blessings along the way. Healing is possible. Help is available if we accept it. You do not have to journey alone. Take one day at a time!
Linda Buice and her husband Joel live in upstate New York. Linda is a retired teacher. Her first book “As Angels Sing” launched in June 2017 with WestBow Publishing. Linda writes about her faith, writing, family and thoughts on retirement on her blog Life Part Three.
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