Thursday, February 2, 2012

scratch the plan

we sang this song a few times last week. (ignore the dumb advertisement on you tube). i would watch it.

but in case you do not have is the gist.

He makes all things beautiful & He is making us new.

i like to keep myself composed for the most part. i do not try too. i mean i want to be real and transparent and genuine. but i just do not want to cry all the time. however, last week i began to unravel a bit. i began for the first really let go. stop trying to be strong. to pretend like i am fine. to rally. to go with the flow. to be tough. to be numb. how do things like this happen without us realizing it?

without meaning to i have begun to turn into someone i never wanted to be. i do not want to pretend i have it all together anymore. instead i am a mess. i mean i am fine. but i am still a mess. does that make sense? i am functioning fine. but my heart. my insides are a bit of a mess. scarred a little. pretty raw. just sad sometimes. not all the time. i just feel like i am carrying a heavy weight around that i am ready to lay down.

i want to allow myself to be weak, to cry, to be vulnerable.

He makes beautiful things. He makes beautiful things out me and out of you. 

He is making me new.  He is making me new. He is making making me new.

i think i like to keep it all together because in many ways our life is pretty transparent. pretty out there. ministry does that. Jesus does that. friends are in and out of our house all day long. for various things. high school students and leaders and friends. we do life together. it is not just the three of us and i love that. i do not even know life any of other way. i am thankful i am apart of something bigger than myself and my family.


i am seeing how it is hard then in a new place to really be me. i was so scared to move because i knew we would be starting over. new home. new friends. new town. new job and lots of new people. but i think i thought i was supposed to be fine. be happy. be strong. be positive. be okay.


although i am all of those things at different points in the day. it is becoming very clear to me. my husband. many of the people who love me the most...that it is time to heal. to enter into a season of working through. saying out loud. admitting to the world (we will start with my new counselor and my husband) that i am angry i got cancer. i am sad it happened. above all...that it is okay to feel this way and not have to explain why. it is simply how i feel. done and done.

i am so thankful that i believe in God and that He knows the depths of my pain. my hurt. my anger. my tears. my questions. my fear.

so here we go. i have no idea what is ahead or what this means. but i know that in order to move. to become unstuck. i need to heal. to talk through. to pray. to read scripture. cling to it. cling to Him. i am ready to move.

remember when i started this blog back in july of 2010. for two reasons. to keep friends and family informed on my recent cancer diagnosis and to have our story written down for ava. in case one day i was gone and my little baby wanted to read our story. her story too. praise the Lord i hope to share it with one day personally. i recall thinking that maybe i would stop this blog when we found out my cancer was gone...but i kept writing. sometimes for me or for my family or for ava or for you. it usually sucked when i wrote for anyone else than me and my own heart and what the Lord was doing in it. it provides a place to share thoughts i did not even know i had and feelings i did not realize were inside me.

but i think i am realizing why i had to keep writing. for this. for this time. for the post cancer. for the aftermath. for the uncharted territory that is: life after cancer. in many ways cancer was much easier to navigate. they told me i had cancer. told me what appointments to go to. when chemo would be. how i might feel after chemo. what would happen. how my body would change. there was a little bit of a road map.

but not life after cancer. it is a mess you had cancer. that was unfortunate and your life changed forever and now return back to your everyday life. enjoy.

so i buried my feelings and we moved on with life. but now i want to peel back the layers a bit. see what i have been hiding from myself.

i am hesitiant to even publish this post. i do choose joy. we chose joy in cancer. we choose joy now. but life is not always joyful and cancer is ugly and deep and scary. i refuse to remain in this place and stop ignoring what i know is inside.


  1. I usually hate cheesey sayings but this one seems appropriate.. "if He brought us to it, he will see us through it." read genesis 16:13 today.. "you are the God who sees me," for she said, "i have now seen the One who sees me." Jesus sees you, he knows you, and he loves you. your heart may be a mess but it is one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen because it is so steadfast in the Lord. thank you for sharing this with us. praying for you my sweet friend. xo

  2. Libby, I love you, and I get tired of being tough too. You will work through this!! I understand your feelings completely. Take care, Aunt Deb

  3. It took nearly 8 years for my depair to surface after a life-shattering event...I had no idea how sad I was! Somehow I had managed to work, have a life and friends, eat, function...and then one day the wave caught up to me and pulled me flat against the sand at the bottom of the ocean. I didn't think I would be able to ever breathe again. I wish I had mourned so much sooner - wish I had allowed myself to be scared sooner. To not be so brave. It took three years of counselling, and lots of angry moments with God (not that it was his fault...I just never allowed myself to go there before)...and then one day, my face broke the surface of the water and I could really, really, really breathe again. Good for you that you're not waiting eight years. I'm so glad you posted this - it was brave of go NOT be brave for a while today and give yourself as much compassion as you would give anyone else you loved. I promise God won't be angry if you're angry - his love is just too huge for that :) - Anita Lunsford

  4. Libby, if only you knew just how many people you will help by being real & authentic. Thank you for not wasting your journey!!

  5. This is the first time I'm posting but I have read your blog for the last year. My husband and I are going through some serious life decisions and are totally relying on God to make the decisions for us. It is so exciting don't get me wrong...but tiring as well. Not physically tiring....but my soul is tired. We have complete faith in God that he will send us where we need to be....but I think having faith is tiring sometimes....and I'm learning that that is ok. We are broken people...depending on God to carry us. Thank you for posting this....and I want you to know that even though I don't know you or your family....I think of you often and pray for you always.

  6. Oh Libby,
    When you said you are a mess. You are really fine, but you are a mess - I GET IT! I have been processing difficulties in life for a long time... many years, and I totally get what you say. The problem is that most people don't seem to get it. It doesn't make sense to them - that's OK. I have spent almost 2 years doing very little after retiring b/c of back pain and my old gut issues. Now I think about writing a book also - I know what the title will be - What I Learned on the Couch! I was never slow enough in my life to just be quiet and listen to God and listen to my heart (sort of the same thing). He has been teaching me so much, and I don't ever want to get back into the rat race of what I need to do. We are human 'beings', not human 'doings'! Love and blessings to you! He carries you "on eagle's wings" through the pain. Then the sun comes out for a while, then the clouds come - but He never leaves us!

  7. Libby, this has to be so hard for you. You've stayed so strong for so long,,,but,,,it is OK for you to be hurt and scared and angry. We all have times in our lives that are tough, so know that you are not alone with feeling like the world is falling down around you. Know that you have many, many people that love you, respect you, and pray for you.

  8. Hi Libby, I am a married mother of two from Washington State who somehow stumbled across your blog a couple years ago. i don't actually remember how I came across it. But I read it all the time because you are so inspiring, strong, beautiful and an amazing mom and wife. I wanted to assure you (after personal experience with a very traumatic part of my life) that this part you are experiencing now, was always supposed to come. You have to "do the work" in the healing process. If you keep it bottled inside, you will never get to the place of light. It is hard to go through this part, but with your support system around you, and listening ears, you will be fine. You will get through it. Time and God. God and time. They heal beautifully.
    XO ~Julie

  9. What a beautiful, heartfelt, honest post. I am so sorry that you are hurting. But, I am so happy that I know that you are on your way to healing, true, powerful, wonderful healing. You are surrounded by an amazing support system, and they will love you, rally around you, and support you as you work through the anger, the fear, etc. Blessings to you!

  10. Libby - I pray for you every morning, thanking God that you are cancer-free and praying that God will allow you and me to remain cancer-free. It is so hard to navigate the post-cancer life, feeling thankful each day just to be alive yet trying to balance that with the normal daily frustrations, while trying not to look over my shoulder the entire time. Praying that it doesn't return. It is so good, doing what you're doing, peeling the layers back. I'm 16 months out from my last chemo, 8 months out from my last treatment, and it is still so raw. I love the Lord with all that I am and am so thankful for all that we learned during this walk. But, somedays, it's still so hard. Thank you for this post ... it was so encouraging!! I will continue to pray for you every day. Love, Laura

  11. Libby, I just found your blog and reading this post gives me the goosebumps.
    Both of my parents have cancer right now (and for the past 4 years) and I have also found so much Peace in this song throughout the years. I hear you loudly when you say cancer is deep and scary as all get-out, I feel that so much! It's such a mixed blessing that there are others who have been through the unique pain of cancer because cancer is so ugly, you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy.
    Thank you for writing when you didn't want to, I know I appreciate it!
    -Bethany (fellow Calvin grad.)


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