Two little boys no bigger than two sat by the front door of our apartment day after day exclaiming to one another, “My drivin’ it – my truck!”...the other would respond, “No, My drivin’ it!” Silence…until the next rumble was detected, then the shouts of claim began again. I looked on with a chuckle wondering what they were thinking in their little heads. Twin brothers imagining themselves behind the wheel at toddler-hood.
And so it was for me as I tried to capture what my life felt like before cancer. Visual in my nature, I thrive on word pictures.
I decided that two years ago, pre-cancer, I was like a super sized dump truck with a plow and a spreader – quite possibly bright orange like this:I could easily “carry and handle” big loads of responsibility and work. I could “plow” new ground and clean up big messes without too much effort. I stood out; bold. I delighted to “spread” seeds of new ideas. I was a worker and had a purpose and I felt in-place in my corner of the world – comfortable in my home and comfortable in my church. I was happily “drivin’it!” If I had to describe me, I’d say I was confident, strong, and reluctantly I have to confess, I was prideful.
Cancer came and hit me hard. If there would be such a vehicle, I’d have imagined myself as an electric glass smart car. Contrast the size. I was suddenly extremely small, delicate, crush-able and focused on the minimum so as to be highly efficient in whatever I did, because I had only a certain amount of energy before I’d fizzle out. Describing myself in this place of disease, I would have to say I was unsure, fragile, and humbled; I was needy and not able to do it all myself. I needed others. And namely, I needed my grace-giving God more than ever. Like an electric car needs to be plugged in for its source of fueling — I needed to plug into my Lord for fueling; and I did.
As treatment came and went and a year has now passed since my last dose of chemo I was challenged to consider where I am now; what am I drivin’ ? I realized, I am drivin’ an open-topped no nonsense jeep!
Large knobby tired built to traverse uncharted paths. Roll bars in place to protect during the wilder times. I am not very comfortable and not quite sure at all where I am going or the purpose for my trip in such a vehicle. I don’t fit. This jeep is use to off-roading….it’s a little scary! I describe myself now as a wee bit leery, yet up for the adventure because I also have figured out that I am not drivin’ this vehicle at all. My Father has this one!
The mistake of my drivin’ the big orange dump truck was thinking I had everything in my control; as if I owned the road. The experience my drivin’ the imagined glass smart car left me vulnerable; pared down to the basics. The wonder of my drivin’ the no nonsense jeep is in accepting the invitation to be taken on new adventures; willing for the good work God has planned for me.
Where am I? I am resting in the promise of this scripture in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Tune in to Part 2 of 3 – “Counting my Loss” tomorrow!)