Posted by: bellissimanh | October 23, 2009

Tough Day

It’s 10:47pm, and there’s not a soul within earshot. I’m sitting in an MRI waiting room at Maine Medical Center. After hours of company (which we’ve cherished), I’m completely alone. A couple of great guys in blue scrubs have taken my husband off for an hour and a half procedure and here I sit.

I can hear the hum of the heating system (or is it air conditioning?), and a small television set is droning on about some college football star who’s just died.  This morning, I would have listened with interest. Tonight, I can’t decide if the sound of the TV is irritating or comforting. I feel frozen in this chair, unable to even make a move to lean over and shut it off. I feel completely incapable of making any decisions, even something as simple as whether or not I want to listen to a television.

I’m scared. I don’t say that lightly. I don’t scare easily, and I’ve been through some frightening stuff in my life. I nearly lost a four year old daughter to a fire. I’ve paced in the cardiac waiting room on four separate occasions as my husband had stents put in his heart. I’ve prayed and worshiped with friends at the bedside of their loved ones as they were ushered into the Kingdom. Typically, in crisis, I’m the stable one. I’m the rock. I’m the voice of optimism and complete trust in the Lord.

But tonight? Tonight I’m a mess. I can’t eat, even though my stomach is screaming in protest over that fact. I can’t think clearly. My head is pounding and my mind is racing. Tonight, I’m the one keeled over in emotional pain, desperately wanting someone to tell me it’s all going to be ok, but knowing that I won’t find comfort or believe it when they say it anyway.

It’s not that I don’t believe God can work miracles. I know He can. I’ve been on the receiving end of so many. He has always been faithful in my life, and I know He always will be. I just don’t know what that’s going to look like.

Because I also know His sovereignty, and I know that He allows hard things… really hard things, to come into our lives. So while I know He COULD make all of this better in an instant, I also know that He might not. And that’s what scares me. I know He will be faithful through this, whatever it ends up being and meaning for me, for us… but I know that His faithfulness doesn’t necessarily mean delivering me from my circumstances. It doesn’t mean that the MRI is going to come back clean and that the fibrous tissue surrounding Joel’s rib cage and spinal cord is going to magically disappear in the next hour and a half. It doesn’t mean the biopsy they take tomorrow is going to prove negative for cancer when so many other signs point to that conclusion.

Angioplasty? Open heart surgery? Been there, done that, could write a book for the wives waiting in the lobby… but this cancer thing? It is rocking me to the core. I don’t know how to deal with it. How to process it. How to wrap my mind around it.

 So instead I’m wrapping myself up in the promises of the One who holds my days in His hands.


Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 36:7 “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”

Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;  though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.”

Psalm 40:11 “As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!”

I still don’t know what the future holds. We could be handed a gift tomorrow, or some news that will change things completely… but as I drench myself in the water of the Word, I’m blanketed with comfort.  The Lord God Almighty is my deliverer. He is my strength and my refuge. He is in control and He has my best interests (and those of my family) at heart. His heart is the safest place to be. So whatever comes, I choose to trust Him. I have no better refuge in this current storm than His everlasting arms… and if I collapse? I won’t need to be caught, because I’m already firmly held in His loving grasp.

I’ll post again when I have new information. Thank you for your sweet intercession. We covet your prayers and appreciate and love you all more than you’ll ever know. The passage I studied earlier this week about Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands so the Lord could deliver victory has taken on fresh meaning for me this day. The love, concern and support shown to us in the span of just a few hours when everything was happening so fast… it was (and continues to be) an incredible source of encouragement and strength. God bless you… each and every one of you. We love you!



  1. You said it so perfectly… it’s not that we don’t believe with an unwavering faith that God is faithful, but it’s how He will prove Himself to be such. I always marvel that He gives us what we need for the present moment… not for the unknown that lies ahead. Trusting and praying that in each and every moment of this journey God will give you specifically what you need. Not always what you may want… but what you need. Love to you…

  2. I don’t know about tomorrow;
    I just live from day to day.
    I don’t borrow from its sunshine
    For its skies may turn to grey.
    I don’t worry o’er the future,
    For I know what Jesus said.
    And today I’ll walk beside Him,
    For He knows what is ahead.

    Many things about tomorrow
    I don’t seem to understand
    But I know who holds tomorrow
    And I know who holds my hand.

    I don’t know about tomorrow;
    It may bring me poverty.
    But the one who feeds the sparrow,
    Is the one who stands by me.
    And the path that is my portion
    May be through the flame or flood;
    But His presence goes before me
    And I’m covered with His blood.

    Love you much…..

  3. In times like this, aren’t you so glad that you have devoted yourself to be a woman of the Word. The verses that you know, that you have engraved on your heart can bring such comfort and peace.
    I’m so sorry that you are walking this hard road. The wonderful news is that God is ready to lead you through. He will take your cares, your anxiety, your burdens and carry them for you – just as He has done before.
    I’m lifting up Joel and your entire family in prayer and placing each of you in His loving care.
    Blessings ~ Lisa

  4. Heather, I don’t have words for you right now. You’ve said it all. Just know that I’ll be praying for you and Joel at the time.

  5. Love you. Ernie and I are praying. There arent words, but our hearts are with you.

  6. Remember, too, Heather…. Jesus is praying for you too…. when you have the words, and then you don’t have the words yourself. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for you. I love you, dear friend. I know that whatever happens, He will carry you through. I will be praying for you, too!! (for both of you!!) Keep in the word!!!

  7. Heather,

    I prayed for you yesterday and I will continue in the days to come. I love and appreciate the story of Aaron and Hur….I’ve gained much strength there and I see you are as well. Lovingly, Yolanda

  8. Heather, Xandra’s post. . . . That song came to me about an hour ago and in a prayer update I sent out to our church I just barely closed with “we may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow.” What an awesome truth that is! Praying for you, and will probably be over after Dad gets home. Love you, Mom

  9. I am here to let you know that I am praying for you, Lord Give Joel strength for wh atever you have for him. Romans 8-38 and 39.For I am convinced that neither death nor life,Neither Angels nor demons,Neither the present nor the future, nor any powers Neither height nor death, nor anything else in all creation, Will be able to seperate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ. God is there to help you thru anything.
    psalms 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

  10. Heather–I know we don’t see each other or talk much. But I really do care about you and your family. We prayed for you this morning at our Friday prayer group. In your fear, it is clear that you are trusting God. I, like so many others throughout history, have also had MANY difficult things in my life. Maybe not so difficult as this. My faith in God’s love for me has been shaken or non existant, even as I tried to walk with HIM. Two years ago, God sovereignly healed me from depression and life long feelings of worthlessness that crippled me spiritually. HE has been so faithful in my life to take care of me. He has walked beside me every step of the way through divorce and my having to face life “alone”. I am amazed at where I find myself today–all because of HIM!!! A college graduate who is now director of Care Net in Conway. Ten years ago, I could have never even imagined that this is where I would be now.
    Lord, wash over Heather with Your overwhelming peace and love, and trust.

  11. I am praying for you. It is a tough ground to walk. Learning all I could about it – medically and naturally – made it less scary to me. I was paralyzed with fear about cancer before my brother was diagnosed with leukemia. God will help you through it. Love you.

  12. Praying for your family.

  13. Heather, I will continue to pray for you and Joel. I pray God’s comfort for you and that you will keep on trusting.

  14. Just hearing about Joel’s problems and the mess that you’re going thru. I know what stress cancer can bring to a family. We will be praying for Joel and the entire family.

    I know your faith is strong but be sure to lean on family and friends alot. They can be such a gift. I know there is not much else I can do but fee free to call on me!!

  15. Heather,

    I can’t get on FB this morning so I have no idea if you know anything new. However, please know that I am praying for you and Joel. God says in Isaiah, WHEN you walk through the fire and the water…He will be with you. I know that He is right beside you, even if you cannot feel or see HIm. He is there.

    He knew about all this long before it happened and He is allowing it for some great purpose. God bless you.


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