Engagement, wedding, new house, new baby – #blessed, #soexcitedforthefuture, #blahblahblah. We’ve become experts at posing the pictures, choosing the right filter, and deleting anything that might be less than flattering. I typically only pull out my phone when the best-looking calves are standing in the grassiest part of the pasture and I personally have had lots of practice raising the chin and sucking in the tummy for the Christmas card (to little avail).
But what about when the news isn’t all good? Should you share it? Do you just tell close family and friends and keep social media for #blessed occasions? Or do you just tell the town crier and let it spread via the rural grocery store channels?
After a concerning ultrasound and a follow-up with a urologist, Kaleb has surgery scheduled for Tuesday. The word cancer was used. It seems an odd diagnosis for a healthy, 30-year-old man who seemingly does the work of two or three average men most days.
Google says it’s, ‘Fairly rare and very treatable,’ and that with early diagnosis, it can be cured. Good. In our task-oriented, analytical brains, that means they’ll remove the lump this coming week, there will be some ‘light duty’ for a couple weeks, and then we’ll return to our normal programming of Kaci, Christmas, and then calving.
A friend recently asked if I’m ever scared of cows. I responded that I respect them, and some warrant more respect than others. And certainly, the term ‘cancer’ deserves respect as well. We have to admit that we don’t know if treatment will be needed post-surgery. Whether we are just naïve or whether we are resting in the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), I do not yet know, but I hope it’s the latter. For the past eight years of our marriage, I have heard Kaleb repeatedly say, “The Lord governs all things,” and we continue to believe that.
Not only does the Lord govern all things, but we can see Him at work already. Early detection was a blessing. Making it to an 8:30 a.m. urology appointment in Great Falls just before a semi went crossways behind us on icy roads was the Lord at work. Being able to get appointments scheduled prior to Thanksgiving and surgery scheduled shortly thereafter is another blessing. Just last spring we had our will and estate planning process completed and have heeded Dr. Marsha Goetting’s advice on the Montana Medical Savings account. While we may be surprised at this turn of events, the Lord is not, and He has been preparing the path for us.
Any sickness is a reminder that ever since Genesis, man is fallen and in need of saving. Fortunately, we know that we don’t walk this alone, but that we have the Holy Spirit alongside us. “Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26 – 27
So, while this may not be #blessed or #soexcitedforthefuture, we share this knowing that the Lord says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Naturally, we ask for prayers of guidance for the medical staff and complete healing. But we also pray that God would be glorified through this, that our faith would grow, and that we would accomplish His purposes through this.
On a practical note, if an on-call shift needs covered, a water heater needs hauled out of a basement, or cows needed worked, Kaleb has been the go-to guy. But let’s give him a couple weeks of Gunsmoke watching, scotcheroo snacking, naps, and prayers, ok?