I give myself a lot of freedom. I trust that God’s hand has me, and if I step too far, He will let me know.
With this freedom, I allow myself to think lots of thoughts. Nothing is off limits. I think about things that make me angry. I think about things that disgust me. I think about things that make me excited for the future and laugh at my past. I think about beauty and boldness and courage. I think about unbelief and grace and the enemy.
When I found out I had cancer in my body, I had lots of thoughts. There was a time period, about three weeks, after I knew I had breast cancer, but before I knew if it had spread anywhere else. I didn’t have a prognosis or a plan, they just told me I had cancer. It felt more like cancer had me.
I found myself having those thoughts we all have from time to time – those thoughts of death. But now they were too real and too close. I didn’t want to have them. Thoughts of Shane having to raise our children alone, or with another. I thought about Cedar and knew he probably wouldn’t remember me. I could see Myla having to grow up too soon and the anger that would come. And I thought about Birdie, Birdie’s heart would break.
I knew I had to eventually give in to these thoughts and sit with them. I trusted that God’s hand had me and if I went too far, He would save me before the thoughts took me too deep. I trusted that His grip on me was more powerful than my emotions and thoughts.
One early July morning as I drove out of Hancock County for work, the thoughts found me. They came for me, carrying the enemy’s plan. As the sun broke over the top of the hills and the fog lingered in the midst of the valleys, the kudzu crept up the sides of the mountain. It spilled into the road. The words I heard that morning, almost audible, were like Death whispering in my ear, “It’s coming for you”.
The lurking of the kudzu, searching for new land
Creeping o’er the sides
Nowhere left to hide
Things to overtake
Dreams to suffocate
O’ what shall you do when the kudzu comes for you?
She slides across your shoulders as a mantle for a king
And now, the kudzu, she’s come for me
Whispering “I can set you free”
Her touch, careful and slow, like a summer breeze
“With me, there is no disease”
O’ the lofty thoughts I have as the kudzu counsels me
It’s too heavy, too much
I can’t take anymore
But she’s still coming, like unending waves upon a shore
I try to run, to forget, to ignore
She won’t stop. She wants more.
I’m tired. I am so so tired
Still yet she comes
She wants me and my young
She wants my body, my babies, and my name
She wants my marriage, my future. She wants me lame
Kudzu, I hate you!
In the valley, the shadow of death
I give up. I’m on my knees
Kudzu, you have destroyed me
You’ve taken it all, even my sight
Covering my vision with this dark night
Is that light?
Have you ever felt like kudzu was a coming after you? Are you there now? Know that running from it doesn’t work. It will always find you. But so does the light, if you keep going and looking and trusting. Light is just past the night. Healing is just past the hurt.
Bless yourself with the freedom to think and feel, knowing that God’s hand is stronger than your thoughts and emotions.
This was such a dark time for me and I wasn’t sure if I would ever share this experience. But I do want to encourage you. Once I met with “kudzu” and had all the thoughts, felt all the fear, listened to all the worry, it left. Occasionally, I would need to cry or cuss, but the intensity was never the same. The thoughts had lost their power because the light had exposed them for what they were – lies.
“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”Sarah Williams, from her poem The Old Astronomer. It was published in 1868. The same year she died from cancer at age 30.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey. I look forward to hearing about yours.
To God be the Glory!