When You Want to Escape

Are you experiencing a difficulty in your life that you want to escape from? Living in denial of its very existence? Trying to pack it into a small box so you can hide it in the darkest corner of your mind?

In case you wondered how I managed to describe evasion of life’s problems so well, it is because

 I happen to be the queen of denial, the diva of distraction, and an expert in avoidance. 

Don’t want to think about the event you commited to being in charge of because it suddenly became scary and unrealistic? No problem! Make some dark chocolate brownies and play Monopoly Jr. with your seven- year -old. The chocolate will numb your emotions while your child’s inability to cope with losing will distract you from the reality of your situation!

All humor aside, it is common to find yourself in a place you would rather not be. While the easy solution is avoidance, denial, and distraction, it is not always the right thing to do.

King David found himself longing to “flee as a bird to his mountain” when life became difficult. Yet he knew it was not the right thing to do. He knew God had promised to get him through the difficult time.

“In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?’ – Psalms 11:1

Why should I trust God?

He promised to shield us away from life’s impossible situations. To not give us more than we could bear. He promised to comfort us, and hold us in His hand. To never cast us down when we fail. He promised to be our rock to cling to in the storms of our lives, and to hide us under His wing. He promised to never let a trial be a waste, but to make it into good. Most importantly, God promised that NOTHING would ever seperate us from His love.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” – Psalms 28:7

So whatever it is in your life that makes you want to run away, remember a few things:

1. This trial won’t last forever.

2. You can run away, but your trial will probably follow you.

3. God will help you face it. You can trust Him!

Perfect Love

When I first met Gabe, one of the first things I noticed about him were his broad, strong shoulders. Back in those days (that I fondly call our “thin and trim years”), my husband loved to go to the gym. Even now, when he grabs me to pull me into his arms for a hug, I find myself surprised by his strength. And of course we have the old-fashioned husband-and-wife relationship where I hand him the brand new jar of pickles to open and let him carry heavy boxes for me!

Just like any couple who has been married over a year, my love for my husband has grown and changed.  I’ve seen things about his character that have made me love him even more deeply.

I know. This is getting too mushy.

I guess my point is, that this cancer journey has made me see a strength in Gabe that I have grown to admire more than his muscles.

How can someone who has stage 3 cancer be so positive? How does he have such peace about his future? How is he able to focus only on today? How is it that fear seems to not even be a part of my husband’s vocabulary?

I, on the other hand, feel as though I am desperately fighting fear on a daily basis. I am the one that lays awake at night, fear causing my stomach to churn.  I am the one who is grumpy at everyone the next day because I didn’t sleep the night before.

Fear. It makes me obsessive. It paralyzes me.  It controls me. It lies to me. It makes me crazy. It effects every other area of my life.

Why is it that fear can hurt your body and make you sick? Why is it that fear can keep you awake at night? How can it keep you a prisoner in your own home, or in your own mind? Fear can torment you!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

Jesus did the most perfect thing on Calvary. He was the perfect Lamb, sacrificed for our sins. He showed perfect love.

Reading the accounts of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, I used to believe Jesus was afraid to die. However, I recently realized that if His love was perfect, He couldn’t have been afraid, and we know Jesus is perfect.

“And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” – Luke 22:43‭-‬44 

“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” – Matthew 26:39

Jesus was very sorrowful, and in a great deal of distress. It doesn’t mention fear, however. How was Jesus not fearful?!

…nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Perfect love is the key! Jesus had perfect love. Perfect love casts out fear. Even in His distress and sorrow, Jesus had perfect love for His Father. He trusted His Father, and submitted to His will. Jesus was able to get up off the ground in that garden, and walk towards impending doom. Without fear.

I believe my husband has figured out perfect love. He has figured out that it’s worth it to surrender to the Father’s will. He sleeps pretty well at night. He’s not bogged down by worry of how he’s going to react to the next treatment or if his cancer will one day spread to other organs.

He is not being tormented by his cancer.

I need to daily practice perfect love and trusting the Father’s will, knowing that only then, can I find peace and rest.

“O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.”