With Outstretched Arms

Umbilical cord,

If severed, assures my death.

Constant communication.

Internal ~ External.

Verbal ~ Non-verbal.

Pouring out my heart, all of which You already know.

Approaching broken, life in upheaval,

Whispering.

Overwhelmed by Your grace.

Your love.

Your mercy.

Your blessings upon my life.

Amazed by Your plan for my life,

Even when I cannot see with my eyes.

My faith tells me.

You tell me.

“Wait, child!”

This weapon I hold and wield,

Fighting the enemy onslaught.

Even if I’m caught off-guard,

You never are.

You already know.

Limitless, bottomless,

Incomprehensible love for me.

Certainly undeserved.

But I still come to you ~ over and over.

You never tire of my voice, my praise.

Even in tearful approach,

You long for my attention.

And I am so in love with You.

Falling more in love with You each day,

As I learn, listen, and give

Myself to You.

To My Concert Prayer Warrior,

Music. Something about the combination of lyrics and melody, creating a powerful synergy, transports me out of the here and now.

And I love it.

The same song, heard by hundreds in the same room with hundreds of concurrent unique and specific experiences.

Music. The communication method God most often uses to stir the Spirit in me.

It felt like a farce that night, at first.

For the reader, let me give you some context.

The invitation to a worship and praise concert was unexpected. Without a doubt, I was excited but didn’t really know what to expect. The introvert inside was a hot mess. Big crowds. Lots of people. Lots of eyes. At least I was with a friend, close to the back and right by the aisle.

The point to all this?

To the faith-filled believer and prayer warrior two rows ahead, as we sat in prayer together, God put something so profound on my heart.

When you asked for my prayer request, I said cancer. Without even thinking.

As soon as it left my lips I wanted to stop you from praying. Tell you I lied. Tell you I no longer have cancer and that I’ve been declared cancer-free. I wanted to tell you I was a fraud.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I sat in silence and asked for clarity. There clearly was a reason I said cancer.

And clarity came in a deluge. The plague still roamed freely in my life.

“Why are you still talking about the cancer I’ve removed from your life?”, the small, still voice asked.

I knew this wasn’t about the cancer cells that created a tumor in my body. The tumor that cannibalized my life.

This was about the cancer that WAS my life.

Other than the obvious, how else is cancer defined?

Something evil that spreads destructively or a blight. Blight?? That’s anything that causes pain. Impairment. Frustration.

This was no farce. God reminded me that He carved that cancer out of my life. Cancer not only in my body, but more importantly in my mind, in my heart, in my soul.

I had left no room for Him on top of the all-consuming disease. So He ripped it out. I had given Him no other way. If He would’ve waited on me, He’d still be waiting. He knew it was time and I was about to find out.

He broke me back together.

That’s not to say this process has been easy. If it were easy, without struggle and painless, I could explain all the good stuff away and not give that credit to God.

So, to the believer two rows in front of me, the prayer warrior that prayed with me and over me. Who joined our faiths in that moment and appealed to the King of kings that I be restored, thank you. Our God is faithful and does answer prayers.

Sincerely,

The Girl in the White & Gray Striped Shirt, Two Rows Back

“To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)