And isn't that our fear? Isn't that why we would wish, "anything but that?"
In those first moments in the room, while I cried and Dan held me (I'm not sure that he cried)...it was the confirmation of the fear. The scary thing had come upon us. It was here. This thing that I've pondered before, "I wonder how those people got through that"...now, I was that person.
The first thing I said to Dan in that exam room was this: "From this point now, everything is new. We are new. Everything from the past; all those expectations that we may have had in getting married to each other, those are dead and gone. We are new; today we move forward in a new life - a new purpose."
While going up to the appointment that day, Dan said to me, "I don't think your life is better since you married me. I think my life is better - but I think that I have not delivered my end." I shared with him that in perfect honesty, I don't even know what my expectations were 4 years ago; in coming to peace with living in Tucson, I think I started to let go of expectations. Though, I hadn't let go entirely of all expectations; it is certainly no secret that I long to be a mom - and I have been mad at God, and yes, frustrated with Dan, that we are childless.
In that room, I realized that with cancer treatment (though we still do not know what our plan will be), fertility is often compromised/lost. I wanted Dan to know that I would never hold that against him. What he needed to know is that we are in this fight together; we are one - and God is with us. All things are new. Our expectation of today is that God has given us life & breath in this moment, and we will live in worship of Him for his gift. It is time to live our baptismal promise: to walk forward in this life in newness of life.
I called my mom shortly, crying...sobbing as I voiced my fears to her. She cried with me, and I could feel her longing to hold her child. I confessed to her that I had no idea how to proceed - how to call people...because I desperately wanted people to not just know, but to pray. But the thought of having heart-wrenching conversation after conversation was just too much. So, she promised to take care of that. Then, she shared with me a verse that had been on her heart that day from Joshua: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and take heart; the Lord your God goes before you - and He will fight for you."
These words were like sweet nourishment to my parched soul. I shared that I had been in a drought of faith; skeptical of God's interest. ...and I reached out - and clung to these words for all the hope that they contained; with all the faith that I could muster, "Yes, God; PLEASE, I beg of you; PLEASE, out of your great mercy - FIGHT FOR US. PLEASE, though I am the least of your faithful ones, PLEASE, FIGHT FOR US."
At this very moment, Dan had run into one of our friend's parents in the Mayo hospital lobby. This is just one of the many "God-moments" of providential 'coincidence'. He had told them of his new diagnosis, and as I walked up to them - she spoke, what I believe, prophetic words of hope for us:
Pray the rosary daily; ask our mother for help; her love is so great.
To Dan: I know that you have faith, that you believe - but through this, your faith will become active - loud, alive, vocal. It won't be something you keep to yourself anymore. You will share your story. Glory in your story; God is using this to bring redemption! This will be the end of your constant sickness. Complete healing will come.
You can't do your job the way you want to - a good job, if you aren't well. You must focus on your health.
To us: This will be the crowning glory of your marriage. [looking at me] This is your baby, right now. [then she asked, 'Do you have children?' I shook my head no (probably with tears in my eyes) and she said:] But, a baby will come - lots of babies. This is not the end. This is the beginning of your story.