Monday, November 26, 2007

Ask, and keep asking.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matt. 7:7-8

I read this passage on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, for what must've been the hundredth, or possibly thousandth, time. The person writing the article I was reading quoted this passage, and then went on to write that the literal Greek translation of these verses means to ask, but keep on asking; to seek, and keep on seeking; to knock, and keep on knocking. I know that I have heard that before, but it has never spoke to me as it did on Thanksgiving. Sometimes, when I am seeking/praying for something, I tend to have the mindset that if I have already said it I need to just sit back and wait. After reading this, I realized that I can pray persistently. I can pray unceasingly about the same things, over and over. That I should ask, seek, and knock until the time has passed and I have received my answer.

Early Wednesday morning, I took my mom to the ER with a horrible stomach ache. They did CT scan, and determined that she had an intestinal blockage and would need immediate surgery to "un-kink" her small intestine, so to speak. Well, once they were in there, they found that it was a malignant tumor blocking everything up, not scar tissue as they had first suspected. They removed the tumor, as well as 4 others, and sent them to be biopsied. We do not know yet if the others were benign, or malignant like the first large one. The doctor is also doing some tests to see if the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. Cancer. Such a dreaded, ugly, foul word.

I didn't see this coming. I have always watched other people go through things like a loved one struggling with cancer and thought to myself, "I sure couldn't do that. How does anyone ever cope with cancer?" While at the same time being thankful that our family hasn't had to deal with anything of the sort. So the night before Thanksgiving, as I was bringing my mom some essentials for her 2 day stay in the hospital (or so we thought), all the while planning out in my head the rest of the Thanksgiving plans that could wait until the weekend, I heard the most stunning news of my life. My Dad broke down in tears as he told me. My Mom was saying "It's okay, you guys. Our God is bigger than this." Then there's me, thinking, "Bigger than what? This has to be a joke. Who would play this kind of joke, I am not sure. But my mom cannot have cancer."

My mom is my best friend. Other than my husband, she seems to be my only friend here lately. She is only 46 years old. She means the world to Avery. What would Avery do without her Nana? What would my dad do without his wife? What would I do without my Mom, my best friend? I cannot think this way. I have to trust, to have faith, to believe. But I can't, unless I am praying, every minute, of every day, I have to pray. I am learning the meaning of set your mind on things above, and not on things of this earth. It is the only thing keeping me above water right now.

Needless to say, we didn't have Thanksgiving. We ate leftover Domino's Pizza, and tried to coerce the nurses to help my mom to be comfortable, to figure out why her pain wasn't lessening, to do a miracle for us so that she just wouldn't feel the 6 inch incision in her abdomen. We tried not to obsess over the unknown, tried to be strong, tried to keep our minds on whatever we thought they should be on.

But in the end, we can't. We cannot be strong, we cannot stop obsessing, we cannot keep our minds on anything other than the test results, the future, the what-ifs.

So we are being carried. This is one of those one-set-of-footprints circumstances that seem to have no end, even though they may have just begun. But thank goodness for that one set of footprints, because without them we'd all be washed out to sea.


Becky said...

Oh, Kelli.
This sucks. Really, really sucks.
Praying for you, your mom, your family.
What do you need right now?

Sandra said...

Try to stay away from the "what-ifs". I know it's hard.
I just said a prayer for you and your family and your mom.

Kelli said...

Thank you. (For the prayer.)

Compared to my "normal" self, I suppose that I am doing fairly well not what-iffing (I know, bad grammar) but it still gets me at times.

Again, thank you for the prayer. It's definitely one of those times that it seems to be not just the only thing we can do, but the best thing we can do. It's so encouraging to know that others ARE praying for us. Support does wonders for us when we're struggling, doesn't it?

aola said...

Kelli, You don't know me from Adam - I'm a friend of Becky's. But, I want to offer just a hint of advice that I learned "after" my sister/my best friend died from lung cancer... treasure each moment with your Mom as if it might be your last but keep hanging onto all the hope that your faith allows you.