Sometimes we don’t want those around us to know what we are going through.
We have our reasons.
Maybe we don’t want our loved ones to worry. Maybe we are afraid our friends will turn away from us. Maybe because we ourselves are unable to face that monster that stares us in the face. Maybe we believe that we should be strong enough to tackle this monster single handedly.
Whatever the reason, we are not ready ….not yet.
So we put on a smile and go through the motions, wanting others to believe we are fine.
We lie to ourselves, saying that no one knows.
And we breathe a sigh of relief.
That’s when it happens.
A wave of emotion so strong crashes over us that us feel like we are drowning. Even if our bodies are still, our minds are flailing and desperately wanting someone to notice us in the deep end of despair.
Sitting in the chair waiting to go back for surgery, that is precisely how I felt.
I had my reasons for not telling my loved ones. My Dad was already going through treatment for lung cancer. This was devastating enough for our family. Why worry anyone needlessly if the lump they were about to take out of my chest wasn’t cancer? My friends have enough going on in their lives to worry about me. Besides, wasn’t I strong enough to handle this on my own anyway? So I put on a smile, telling myself that it was probably nothing.
But when you are connected to IVs and prepping for surgery, you cannot escape the monster you have been hiding from anymore.
A surge of panic took over me like I had never felt before. My thoughts raced, but I could not move my body. I wanted desperately for someone to see me struggling in the deep.
Then I remembered. Someone did. Someone had been with me since the beginning. Someone knew my thoughts even if the rest of the world only saw my smile.
Psalm 139 : 1-10
1 Lord You have examined me
and know all about me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
3 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
4 Lord, even before I say a word
You already know it.
5 You are all around me-in front and in back
And have put Your hand on me.
6 Your knowledge is amazing to me
It is more than I can understand
7 Where can I go to get away from Your Spirit?
Where can I run from You?
8 If I go to the heavens, You are there
If I lie down in the grave, You are there
9 If I rise with the sun in the east
And settle in the west beyond the sea,
10 Even there You will guide me
With Your right hand You would hold me.
And as soon as I said His name, I knew He was there.
Sitting in that chair, I could feel a sense of peace wash over me.
The waves of panic turned into calm because I spoke His name.
He saw me struggling in the deep and reached out His hand.
I could feel His presence in that sterile space.
My mind stopped racing.
He knew, even when no one else did.
Sisters, I do not know the monsters you are facing today.
They have different names for each of us – cancer, addiction, shame, guilt, loneliness.
The list is long.
But I promise you that even when you believe no one else knows, He does.
Let Him hold you with His right hand, whatever you are facing today.
He promises us we are never alone.