The Four Hardest Words | Walking Worthy: The Four Hardest Words

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Four Hardest Words

I looked down at my phone. Mom had called for the third time in a row. I knew something was wrong. I paced the sidewalk outside the worship center. I was at church camp for the week. My parents knew that and would only call so many times if something was wrong. My heart raced. My stomach felt sick. The phone started ringing, as I returned my Mom's phone call. Then as soon as my dad answered, my phone died. Someone saw the panic on my face and loaned me their cell phone to call home. As I dialed I looked at someone and said, please go find Greg right now.

My Dad chatted happily. I felt annoyed, I wondered if anything was even wrong, or did he just want to talk? Then he dropped the bomb. Ashlee there is something I need to tell you. Mom has breast cancer. All of my breath left me, tears welled up in my eyes, I looked up to find Greg, he wrapped me in his arms not knowing what I had just been told. Mom got on the phone, we cried together. She said, Ashlee I am so sorry, like it was her fault she had cancer.

I hung up the phone and spoke the four hardest words to Greg: My mom has cancer. My mom I thought. Not her. She is the hardest working woman I know. She is strong. How could MY MOM have cancer. Tears poured out of my eyes as Greg held me. Finally he spoke these words to me: Ashlee how do you think God can use this this week in the life of your girls? I wanted to be angry at him, but I knew He was right. I felt God pulling me close to Him and asking me, Ashlee do you trust me? Ashlee will you walk by faith? Ashlee, am I still good even if I take your mom home with Me? Ashlee will you consider this joy? (James 1:2)

 I blubbered to Greg, I just need to pray. So we knelt down together and I began to pour my heart out to God. I told him how I was scared. I told him how I was angry. I told Him how I needed Him and how I would still trust Him even if He took my mom home to Him. I asked Him to strengthen all of us for the road ahead. I asked Him to help me to consider cancer as joy in my life.

I went back to my bunk that night. Not sure how to share this news. I felt like a semi ran over my heart. Hurt gripped my heart. Not knowing how the girls in my small group would respond. I was terrified to allow them to see me so vulnerable. As we talked about what they were learning and what they were dealing with. One of them asked me "Miss Ashlee, what is God showing you?" I laughed, tears welled in my eyes, and I shared with my girls the awful news I had received a few hours earlier.

In that moment God showed me the great importance of learning how to be vulnerable in the midst of ministry. God showed me that sometimes those I minister to need to see my flaws, my hurts, my struggles. They need to hear me cry out to God on behalf of my mom. That kind of vulnerability is scary to many of us in ministry. We think we need to have it all together, but in fact, it is important to allow others to see all of us, the good, the bad, and the ugly. God continues to show me the importance of being vulnerable in the midst of ministry.

My Mom's journey with breast cancer was only beginning, but God had already showed up in a huge way. He wasn't done with me yet, nor was He done with my mom. Join me this month, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as I share my family's journey in the battle against breast cancer.
post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment