I heard this song on the radio today and I fell in love with it immediately. I naturally relate to songs and this one is no exception. It is In Better Hands Now by Natalie Grant. One of my favorite lines is ‘I stand in awe of every mountain that you move’. There are days in my life where I walk along as though nothing in my past matters…sometimes forgetting all that God has done for me and my family. Today is the day where those mountains, while in the past, stand tall enough to be remembered.
A little over 14 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I was 13 at the time. It was May when she went in for a hysterectomy. She wasn’t even 40 at the time. The doctor cut the skin, took one look at her abdomen and closed the incision. He then informed my dad and mom that he believed she had cancer. At 13 I surely did not know the odds that were against my mother. I often say I grew up more that summer than any other time in my life. I wanted desperately to protect my sister (11 at the time) and my brother (6 at the time). I can remember ushering them downstairs as I heard my mother get sick from chemo and keep them outside as much as possible so things could be quiet for her. I don’t recall ever being asked to do that, I just felt I should. I won’t forget brushing my mom’s hair and looking at it all in the brush. We sat there for some time brushing her hair out until there was little left that day. I wanted to fix everything but I couldn’t. I was angry at God. I was resentful towards Him and the thought that He could stand for love or healing. With odds stacked against her, she rallied into remission.
Until 4 years ago. February 2004 was a mixed month of emotions for me. Joel made his arrival but my mom was in the hospital. She had a tumor that was growing rapidly. The words cancer came back all too sudden and hard. She had a recurrence. The odds were worse than before. Most people didn’t make it with the first round of ovarian cancer, and a relapse almost meant the end. I can’t tell you how much of that anger and resentment flooded my heart. I remember yelling, literally, at my father on the phone one day. It wasn’t directed at him, it was all the pent up frustration.
I was pregnant, on bed rest with a 19 month old and an hour away. I felt helpless every moment of this. Any time I could get away, I was at the hospital with her. The next few months she was in the hospital more than at home. I had friends who rallied around me during this time…offering anything from childcare to prayers. It was nice but it didn’t take away the vat of anger I had. I was there when the doctor told my dad and me that things were not getting better. I sat numb in that room and listened as the doctor explained the chemo was not doing its job as quick as he expected. I heard him say that while everything looked dim, we had HOPE. Thank the Lord he placed a Christian doctor in our lives…in my life. It was that moment that I realized my child’s heart was leading me…not my new heart. Somewhere in those weeks, I learned to let God move my mountain of anger and bitterness and replace it with joy and peace.
Things were not always happy but there were moments when I saw God’s hand. The day Joel was born my mom was in a hospital a few minutes across town. We soon realized she might get to see him at all. The day we were released, she was released. We knew a hospital was the most sterile place for her so we waited in our hospital room. We explained to our nurse about my mom and she made sure there was a wheelchair waiting for my mom. My mom got to hold Joel when he was 2 days old. She would not see him for weeks after that. To this day, the picture in the hospital is one of my treasured pictures.
My mom is here, healthy again. While I know it is an answer to prayer that she is here, healed, it is my heart that I am most grateful for. While I might have grown up during that summer I was 13, my heart finally grew up when I was in my 20s. I learned to trust God that His hands are better than any doctor. I learned that asking for help was acceptable. I learned that peace and joy abounded when I focused on Him, regardless of the conversation with a doctor. I learned God could move any mountain when I placed my heart and life in Hid hands.