Ask anyone who has experienced a life changing event, a death or a loss and they will likely tell you that there is a defining moment in time that divides their present life from the way that it used to be. The memories, the thoughts, even the feelings are split in half by that one event.
Looking back for me that first moment was not losing Ben, but his original diagnosis. When I look back over the short 14 years we had together, my memories are split in time… those before cancer rocked our world and those after. Our innocence and bliss were gone, and while we regained that somewhat after each of his surgeries, I think deep down we never let go of the fear that our world would come crashing down when we least expected it.
Many of our friends would have said that Ben let cancer control his life after he was diagnosed… he changed his diet, he changed his routine, and he broadened his reading material. But I don’t believe that he let it control him nearly as much as it appeared to others. He continued to live life to the fullest every single day. He didn’t let his new diet or knowledge keep him from enjoying life.
For me though, I lived in fear of the new knowledge. We avoided toxic cleaners, electronic devices, sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy habits. I was afraid of the mold in our house and would lay awake for hours stressing about every ache or pain that I faced (or piece of candy that I ate). Then for a short while after Ben’s death I rebelled and ate as much ice cream as I could, stocked my freezer full of Reese’s, and stopped worrying about turning off the wifi while I slept.
I refused to allow my fear of those things to define the rest of my life. I didn’t want my children to see me living in fear of the unknown either. I still keep most of those healthy habits, but I no longer worry all the time that we will get cancer if we eat a piece of candy… or stop for fast food.
If I have learned anything over the past few months, it is that we don’t have to let those defining moments define us. We get to choose how much control we let those moments have. You can embrace the place that you are and allow God to meet you right there and help you through it, or you can choose to continue to let it leave you frozen in fear.
Maybe for you the defining moment was a marriage, divorce, death, lost job or even when you gave your life to Christ. No matter the circumstance, you find that you too can look back on your life and see the before and after. Friend, I pray that whatever that defining moment in your life is, that you will allow God to use it to open up a new world of opportunity and that you will see the blessing in being able to trust Him to get you successfully to the “after.”
Friend, the after is in His hands. “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). Trust Him and He will help you through!