Everyone has a story.
There is freedom in telling that story. Freedom that allows one to be open and honest and completely real with what is going on in their lives.
Little did I know that after Josiah was diagnosed on a Thursday afternoon, I would soon find freedom in sharing our story on a daily basis.
I particularly remember the Sunday after diagnosis. I absolutely dreaded going to church. We were asked to attend both services so the elders and deacons could pray over Josiah. I had cried enough in my home throughout the weekend. I was cried out. There were no words to be said, because, really, what do you say? Going into a church building full of people, where I felt like I would be in the spotlight, was almost more than I could handle.
But I went anyway. And there were tears. And hugs. And more tears.
I cried during the worship service. I don’t remember much from the service; except one song that was sang, called “The Greatness of our God.” I tried to sing, but I couldn’t utter the words. I leaned on Nathan’s shoulder, unable to hold back the tears. My heart would sing for me.
The words “take what I have known and break it all apart” were too much; too real. At that point, all I knew WAS breaking apart. My cousin was dying of brain cancer, and my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“Give me grace to see beyond this moment here; to believe that I have nothing left to fear. That you my God are greater still.” I knew the words were true; that didn’t make them easy. How was I not supposed to fear when my youngest would have brain surgery in three days? I didn’t know if he would survive, and didn’t know if I would be planning a funeral in four days. I couldn’t hold it together.
I cried during the sermon. I cried when we went forward at the end of each service. I cried as we were prayed for. I cried as individuals came forward to let us know they were praying and to give us hugs. And as I shared and cried with those who loved me, a weight was lifted. It didn’t matter who was looking. Sharing our story gave me immediate freedom. Freedom to be me. Freedom to be real. Freedom to cry and show that I cannot do this by myself. Freedom in being able to fully rely on God, who has been faithful, and will continue to be faithful.
In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. (Psalm 118:5)
And now, 21 months later, the freedom that came when sharing that Josiah had completed his chemotherapy was even sweeter – because I had been free to share the story with so many.
Freedom that came simply by sharing my heart – my story.
And I thank God for setting me free.
*Above lyrics quoted from “The Greatness of our God” by Hillsong