At six o’clock I woke up to a life I loved. By eight thirty it was gone.
-Michele Cushatt, Undone*
Have you had an experience like that? One moment, your life was just peachy. Sure, there were little things that bothered you, worried you, or annoyed you at certain times. But for the most part, you were pretty pleased with your life. You were pretty satisfied with yourself. Then, very unexpectedly, everything changes. The life that you knew and were comfortable with – is gone. You lose your sense of control. You lose your sense of security. What is the first feeling that attacks you? For most of us, I’m guessing that feeling is fear.
For me, it didn’t happen in one moment like it did for Michele. It happened over the course of a few weeks. I was struck with fear. I’ve had bad days before, of course, but this was different. I knew, at the deepest part of my being, that I was entering the “unknown.” I didn’t know how long it would last. I didn’t know where it would take me. I didn’t know what the future held. For a perfectionist who likes to have things planned out, there were too many unknowns. Michele put it so precisely: “I prefer to plot and plan, save and stock up.” That was me. Yet here I was. God was leading me on a path I was not prepared for. I was overwhelmed by fear.
For months afterwards, one single thought consumed me: I want to go back. I want a time machine that can take me back to before everything changed. I want a “do over.” I don’t want to walk this road of unknowns anymore! Please, God, take me back.
Yet, I couldn’t. He wouldn’t. It was out of my control. I also knew, without a doubt, that God had me on this road for a reason. Never before had I been so certain that I was right smack in the middle of God’s will for my life. Funny, I’ve spent many years as a Christian. I always wanted to “get” there…to a place where I knew for sure that I was in the middle of His will. I finally reached that place…which happened to be a place of utter despair and brokenness. How ironic is that?
The day cancer showed up in my life, God showed up bigger. He served up a portion of his presence, enough for one day. Enough to reassure me I’m not alone.
How I can relate. I wanted answers and instant fix. Instead, God gave me Himself…just enough to help me through, one day at a time. He gave me the same assurance He gave Michele: I am with you. Trust Me.
I knew that the road ahead was going to be rocky…and long. I had (still have) no idea when it would end. A huge part of me still wanted to just go back. I missed the knowns, the comfort, the security. In front of me, all I could see was a mountain, a Goliath, a battlefield. It seemed too BIG to face. Yet, God wanted to show up bigger. It would be through this road (not around it), that I would truly experience and know – that I am not alone. He is with me.
And that was enough…for that moment, that day.
One side note: I often compare my undone experience to hers. Hers was cancer, mine was something entirely different (not health-related) that I’m not prepared to disclose. I didn’t want to scare any family member who may be reading this.
*All the quotes used in this post are from the book Undone by Michele Cushatt. This is part of a series of posts I’m writing about her book. I will write about what God is having me reflect on after each chapter. You can just read my posts, or you can join the online book club I started. Read my Invite post and Getting Started post to find out more about the book club.
This post was reflecting on Chapters 1 and 2.
Discussion Questions for the book club:
-If you ever had a similar “undone” experience, what were some of your initial thoughts and feelings?
-How did God “show up bigger” or how did you hear His whispers in midst of your most pressing moments? Michele used an example of receiving a phone call from someone whom she least expected to hear (which was a sign to her that it was not a coincidence). Do you have a similar example you would like to share?