Besides two miscarriages, discovering that he had another life was the single most tragic event that had happened to me (that I could recall) to-date.
So it was no surprise that I needed lots of help from outside of myself, and that God--in all His infinite wisdom--showed up in a personal and gigantic way.
I tried my best to capture that experience in my book, Coming Through With Grace, and pretty much failed. There was no way to adequately describe how I knew I was being guided, talked to, and taken care of by an entity outside of myself.
But while I was going through it, the experience was unmistakable.
I had little energy to take care of three kids under five by myself in the midst of grappling with the truth that had just descended on my once-happy-little-life. But I quickly realized that when I couldn't muster up the energy to take care of them and myself, others appeared to help out, and instructions about what to do next were being downloaded straight into my ear, as if I was having a conversation with someone else.
Someone much more vast than myself.
I heard a strong, steady, male whispering, You're going to be okay, just when I most needed to hear it. I felt guided, as if someone had a hand on my shoulder and was physically guiding me around my home, making sure all was taken care of.
Magic was everywhere. I knew it and I felt it.
And it went on for months.
So when the cancer diagnosis jolted me awake just 8 months ago, I expected God to personally show up again.
Good thing, I remember thinking; I knew I'd been on the outs with Him in recent years so I was excited about the prospect of His presence once again. I'd been feeling ignored as I was trying to navigate my way through the next phase of my life, which included empty-nesting and starting a new business.
I felt alone too much of the time, trying to find my way in new territory. And it wasn't going very smoothly, so I blamed God for much of my angst and frustration.
I need help! I'd cry out time and again.
And all I seemed to hear were crickets.
But with a cancer diagnosis, I was certain He'd appear in a big way again. Remembering the beauty of the magic that once showed up in my life, I was both relieved and elated that I would experience it one more time.
But when God didn't show up like before, I felt confused.
Where is He?
Cancer was a scary diagnosis, so why wasn't He around, comforting me? I needed help, dammit!
Instead, a gaggle of humans began to show up, almost immediately, showering me with everything I needed just when I needed it.
After days and weeks of people consistently showing up to support me in several ways, it was then that I realized what God may be doing (as if I knew, ha!): perhaps He knew that I had needed him so desperately last time because I was so broken.
I needed the Big Guy to appear before me because only He could ease my grief. And only that experience could help heal me.
(Which, thankfully, it did).
This time, I wasn't broken. Nor did I feel lost or afraid. I was emotionally intact, just a bit bewildered about how cancer was able to invade my life.
But mostly, I was strong.
He didn't need to show up in a big way again.
But He wasn't about to leave me hanging, either. This was a new experience, and a doozy of one, which meant I would certainly need some assistance and guidance.
So he sent his angels and warriors in to help me, guide me, soothe me, cry with me, and keep me fed. He sent all of you in His place because you were enough, and I would be healed by your support and my tenacity.
I love this theory, even if I'm completely wrong or delusional.
It was as if God realized that I was in very capable hands--YOUR hands and hearts--as you showered me with love.
SO. MUCH. LOVE.
And the funny thing is, I have never once blamed God for cancer. I have not been angry with Him, not for one minute, for this intrusion into my life.
In fact, I have sensed for quite some time now that cancer arrived to heal me in other ways. Specifically, by guiding me back to God, and back to myself.
Because, you see, I had felt very shut off from God for far too long. It wasn't necessarily my choice to feel so separate, but it seemed that no matter what I tried, I couldn't quite reach Him.
Then cancer appeared, along with all of you, and I felt Him everywhere: in your hugs; in your kind words and soothing prayers; in your smiles; your tears; your worry and concern; the food you prepared; the gifts you delivered; the donations you made, and in the time you lovingly took with me.
You never left me alone, just as He didn't years ago.
God, dressed in people's clothes, showed up in a big, gigantic--yet different--way, guiding me back to health.