Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"I thought...." (Lessons from Narnia)

"....Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?"
"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No. Nobody is ever told that."
"Oh dear," said Lucy.
"But anyone can find out what will happen," said Aslan. "If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me--what will happen? There is only one way of finding out."
"Do you mean that is what you want me to do?" gasped Lucy.
"Yes, little one," said Aslan....
"But they won't believe me!" said Lucy.
"It doesn't matter," said Aslan.
"Oh dear, oh dear," said Lucy. "And I was so pleased at finding you again. And I thought you'd let me stay. And I thought you'd come roaring in and frighten the enemies away--like last time. And now everything is going to be horrid."
"It is hard for you, little one," said Aslan.  "But things never happen the same way twice.  It has been hard for us all in Narnia before now."

--C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian
As Ben read this portion the other night, I felt just like Lucy. My mind rumbled and tumbled with all the things "I thought."
"I thought you'd come roaring in and frighten the enemies away..."

I feel like I have come to terms with Elijah having cancer. I have accepted that it will be a long road of appointments and check ups....and the fact that cancer will always be in the back of our minds for him.

Retinoblastoma is based on a two-hit theory.  All the kids who have it have a "tumor suppressor gene" missing in their eyes, and then also had a *second hit* somehow, which led to them developing the tumor (s) in one eye, or both. About a third to a half of the kids are missing this tumor suppressing gene all throughout their body. That's Elijah. He basically has one hit everywhere. Two hits to the eye. And the rest is yet to be *seen*. (Funny, not funny).  He will see an oncologist for the rest of his life.  He will be under anesthesia every 6 weeks until he is at least 3 years old.  These are the facts, we just take them as they come and file them away as we take each day for what it brings.

The stuff that really messes with me, is the *normal* stuff on top of that. 
It's the letter from insurance saying that coverage for his chemo back in July was denied and if they can't appeal it, we will be personally responsible for $30,000. (That one doesn't mess with me too much because let's face it: I don't have $30,000 anyway, so it's not worth stressing about, and Elijah is worth every penny and more.)
It's the stress of traveling and anesthesia and being booked again with *my favorite* airline, with less-than-desirable travel times (we will return to LAX at around 9pm with a two hour drive the night before our homeschool co-op).

But this beautiful passage from Prince Caspian put me right in the shoes of Lucy: 
"I thought......"
I thought it might be different. 
I thought maybe I would be flying with the airline I like at the times that were a little more convenient.
I thought maybe I would be able to take Emma with me this time.
I thought maybe he wouldn't have the genetic mutation and our road with cancer would be shorter.
I thought I would be stronger and not get worn out so quickly.
I thought getting dressed wouldn't seem like an insurmountable challenge some days.
I thought potty training my sixth child would be *a little* easier. 
And on and on with the things "I thought."

But Aslan, representative of my Good Shepherd, isn't afraid for things to be very hard for me (sometimes much to my chagrin).  He knows that things have been hard many, many times before in the lives of His sheep.  He has not given a guarantee that He will rush in roaring and frightening all my enemies away.

But the next scene in the book is what He has promised:

"Lucy buried her head in his mane to hide from his face.  But there must have been magic in his mane. She could feel lion-strength going into her...."

I don't always feel the lion-strength going into me. But I'm going to bury my face in His mane until I do.

A wise friend told me that in the difficult moments of life, you just do the next thing.  Whether it is getting dressed, making breakfast, going on a walk to get some fresh air, or getting on a plane.

So. I'm just doing the next thing. I'm going to bury my head in Christ until it's time to get on the plane again.  (And hopefully in between that time I can get dressed and make a few meals!).
(Maybe a few walks here and there? This is on the bike path with my big ones)

But the beauty of this sweet passage is that it reminded me how frequently it hurts when things don't go as we thought.  Our God is not afraid for things to be very, very hard for us, because He can see the beauty that comes from them.  But it also doesn't bother Him a bit if we just need to hide our face in His mane until the lion-strength comes for the next thing. 

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