A place so familiar I can close my eyes and navigate flawlessly, but this time I turn right instead of going straight. I enter the elevator and go down…below ground level. I can feel my heart, my mind and my emotions go down with my body. Everything is different. Cold, sterile and lab-like. Twisting and turning hallways drawing me deeper into itself. The lights are turned down and I am separated by many walls and thick, lead doors. They speak to me through speakers and view me through monitors. They use Sharpie markers and tattoos to make a road-map on my body to guide the hazardous beams. There is very little that resembles the smiles, hugs and friendships made in the world just above my head.
Yes, everyone is kind and has a smile on their face but it seems forced. There is the unspoken, quiet truth hanging in the air so thick that I know by my presence I have agreed I am now part of it. They will administer a treatment to my body that goes against all rational thoughts running through my mind. Yet, I will come back day after day for weeks. Taking the same elevator down, walking the same twisting halls, closing the same lead door, listening to the same voices and participating in that quiet truth…alone.
And why? All because God has asked for my obedience. God has allowed my family and friends to walk with me through this entire journey. But now I have to walk this part alone; just God and me. I don’t understand why, I just know that He is asking me to trust in Him to walk through this valley with Him. Every step I take physically when I enter the radiation oncology department is a metaphor for what is happening inside me spiritually. I feel like I am walking into a dark valley, twisting and turning and getting lost. There is no one there for me to lean on or look to for guidance; it’s just me and God. I know He is there with me because He has given me a sign…a flower. A flower growing in the midst of a dark, dry valley. One flower, planted by Him at the time and place where it is needed the most. Dear flower, do not question why you were planted there. You were planted there for me. God IS using you.
This part of treatment has been the part I have dreaded from the moment of diagnosis. I don’t know why it has been so hard on me mentally, but I know I’m going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m going to hold tight to God’s hand, close my eyes and let God do the rest. And,when we get to the other side I’ll open my eyes, breathe a big sigh of relief and thank Him for whatever He does.
“For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He’ll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.” -Tracy Dartt