Last night, I got a text from a friend of mine who's going through chemo. He's having a really hard time and has been struggling through treatment but was more concerned about how his wife was faring than how he was doing. As I read his message, I could "hear" his worry and fear.
At his request, I called his wife. She had no idea he'd asked me for this favor.
As we talked, I let her lead the conversation. I knew, from past experience, she needed a friend and needed to be heard.
I listened as she poured out her heart. Without coming right out and saying it, she was afraid of what would happen in the near future. She was terrified of being alone. And I couldn't blame her. Her husband's prognosis is grim.
My heart broke as I listened. She tried to hide her tears but I could hear them. Mingled with my own, we cried together.
I tried to reassure her none of us are promised tomorrow and that we can only focus on today. I reminded her of Scripture that says we're not to worry about tomorrow.
She told me she'd been having a very bad day. She'd been faced with spiritual and emotional attack. I explained the feelings she was having were normal and it was okay to feel them but to remember God had promised never to leave or forsake her.
We talked for a long time. By the end of the conversation, I could tell she was doing better. It's cathartic to pour out feelings sometimes, I said, and offered to be available whenever she needed to talk.
I'm so thankful she trusted me enough to share her deepest fears and concerns but I'm so very sad for my friends. I've been on both sides of cancer and neither of them are easy.
If there was a way I could take the pain away, I would in a heartbeat but all I can do right now is be available. I promised her I'd give a listening ear whenever she needed it and I meant it.
If you can, please say a prayer for these two dear friends. I won't share their names to protect their privacy but God knows who they are.
I hate cancer so much. I wish we could find a way to cure it. Maybe one of these days scientists will figure it out. Until then, we just have to muddle through.