By Nina Hundley
Today’s hope story was submitted by fellow writer friend, Nina Hundley, whom I met online. With my mom currently walking through her own cancer journey, Nina’s story moved me. There’s hope no matter the outcome of the battle you may be facing.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. LET NOTHING MOVE YOU. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
“I just don’t understand it.” My mom sat in front of me with tears streaming down her face. “The cancer is taking everything from me!” She was exhausted and cried a long time that warm, spring evening.
I’m so sorry, Mama. I wish I could take it away.
I felt broken.
My mom had been living with us after being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. She’d spent well over a year fighting hard against the wave of despair threatening to crush her from the diagnosis.
Throughout my life, I often had conversations with my mom that included tearful confessions, deep questioning, and heart-wrenching brokenness from any number of situations. It wasn’t as though I had never been vulnerable with her before, but something about this night was different.
We experienced a moment of raw, unbridled grief mixed with hope and wrapped up in a declaration.
There’s just no other way to explain it.
Everyone was in the bed asleep, and I was upstairs wrestling with my thoughts of this cancer tearing away my mom’s life. This wrestling was nothing new and always seemed to happen at night when I was alone. Away from all the distractions of the day.
My questions, sorrow, and anger would mix together for hours in my mind before I could go to sleep almost every night while my mom lived with us that year and a half.
Why was this happening to such a wonderful person? How would I ever make it without her in my life? My absolute best friend?
What was it going to look like to lose her?
One reason this weighed so heavily on me that particular evening was because of a post I’d seen earlier on Facebook. An acquaintance had posted about “someone else losing their battle with cancer” and it hit me in a way that made me downright angry.
The post had seemed cynical, as though to be diagnosed with cancer was always a loss.
I knew this to be false medically since many people conquer cancer. Something about the “losing their battle to cancer” line started to boil my blood.
After reading that post, I realized I wanted my life to be centered on hope.
I wanted to stand beside my mom and help her persevere. I began to dwell on it for quite awhile. I contemplated:
What is a battle?
What does it mean to lose?
What is cancer really?
I had to speak it out into the open air where the darkness lived. This darkness had oppressed us mightily, but there was a constant pushback when someone like my mom lived with cancer. Too much joy lived inside that woman.
Too much life, too much Jesus.
Yet around that time, those days and weeks, I had watched the light become shadowed in her eyes. She was mixed with fear and sadness, having serious moments of discouragement.
Something came over me that night however. I darted down the stairs and woke my ailing mother from her comfortable sleep. I paused, watching her.
Was I losing it? I always pushed for her to rest well and did not want her to get off her sleep schedule.
I couldn’t refrain though.
Look for the moving conclusion of Nina’s story next week!
Join the conversation. Have you faced a hard situation that sapped your strength? How did you find your way through it and find hope?
Nina Hundley was born and raised in central NC. She is a wife to Caleb and a stay at home mama, making a million memories one day at a time. Nina loves writing about hope in dark places and crafting stories of priceless testimonies over at www.ninahundley.com. She prays her words inspire and encourage you.
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