1, 2, 3. 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3

I’m dancing as fast as I can… there are no jazz hands, heels of physics deyfing heights or sparkly costumes involved. (Bummer- I have mad jazz hands skills- and I love sparkle and shoes.)….Nope- this is a nightmare of a waltz that keeps speeding up tempo while I struggle to keep up.

1, 2, 3. 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3

3 steps…….

1) Denial. This can’t be happening. The tests will turn out ok.

2) Da truth- This is happening. The tests are not ok. The cancer is real.

3) Da positivity– It’ll be ok. Staying positive makes it positive… I’m POSITIVE it’ll be ok. It’s got to be Ok , if I believe it’s ok. Doesn’t it? There’s a fine line between being positive and denial. The problem is- I can never find it. So, I just keep dancing. The problem is, that dance is exhausting.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

The waltz continues. I want it to stop. But- like a wild game of musical chairs.. I’m also afraid I’ll stop at the wrong time. I could end up frozen in space, no chair below me…forever repeating a single step…. The truth is…none of them are steps I want to be stuck in-

  • Denial: “It’s not happening. It’s not happening. It’s not happening.” Denial is a lie. It’s like a virtual fireplace….It looks warm and cozy- but offers no real warmth. You THINK you believe it.. but deep down, you don’t.
  • Da-truth: “It’s cancer. It’s cancer. It’s cancer.” Da-truth can be cold. “It’s cancer. Life threatening. Aggressive.” It may be true- but it offers no comfort- and not even the spark of hope. Like a pile of wood in a fire place with no match to light it. Empty. Cold.
  • Da-positivity: “I’m positive. Stay positive. Stay positive.” Da positivity is frustrating and crazy making. Like a pile of wet wood you keep trying to light….If I believe hard enough- it will be ok. I have to believe to make it so.” Talk about pressure..if I believe this- then it’s all up to me… if I doubt or fear- he dies. That is enough to make anyone crazy.

Cancer is providing the soundtrack of our lives right now, I don’t get to choose the music… I don’t even get to choose the dance…These steps are natural for this music…it’s just how people respond to things like: loss, fear, cancer, pain, sickness…. (Let’s face it-it’s kind of hard to do anything but waltz to a waltz beat… and some circumstances like music- just provoke certain steps.)

No- I didn’t choose Cancer. Or Spinal problems, Or Thyroid freakage.

I do get to choose my dance partner.

I choose Jesus.

He doesn’t judge my lame jazz-hands, he delights in my effort. He doesn’t yell out commands like a square dance caller. (Gotta be honest- I hate square dancing… probably because I hate being bossed around and that’s how it feels to this strong willed woman.) He gently leads. He’s not the Simon Cowell of dance. He doesn’t yell out judgments on how I move through this dance… “You should trust me more, then this would be easier! You wouldn’t struggle if you believed…I’m in control, here… would you please get a grip?” Instead- he sympathizes with me.

No- it’s not a spiritual version of so you think you can dance… it’s more like when I was little and used to stand on my daddy’s feet and dance. I was following his steps as closely as I could. That’s how I’m dancing now.

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.” Job 23:10-11

I can’t stay in denial- that would be lying to both you and to God… I hate what we’re going through. I hate cancer. I hate pain. I hate grief. Denial doesn’t help.
I won’t leave myself to obsess over the truth as I know it… CANCER. PAIN. Sickness. There is more than just medical truth- there is also a greater truth: Hope. Trust and Love.
I am positive- even in the darkest times. I’m just not positive that everything will: “be alright.” Meaning: healed. Whole. I’m not even positive that the cancer will be cured or that the pain will be gone. People die. We’re supposed to. People live with pain, and God is in control.
I am however- positive of this….that no matter what ….God is with us as we dance… when we choose him as our partner. Whether we dance to a waltz, an epic mosh pit of an alternative beat or a funeral dirge….
Job 13:15
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.

I choose Jesus.

I don’t know what you’re dancing to today. I don’t know what steps you’re taking or, who you’re dancing with. Maybe like me- you’re dancing with denial, da- truth and da-positivity and just wish the dance would stop. But, it won’t.

Maybe you’re dancing with loss, fear or sin. Maybe you’re afraid that it’s all up to you, that if you believe hard enough you can make it so….and it’s making you crazy, too. I don’t know who you’re dancing with. Maybe you’re struggling to dance by yourself, or are standing near a loved one as they dance to a soundtrack you hate and you feel confused- do you encourage.. denial, to da truth or da positivity?

I do know this-you may not like the soundtrack… but you don’t have to dance alone.

Reach out. In words to people who love you, in prayer to the God who longs to dance with you- no matter what the beat. If you see someone dancing…. just. dance. with. them.