Over the weekend as I was busy cleaning and organizing and arranging things in preparation for my surgery, I paused a minute in prayer to reflect on what it was I was really doing.

“Lord, why do I feel like I need to do all of this?” I asked, since He would know even better than me.

“It looks like I am trying to control things, but I know I’m not in control,” I continued. I thought more about that, believing it. Not once in the past four years have I ever imagined that I could control my life with cancer; I also never once doubted that God was in control.

No, control is not the issue. 
Love is.

“You do love me, don’t you?” I asked God, sweeping the floor in silence.

“It’s true that You love me, but that’s what I have the most trouble believing,” I prayed, tears filling my eyes.

The realization of my faith struggle for the past four years suddenly became very clear. The doubts, the anxiety, the fear. None of those were born out of questions that God was sovereignly accomplishing His will. I knew he was. I told hundreds of people, “God knows my first day from my last,” with great confidence.

But His love for me, that He would bring such trouble to my life time after time out of love? That’s where I fell short. That’s where I continue to struggle at times.

“I don’t always feel your love,” I told God that day in my bedroom as I scooped up piles of dog hair and hung laundered clothes in the closet.

And I don’t. Some days, I dread the hand of God, as I question His heart. Just a few days before I learned my cancer was back, I was telling a friend what I felt God was teaching me, and I remember saying that I hoped I learned it quickly so that he wouldn’t bring more sorrow into my life. As if that’s the way God deals with us.

But as I continued moving throughout the house Saturday, washing dishes, sorting mail, I asked God if He would remind me of his love. If in the next few days He would show me His heart and how he sings over me.

And that’s my biggest prayer. As I face surgery tomorrow, then a week or two of recovery, and radiation a few weeks after that, I need strength and hope and wisdom and mercy. But more than anything, I need to learn anew what it means to be loved by God with an unfailing love.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.

–Lamentations 3:22-33

Photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto, via Flickr, used with permission under the Creative Commons License.