After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, food started landing on my doorstep. Lots of food. Sometimes there was a person at the other end of the casserole and sometimes the meals just magically appeared in the big blue cooler outside the front door. My family appreciated it all. (Even if some of it pushed the boundaries of our boring Harms tastebuds.)
One of the first meals we received came from a group of high school girls from our church. Just a week or so after my diagnosis, these lovely girls came to my door bearing lasagna and cookies and I’m-not-quite-sure-what-to-say-to-someone-with-cancer smiles.
I took the casserole and the cookies and thanked them. Then I said something deeply meaningful like,
“Hey, I’ve got cancer, but at least I don’t have to cook.”
I’m pretty sure that just served to increase the awkwardness of the already uncomfortable moment. But awkward or not, it was a beautiful gesture. It was courageous of those girls to face the discomfort that cancer causes and to love my family in that way. As they left I shed a few tears, and I prayed that as they watched me handle this crappy thing in my life they wouldn’t just see Kim With Cancer, but they would see Kim Trusting Jesus.
Fast forward 18 months.
One of those girls asked me to attend one of her volleyball games to be honored as a cancer survivor.
She stepped up onto the bleachers and presented me with a pink carnation, pink Starburst candy and a cute little pink ball on which she wrote sweet things in Sharpie. I held my flower and remembered that night on my doorstep and how unknown and scary my future felt at that moment.
I hugged Mackenzie and again said something deeply meaningful like,
“I forgot to wear pink.”
But what I was thinking was ‘I am so blessed in this moment that this high school junior sees something in me worth recognizing. And I hope when she looks at me she doesn’t just see Kim Who Used To Have Cancer, but also sees Kim Who Trusted Jesus Through a Very Hard Thing.’
Jesus is equally worthy of my trust when he is walking me through hard things like cancer as when he’s walking with me through easy-peasy seasons of blessing.