Be Not Afraid

Restless

(Please see the About page for the backstory of my diagnosis of cancer and the miraculous birth of our beautiful baby boy, John Paul).

I’ve been wanting to start this blog for a while now as a way to keep in touch with all of the wonderful family and friends I’m so blessed with, as well as a way to process how much life has changed for Mike and me (and everyone in our life) in the past month and a half.  I was all ready to write my first post on friday and then….the anger hit.  I’ve managed to stay pretty positive (after the initial shock and fear that comes with being diagnosed with cancer), but this past weekend I found myself in a dark place.  I couldn’t help but ask God over and over “Why?”  And beyond that, I couldn’t help but tell God over and over how angry I was, which in turn made me feel ashamed.  In short, my mind and my heart were restless.  I felt anxious, and even though I wanted to turn to God for the comfort I know and trust that only He can give, I couldn’t do it.  I even told Mike on Sunday morning that I didn’t want to go to mass (which I look forward to all week-especially now since it’s not always safe for me to go if my blood counts are too low).  But, I had asked a good friend of mine who wonderfully runs the music and youth group at our church if we could sing one of my favorite songs of all time, “Restless” by Audrey Assad during mass this week, and since he had agreed, I felt compelled to go.

Of course, I so often find that God knows what I need much better than I know myself, and being at church, in His presence, receiving His body, and reaching out to Him in the most natural way I know how to-through song-was the best thing I could have done.  I won’t say that I left mass as a person who had been lifted out of the depths of despair-I didn’t.  But I left with a renewed sense of faith.  I left with the reminder that it is not only in the light that we find God; He truly abides in the darkness with us just as patiently and lovingly.  And our restless hearts are what make us human, just like our brokenness.  God loves us despite and perhaps even because of these qualities.  We need only look to our future with Him, for the day when we reach full communion with Him for a time when our restless hearts will find contentment.  And until then, we must not turn from Him, even when we find ourselves in the depths of despair, but we must let ourselves rest in Him, as much as our brokenness and stubbornness will allow us to.  Know that as I pray for myself, I also pray for each one of you-not only that you might have greater faith and strength, but that you might be able to accept your brokenness and let yourself be truly vulnerable with God.

Words cannot express how thankful I am for all of your love and support.  Mike, John Paul, and I could not have gotten through this past month and a half without you, and we won’t be able to get through the next months without you either.  We are so grateful for how God has blessed us, and we love you so much.  Please know that even though I haven’t been able to respond to each message I’ve received individually, they each mean so very much to me.  Every time you visit me, write me, email me, or call me, you give me hope, and there is nothing more I could ask for.

I’d like to leave you with the words that helped me reach out to God this week, the words of Audrey Assad’s “Restless.”

And if you’d like to see it, below is a video of me singing “Restless” with our church band at St. Mary of Sorrows.

Restless

You dwell in the songs that we are singing
Rising to the Heavens, rising to Your heart, Your heart
Our praises filling up the spaces
In between and frailty and everything You are
You are the keeper of my heart

And I’m restless, I’m restless
‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You
I’m restless, I’m restless
‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You
Oh God, I wanna rest in You

Oh, speak now for my soul is listening
Say that You have saved me, whisper in the dark
‘Cause I know You’re more than my salvation
Without You I am hopeless, tell me who You are
You are the keeper of my heart
You are the keeper of my heart

And I’m restless, I’m restless
‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You
I’m restless, I’m restless
‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You
I wanna rest in You

Still my heart hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry

Still my heart hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry

And I’m restless, I’m restless
‘Til I rest in You, let me rest in You
I’m restless, so restless
‘Til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You
Oh God, I will rest in You

 

To support this wonderful artist, you can buy her beautiful c.d. here:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-house-youre-building/id381098364

To hear Audrey Assad sing “Restless” click here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0B2ybZpDeM

 

 

 

 

 

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15 comments

  1. Meg Trucano

    Allison, my heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I am so sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, but so happy for your new blessing of John Paul. I love that name:) I think he has a fantastic namesake. I hope you can always think about how much everyone who knows you loves you, and about how strong we all know you to be. We’re behind you, praying for you the whole way. I know your baby boy and Mike are both behind you, too, giving you comfort and urging you to fight your hardest. I realize there’s not much I can do from old South Bend, but if ever you need or want anything (reminders of ND, souvenirs, pictures, etc) please don’t hesitate to let me know. Keep fighting kiddo. God bless.

    • Thank you so much for commenting, Meg. It was so good to hear from you!! I agree….John Paul’s namesake is pretty awesome!

      Thank you so much for your prayers. If you would just keep us in them, and occasionally light a candle at the grotto for us there’s nothing more I can ask for!

  2. Sarah Burkey

    I’m absolutely bawling in response to this news and your writing. It just hurts that you are going through such unimaginable pain and worry.
    I’m going to make an extra Lenten sacrifice and offer it up for you and your precious little family. I want you to know I’ll be thinking of you all the time and I’m with you in spirit as much as possible. I know we’ve both been busy and not been in touch as much as we’d have liked to have been in the last few years. But I think you know that hasn’t changed anything between us one bit. Love you so much! Hang in there woman. You have no idea how much you inspire me with your strength and your devotion to all that is beautiful and honorable in this world.

  3. Elise Matich

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and song! Ever since our London Emmaeus groups, it has given me so much joy to hear you sing. Never stop! I’m so happy to hear that John Paul may be coming home soon. How wonderful!!! Please know that we pray for you, Mike, and John Paul every day, and that we cannot wait to see you again. God be with you!

  4. Margie

    Allison and Mike, I just read the blog and watched the video of Sunday’s Mass…..BEAUTIFUL! I only wish that we could have been there.
    Allison, I am inspired by your strength through this journey so far. With the love your family has for you and your faith, I know that you will continue to find strength, especially for Mike and John Paul. Just remember how much we love you and care for you…….Margie (AKA – Mom-Mom )

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