By Debbie Perry – Office Manager Leawood Campus
In this time of being told to stay at home and give up our social time with others, it can be easy to sink into despair and over analyze everything. Worry about everything. Feel like everything has been taken from you. Miss everything. Be angry about everything. And yet, we can do nothing about these things. Our isolation right now is in place to protect us. It is what is best for us. God will not waste any of it, we need only to surrender.
You might think, “Who are you to lecture me on how I should feel during this frustrating time?” and I agree that I have no authority, nor desire to lecture. I only want to share the experience of my recent nine month quarantine while fighting leukemia.
Last summer my youngest daughter got married in June, and three weeks later I was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of leukemia. Within an hour of seeing a doctor for a first opinion, I was in a hospital bed at KU Medical Center being prepared for my first round of chemo the next morning. My husband and I were living a nightmare on a freight train that seemed to be running out of control. After fighting through many rounds of chemo and finally reaching remission after 28 days in a hospital bed, I was sent home and told my immune system was not strong enough to fight any exposure to illness.
I was on complete home quarantine with no visitors outside my immediate family, and no grandbabies allowed. I was devastated! It was a waiting game for stubborn white cell count numbers to rise. They didn’t. About five weeks later, I received a stem cell transplant and was admitted to the hospital for an additional 39 days. No visitors except for immediate family. Then it was back home to quarantine for the indefinite future while my white blood cells tried to recover.
I tell you this story of my journey not to make you feel sorry for me or hear of my illness. I tell you this story because I want to share the most amazing ways God used this time of quarantine to strengthen me and draw me to Himself. I could do absolutely nothing about my circumstances. I could have chosen to feel sorry for myself and bury myself in despair, but God held my face in His hands and spoke to me, “No, Child. You must yoke yourself and learn from Me since you have never experienced this before. You must lean into Me during this time and trust that I will rescue you from your uncertainty.”
I had no other option but to surrender to God and allow Him to write my story as only He could. Only He knows how it ends and what my “new normal” will look like. I am not saying I never feel waves of fear, but I can tell you that every time I feel fear now, I say to God, “I surrender.” I can often feel Him loosen the grip fear had over me.
I still have no idea what the future holds, or how long my own personal quarantine might last, but in this time I would like to encourage you to surrender yourself to God. Trust that He will not waste this time. Draw near to Him. Allow Him to mold and shape you in this time to be more like Him. Share this with others so that they may also feel Him loosen the grip of fear and uncertainty, and rest on Him.
I hate cancer and what it has done to my life, but through it God has taught me a more complete surrender than I have ever known, and I know He is creating for me a “new normal” that is better than anything I can ask or imagine. Perhaps, even in quarantine, He is doing the same for you.