Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Kitchen Table

Every morning, before the sun wakes up…before my boys are stirring…before the street outside my window is buzzing with cars…I sit at my kitchen table, soak in the peacefulness and the serenity, and I pray.   It’s a routine I started several years ago, and one, to be quite honest, I wish I’d started long before that.  It took a personal battle with cancer to make prayer time at my kitchen table a routine priority though.  It’s amazing how quickly priorities can change when you find yourself on a slick road.

In April 2006, I was diagnosed with high grade bladder cancer.  The doctors said we needed to move quickly to remove it; for without some type of intervention, the cancer would likely take my life within five years.   A few days later, we set a surgery date, and began making preparations.  The surgery was complex and complicated. If I survived, the recovery would be extensive and long.  There would be many side effects and alterations to our lives, but, I would be alive...and, if the cancer was contained just to my bladder, the surgery would give me freedom from the disease that held my life in chains.

Jack was just three at the time of my diagnosis; and Joseph was only nine months.  I couldn’t bear the thought of not being around to see them grow.  There was a chance Jack might remember me, but Joseph?  My heart ached.  Along with grief, anger and bitterness filled my mind.  One Sunday morning shortly after my diagnosis, I reached my breaking point.  My emotions spilled out and as I stood in my kitchen, I shook my fists in the air, and screamed at God.

Haven’t I had enough, Lord?  Why?  Why me?  Haven’t I paid my dues?  I don’t have any of the risk factors for this cancer.  It makes no sense. Why not give it to this person or that one?  They fit the bill way more than I do.  Why me, Lord? WHY ME? What did I do to deserve this? 

On and on I cried… on and on I screamed until I finally collapsed in the chair at my kitchen table.   Aside from my breathing, the house was still once more.  And, in the stillness…and the quiet serenity of my seat at the kitchen table, the Lord began to speak to my heart.  There was no booming voice from heaven.  No bolt of lightning or clap of thunder.  There was instead, a gentle, soft whisper. 

“I could have allowed any one of my children to have cancer, Angela. But, you…well, you can
turn it around.  You can choose to wallow in self-pity and consume yourself with bitterness;
or you can show others Me.  You have a choice to make.  Turn it around.
 I will give you all the grace and dignity you need for the battle.” 

Like a mother cradling and hushing her little one, the whisper cradled and hushed my weary heart and mind.  Peace filled the places in my mind that had been wrought with fear, grief and bitterness.

Grace and dignity, Lord.  Grace and dignity.  Please save me. Please. Please help me through this battle, God.  I don’t want to face this alone.  I need You.  I don’t want to be without You. 
Please Lord.  Please….

That morning was a turning point in my life.  Sometimes we have to hit the point of desperation before we realize our need for a Savior.  And, saved I am.

“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free.” – Psalm 118:5

Thank you for meeting me each day, Lord.   I love joining you at the kitchen table every morning.  I praise you for the peace and freedom only You can give, and I give thanks that You hear my cries.  May You be what others see in me – for I don’t want to be me without You.  Please be with those facing difficult battles right now, Father.  For every road traveled and every battle fought, may we call upon You for grace and dignity.

As I close out today’s blog post, I leave you with the lyrics I wrote for the song, “Without You”.  It’s a song from my heart…a desperate prayer written in a time of great need.  May it bless you and point the way to Him. 
Verse 1
Secret sins, skeletons, and the lies that I believed
I can't get back all of the time that's passed; sometimes it's hard to breathe
Help me leave behind all that haunts my mind
and all I don't want to be...
Lord, give me words to speak; give me thoughts to think
Cause I don't want to be me without you
Give me songs to sing; and give me air to breathe
Cause I don't want to be, be me without you

Verse 2
It's a scary place when you run the race, and temptation shouts your name
Help me hear your voice amidst the noise, and break free from these chains
When the thoughts creep in that just lead to sin
And all I don't want to be...

Here I am at your throne
Though I may be all alone
Here I am on my knees
Cause I don't want to be...


  1. Beautiful! And so true... "Sometimes we have to hit the point of desperation before we realize our need for a Savior." He is always there waiting for us. Many blessings to you.