Life Off the Freeway

I’ve been thinking about how to describe what it’s like living with cancer in the family. After my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in late 2006 it seemed like so many things changed. One of the things disrupted was our vision for our future. It’s like reading along in a book and halfway through picking up a different book and starting to read somewhere near the middle. You ask yourself, “Is this the book I’ve been reading?” “Is this the life I’ve been living?”

I compare our life before cancer to traveling down a freeway. As you chart your course you have certain waypoints you plan and hope to arrive at. Early in life you have stops you expect to make like, marriage, having children and seeing them graduate from college. We were focused on getting a home paid for and being prepared for retirement and enjoying the grandchildren that were coming along.

When cancer strikes its like all of a sudden you’ve gotten stuck in an exit-only lane and found yourself heading off in a direction you hadn’t planned, a direction that doesn’t seem to be taking you towards your goals and dreams. All of a sudden you don’t have a vision for your future. Where are my goals and dreams? They seem so far away in another time and place. Who am I?

One thing I am beginning to discover is this; how I would like the book of my life to read, or how I might want the itinerary of the journey to be laid out, I may not have it the way I want.

The truth is, life off the freeway may be the only trip you can take. “A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9)

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