My husband and I, we have a savings account. It’s nothing extravagant, nothing to call Forbes about or anything. It’s just this little bit of cushion separate from our checking account that we put a small percentage of our paycheck into month after month just for those crazy weeks when your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and sump pump decide to crash on you at the same time… we live in an old house, it’s going to happen any day now.
My husband and I, we have a retirement plan. Once again, it’s nothing outrageous. It’s just another thing that takes a percentage of our money every month before we can see it. It takes our money, and it puts it somewhere else, and financial people do a little wink as they promise that one day, depending on the economy, the president, and the Cub’s next world series, we MIGHT retire rich (disclaimer- we have not invested in the Chicago Cubs…yet).
My husband and I, we have cancer. Well he has cancer, and I have emotions, and somehow his thing affects me and my thing affects him, and then it’s like he has emotions and I have cancer, but we’re really just a mess of each other’s strength and weaknesses tangled into matrimony.
My husband and I, we have faith.
And I guess this is where true battle exists.
Yesterday we got more news… mostly bad news, the kind of news that makes you want to shout “TO HELL WITH THIS SAVINGS ACCOUNT!” before you run out to make a down payment on a boat to park at the beach house you don’t have, or the lake house you’ve never even talked about wanting.
When life gets hard, I always seem to think we want a boat. When life gets hard, I always seem to think we want everything that we don’t have, everything that my deepest hurt tells me we’ll never have.
When life gets hard I want more money, and vacations, and puppies, and a baby, and a beach house, and a bigger life house, and a hot tub, and a Gucci belt just for the hell of it.
When life gets hard, I don’t want a savings account.
And what makes this all even more difficult is the fact that we live in this YOLO culture that tells me to buy that boat that I don’t want and can’t afford.
I live in a culture that tells me that I could die tomorrow and he could die tomorrow, and what good is a savings account when we’re all dead and have yet to see the Great Wall of China?
But I think faith is keeping that savings account, that retirement plan.
In October, we found out that my husband’s cancer spread to his lungs. I don’t know how to simplify this any more than to say- that’s bad.
Medically speaking, it has been bad ever since it showed up again in his leg, but he doesn’t breathe with his leg so we kind of shrugged that off.
Medically speaking, he has a .01% chance of ever being cancer-free.
He has a 7% chance of living another year and a half.
Medically speaking, I have a .01% chance of growing old with the only person in this entire world that I have any interest in waking up next to.
I have a 7% chance of making it to age 27 with him.
But we have faith—and that’s what we both want to share with you, because even though that’s the part of the battle that gets hard, and complicated, and confusing, and so very messy, it’s also the part of this story that gets to be so freaken cool.
He and I have thought about this blog for months, and in order to do that we’ve had to think about faith. We’ve talked about what faith is, where we stand with it, and where we want to go with it.
Ultimately, we’ve decided that everyone balances on this very fine line between where you are and what you believe, and one day you’ll have to make a decision to step more one way or the other.
I think both can influence each other. Where we are in life can be determined by what we believe and what we believe can certainly be determined by where we are, but I think faith is when we stop pushing this line one way or another depending on the difficulty of the life level we’re trying to beat, and instead, we step fully into what we believe. We have to stand fully in the truths that tend to become blurry when where we are tries to dominate.
I think faith manifests when we stop standing in the realm of “where we are” and instead rest completely in the realm of “what we believe.”
So this is our step away from where we are, and into what we believe.
Where we are. We’re at a .01% chance of complete healing.
What we believe. In our faith, we rest in the belief- that percentage is irrelevant. We believe in miracles.
Where we are. We’re at a 7% chance of continuing together on this beautiful life journey past the age of 26.
What we believe. We rest in the belief that we are both much too good at sudoku and trivia for this power duo to be split up before our golden years.
In the wise words of our fight song, “I’m not giving up, I’m not giving up giving up no not yet.”
We have a savings account, and we have a retirement plan…. because one day we’re going to need it.
That’s what we think faith is.
~AT & AL