When I started chemo, several friends who have survived cancer advised, "When you begin to lose your hair, just take charge and shave it all off. You need to have some way to take control." I liked that idea. Me over cancer. Me wryly living that dream all of us women have embraced on some dark bad-hair day of simply shaving it off and starting over. I'm a take-charge kinda gal.
But when the hair began to fall in sheets and clumps, I knew there was something else I needed to affirm. I have cancer because God is in charge, not me. All the things I have taken charge of have been taken from me - at least for a time - because I need to remember that truly I am NOT in charge. And however it looks from here and now, that is a good thing. So I needed something to remind me that I will seek God's direction and be still under His guidance.
No, I didn't shave. I tried to enjoy the emotional satisfaction of actually being able to tear my hair out when things got intense. But it wasn't fun enough. I knew I was just waiting in a trackless darkness for God to...do something.
Then Richard Fudge's Visual Prayer Journal project came across my radar through the Creative Edge Artist's Network. He and God arranged for the Journal to reach me during my most discouraged cancer time so far. Designing a page that reflects my determination to wait on God's direction helped me come to terms with the feelings of helplessness, and to frame my prayer for His will to be done in and through me.
The background is a map of the Arctic Ocean sea floor, the darkest, most trackless place on Earth, a place where even a compass is useless. As the tsunami of troubles obliterates all known landmarks, God's Will is the only true north my heart will seek.
Photo is True North by Kim Anderson, 2010. Click on photo for a larger view.