by Tanya Hanson
But eight elementary-school years drilled the beautiful words into my mind. What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear, and what a privilege, yes, a privilege—to carry everything to Him in prayer.
I picked up on the warning of the peace we forfeit when we don’t bring Him everything in
college and the start of real life. In adulthood, I prayed about big stuff, like my dad’s fatal car accident, and losing my “twin brother” Mike to cancer. I prayed about the little stuff, like a nasty headmaster or picky editor, or a rejection for a manuscript that had been pitched and requested. I got through it all.
But I wasn’t doing the rest of it. The unspoken “everything.” I didn’t thank Him enough, and worse, I didn’t simply praise Him.
Then cancer hit my household. My husband Tim.
Worse, the nightmare, the upheaval, the battle, started just one month after we lost Mike to a sudden, irrevocable cancer. Tim had grown up with Mike, and they met me in high school. Mike and I shared the same birthday and we celebrated 35 of them together. Everybody knows about my “twin brother” being dearer to me than any blood kin. Best man at my wedding. Pallbearer for my father. My son’s godfather. Ski trips at Tahoe, camping in the Sierras, my daughter’s birth, confirmations and graduations… Yes, every hill and valley of life, Mike had been at my side.
Until I needed him most. Until my husband faced surgery, chemotherapy, and complications, complications, and complications some more.
I felt angry. Alone. But I wasn’t. When I scrambled out of the initial darkness, I remembered another best friend. Jesus.
And I remembered the “everything.” On my knees, I promised my Lord and Savior I’d bring Him everything. My heart, my terror for my husband, my plea for a cure. My tears over losing Mike.
As well as the everything else. Each morning during those dreadful months of chemo and recovery, I stepped outside on the patio and prayed. But the first thing was thanksgiving, for my kids and grandkids, for the wise oncologist who gave me his home phone number in case I needed to talk, any time day or night. For neighbors who brought me food, for kind strangers on a cancer loop who got me through dark nights. Then of course, I begged for my husband’s health and life.
Those were the needful things, the expected things. The next thing I did, and sometimes I had to force it out, was simply to praise God.
These days, my husband is cancer-cured, and we enjoy the blessings of our life to the fullest. Our three grandchildren including a newborn baby girl fulfill every dream we’ve ever had. Mike’s daughters will always be my beloved nieces. His wife, whom I call my sister-in-law, is coming this very weekend for some girl time even though she lives hours away. My wonderful friend and brother didn’t leave me alone, after all.
Nor did my Lord Jesus.
I still “get” the hymn. I pray, I try. I admit the “help me” and “thank you” prayers often take precedence over the downright praise, but I try. I truly do.
And my Best Friend knows.
California beach girl and country gramma Tanya Hanson lives on the Central Coast with her firefighter-husband. Close enough to their three grandchildren for a lot of spoiling, she also enjoys traveling with her personal hero and volunteering at the local horse rescue. She is multi-published in many genres, but inspirational romance always reminds her of God's great gifts of love and faith.
Website Petticoats & Pistols (Group Blog)
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