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Will you sit with me for a moment?  I'm struggling.

Those words are much easier to think than to speak or write.  The ache in our hearts for connection yet the silence of our voices inhibits the bridges between our hearts from being built.

I often write and speak about my struggles once they have passed.  Today I am choosing to open up in the midst of my struggle.

Why?

Because I am not the only one struggling right now.  And I know how lonely it can feel to sit with your own thoughts and stir them into a thick mixture that they become like mud stopping you from moving forward.

I am pausing. breathing. praying. often.

I am taking time to be still.

I am going slow.

I am hopeful for wisdom, clarity, and direction as I move along this new road.

Some days I can speak of the future freely.  Trusting I'll be here to experience life beside my loved ones and take a few steps forward.

Then the next day fear will grip my heart that I will get a reoccurrence and it at time stops me in my tracks.

The truth is my future is unknown, with or without cancer.  I know I have a choice to live in faith, trusting all will be well no matter the outcome or to live in fear.  Of course I want to live in faith but at times it is easier said than done.  Even though I am post treatment and I know I can move on, there is a quiet whisper that gets my attention now and then that asks, "will it be back...and if so, when?"

You all know my faith in God is the cornerstone of my life and it has given me shelter through the storms life has presented me, from anxiety, depression to now cancer.  Yet even with my faith as strong as it is, I want to be transparent with you that yes, I still have moments like this where I have let the fear in and am tangled in it.

I know it will pass but this is where I currently am - in the quiet, uncertain wilderness of life after cancer.  

And although I am alone sitting here as I write this, I know I am not alone in this place.  There is another person post treatment experiencing the same thing.  There is a new mom who is in the quiet, uncertain wilderness as she navigates the waters of motherhood.  There is a serviceman or woman who has come home from an eighteen month deployment and is currently in the quiet, uncertain wilderness of what is next for them after all they have experienced.  There are men and women who have retired after decades of working and are too sitting in the quiet, uncertain wilderness of this new season of life.  There are families who lost everything in the hurricanes who are sitting in this same place.  There are also people who have lost loved ones who are left in the quiet, uncertain wilderness of their new reality, life after loss.

Whatever your story, I want to let you know that you are not alone.

Yet why does it feel so lonely here?

Because, maybe you are like me and find it easier to sit and keep it in instead of sharing and letting others know where you are. 

I have shared with Stephen and a few others, and today I am choosing to share with you which I have been hesitant to do.

Why?

Because the last thing I need from sharing is pity.  I choose to share in hopes that it opens the door for others to share their story and let people in to bridge with their hearts.  I whole heartedly believe the quiet, uncertain wilderness is a part of the healing process.  But that doesn't make it easy and it is a process that is different for each of us.

As I navigate through this terrain, I personally find solitude is best for me.  

Whatever is best for you, speak your truth and let others know what you need.  And if we need a hand, let's be sure we ask for it.

My head has grand plans about what is next for me...more books...more talks...more sharing with others to infuse hope into struggling hearts.  I know I will get there...

But for today, my heart is telling me that I need to infuse hope back into my own heart. 

Tomorrow may be a different story.  All I can do - all any of us in the quiet, uncertain wilderness can do - is take things moment-by-moment, day-by-day.  Please be patient with us and meet us where we are. We are doing our best to engage in this day and meet you where you are too.  

With love, gratitude and hope,

Shawn