I Wasn't Prepared | A Paige From Our Book

I wasn’t prepared for the grief that would overtake my soul.

My father is about 8 months into his diagnoses of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. To look at him, he seems very healthy except for the noticeable lump on his neck. I have no reason to believe that he will die from this cancer anytime soon and yet the awareness of his mortality has slapped me in the face.


I have sat at my desk in front of this screen on more than several occasions to write about how cancer has affected my daily life, but thoughts have been jumbled, words inadequate or simply absent. Last night I turned the TV channel to a show I rarely watch. Dateline was airing an autobiographical interview with Tom Brokaw on his recent battle with multiple myeloma. There are differences between his story and my dad’s, but as he spoke and as his family shared, there was much that I/we as a family could relate to.  The interview helped these few thoughts and words break free.


I wasn’t prepared for the depth of internal and emotional struggle my dad’s second journey with cancer would be. I wasn’t prepared for the grief that would overtake my soul.

BUT… God has used my dad’s cancer and my personal struggle with it refine me in ways I didn’t know I needed refining. He has peeled back layers of my heart and revealed areas where I thought I was trusting God.

But in reality, I wasn’t fully.

“I no longer can be your little girl. I now need to

take on the role as an adult woman who is going to

take care of her dad. I’m no longer the little girl.”

– Tom Brokaw’s daughter

We aren’t ever prepared to really think about our parents’ mortality, but I have been comforted by a truth that God gently whispered to my heart during worship a few weeks ago. A truth that I have known my whole life, but wasn’t walking in: All the days of my dad’s life are held in the hand of my Heavenly Father and nothing, 

not even CANCER can change that. {Rom. 8:38-39}.

I Wasn't Prepared | A Paige From Our Book

I’ve had to ask myself if I’m clinging to my daddy and his earthly life more than I’m clinging to Jesus. My identity is not found in the life of my earthly father, no matter how much I love him.

My identity is not found in being a wife,

a mom,

a daughter,

a ministry leader,

or who I am in relationship with. 

My identity MUST be found in Christ.

Can I truly say that all I have is Christ? It is my prayer that God will indeed make this so in my heart.

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Written by Heidi Brachle

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