How Are You Being? (Thoughts After 2 Years of Cancer)

Today marks two years since our daughter Kate was diagnosed with a brain tumor! These have been, without a doubt, the most difficult two years of my life. There have been more tears and heartache in these years than in my previous 34+ combined.

How are you doing?’ This is the question I am probably most often asked. What a STUPID question! How do you think I am doing? I needed to say that! Now it’s not the worst question ever. It’s usually a question asked out of concern, or at least I hope it is. Often this question is asked as an attempt to reach out.

I confess, I have asked this question hundreds of times to others and will probably ask it in the future out of my continued ignorance and further attempts at small talk. Still, it can be a stupid question to ask.

There is a better question to be asked. There is a question that goes beyond the surface of activity, and blows away our superficial responses. ‘How are you being?’ This is a better question, and it actually penetrates much deeper, to the core of ones soul. Most days, we all just do what we have to do! Whether you are caring for a sick child or carrying out mundane details around the office we just ‘do’ the stuff that needs to get done.

However, this better question forces us to deal with our heart, our motivations, our source of hope and our faith, not just our actions. For me, a simple verse I read yesterday spoke volumes…

Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.’

Here is my much needed reminder… God is God, he is the “I Am”. Even in this incredibly difficult place in life, God is God, and God is still good! Even in our pain, he is working that we may know him, believe him, and understand him and his ways.

I do not live this well everyday! I do not ‘know, believe, and understand’ always as I wish. My ‘being’ is not always right. However, today I am planting myself into these truths. Two years into this painful path, I trust that God is sovereign over every detail of life! I believe that he knows what he is doing, so today my ‘being’ is good because my ‘being’ is rooted and grounded in Christ!

STARTING POINT: Before asking someone else this, ask yourself:
How am I being?’

Dig deeper and ask yourself probing questions like:
-What/Who am I trusting in and depending on today?
-What do I believe to be true today (about life, about me, about God)?
-Where is my outlook on life rooted (circumstances, emotions, Christ)?

WARNING: Don’t ask this question to someone else unless you are a very close friend and have been given permission to speak into their lives!!! Otherwise, it’s probably none of your business.


5 thoughts on “How Are You Being? (Thoughts After 2 Years of Cancer)

  1. I have asked so many times “How are you doing?” as a way to reach out, to open up a possible conversation, if wanted or needed by the other person. I have also been asked the question by well-meaning people trying to reach out to me in times of trial. I never looked as “doing” versus “being” but it has given me something to think about. I do see where you are coming from, and also about the permission aspect of asking the “being” question. I dislike it when people are just trying to find out information to pass judgement, or to make it their business when it is not. Thanks for your great reminders.
    Prayers are with you all.
    God bless you,
    Carla in Maryland

  2. Wow… this is incredible. So much truth spoken here. I’m also the mom of a brain tumor survivor. We still get asked that question many years out.

    And you are are so right. This applies to every area of our lives, no matter what we are facing.

    So…today I’m trusting in Jesus and I depend on Him daily, and with Christ I can do all things!

    Rejocing with you and your family for all God has done in your beautiful daughter’s life. Praying and believing she’ll stand and testify of God’s goodness and how God completely healed her!

  3. I never know how to comment on what you post! You say just the right words in just the right way! Incredible insight combined with incredible faith. I learn from you! I have followed Kate’s Caring Bridge site for about 18 months and pray for your family daily. Your wisdom comes from trial by fire! thank you.

  4. Aaron – whew, this one hit us hard! We too are guilty of asked and being asked the “how are you” question. Your insights really make us dig deeper daily and rather than flippently asking this question, taking a moment to really look at “how are WE being”!!!
    Thanks Aaron and continuing to pray as always!
    Kelly and Craig

  5. While my circumstances are not the same as yours, the question asked by others is. Thank you for “waking’ me up. My faith has been shaken lately, and this is just what I needed.

    From my family to yours our prayers continue to go up to the Lord. He is doing amazing things through Kate and all of you.

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