Evening Out

It has been 11 days since my last chemo treatment. Though many of the side effects are still present and may be for months to come, some things are beginning to even out.

My mental clarity is better already, and this is a huge blessing. I’m beginning to be capable of thinking about plans for the day, what’s for supper, etc without feeling panicky and like I can’t connect two thoughts. Just the fact that every little thing overwhelmed me mentally has been difficult for everyone.

Emotions are evening out as well. Since the mama is the thermostat for the house, I see the overall mood and emotional state of the household improving even as my personal emotions stabilize. This is HUGE, especially for those in the house for whom emotions are uncomfortable and difficult.

I am able to be up and doing more and more each day. Bit by bit, normalcy is returning. We still have a long way to go, but every little ounce helps. The household has been in such disarray and this has been one of the most difficult seasons of life. I fight feeling guilt about this. After all, I am the one that had cancer. All of this difficulty, this rocky road, started with me. I look around and see the struggle of everyone in my family and know that they are fighting for a breath of fresh air–because of me. I know in my head that this is unreasonable–I didn’t volunteer for this. And yet, somehow, part of me assumes responsibility and feels at fault. Thanks to the grace of God, most days I am able to let that part go and remember that all of this was ordained and allowed, for a purpose. It’s not about me at all.

You see, when cancer hits, it doesn’t just hit the person who was diagnosed. When one person has cancer, everyone in the family has cancer. Friends have cancer. The church body has cancer. Why this disease is so far reaching, I’m not sure, but it is. And so I’m learning that my family needs recovery time, too. They aren’t done processing, feeling, and hurting. Some of them have barely started.

Up until now, I haven’t been capable of much more than tending to my own treatment and process. Out of necessity, I have been pretty centrally focused. Nobody faults me for that, and I don’t fault myself. It’s the nature of the cancer beast. Regardless of the prognosis, there is a certain amount of the cancer life cycle that is simply survived. Some processing can happen during that phase, but much cannot.

And so my prayer focus today is for my kids. I’m praying for them to see the grace of God through this dark cloud. I’m asking the God of all comfort and peace to overwhelm them and walk them through the process of their own healing, even as I heal. I want them to look back one day and see their mom’s cancer journey as a place of growth and change–a necessary refining fire in all of our lives. I don’t want them to look back in bitterness and anger. But that’s God’s business. All I can do is lay them at His feet and let Him do His work.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV

Pushing Forward

My daughter Wendy came to me last evening to tell me that God had put a verse on her heart for me. I always pay attention when someone comes to me with something–it’s how the Body of Christ works.

Mark 3:10 He had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.

The verses prior to verse 10 tell that Jesus was speaking to the crowds and so many had been healed and wanted to be healed that He had to sit off the shore in a boat so that people couldn’t crowd him as he spoke.

People believed. They saw Jesus working and ministering and healing and they wanted it for themselves. I am one of those people.

I haven’t felt the call to pray for miraculous healing in my situation. I do pray for that often in other situations, and I believe completely in God’s ability and desire to heal miraculously. Rather, I am deeply convinced that God’s work in my life and potentially the lives of others will come through my walking of this dark road–willingly.

And so I see from the verse Wendy gave me that I must push forward to touch Him. I must keep my eyes ahead and upward, trusting Him to complete His work in me and through me. I will need those nearby to remind me of this. I haven’t even started treatment yet and I am so very tired. My body is fighting this cancer with all it has. . . literally. Add to that the emotional and mental components, and going into the journey I’m tired. I’m weary. I’m fighting discouragement and I haven’t even begun to run the race.

So pray for me, my friends. When God brings me to your mind, ask Him to keep me focused on the prize, not distracted by the rough terrain.