My chemo session on April 2 really kicked my but - really. Usually out of the 14 day cycle I have 10 good days - this time I had two, maybe three. As one good friend wrote in a text, "I know this is harsh." Yes, my friends, it was harsh. So very harsh. So much so that all I could focus on was me, nausea, discomfort, getting through.
Celery has become my new best friend in all it's crunchy goodness and blandness. I love me some celery! Add some peanut butter on a good day, or some hummus! Yum!
Thank God V. has arrived from Okinawa so I have a live in friend on top of all the wonderful support from my friends and family! Your cards, text messages, birthday gifts and jokes are the best! I reread them and try to respond as best as I can. Please know they are much appreciated!
My same friend wrote several quotes that really spoke to me.
"It's not falling apart, it's falling into place." - Heard in a Bible study
This hit home for me. I'm not falling apart, though it feels like it. I'm using what medical advances there are to fight for my life. As useless and weak as I feel, I'm not, I'm fighting for my life. That was something another dear friend texted me. So, there, I have it, I'm not useless and weak during this season, I'm fighting for my life.
I know - a weird source, but I love the image!
"When I went thru a past difficulty a special person told me
to run the race there are places during the trek that your prayer can on be for
the wisdom and blessing of endurance"
It sounds great, it really does. But the blessing of endurance? That is really deep. Endurance can indeed be a blessing, though I will continue to ponder this point for a while. This particular friend always gives me something to ponder. This quote reminded me of Romans 5:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
who has been given to us.
Even though the last two weeks were harsh, I still had peace with God. His Word is a light unto my path - even if I didn't have the strength for my usual daily Bible study, even if my only prayer was "Help!", even if..............I have peace with my God.
Suffering cannot be explained - it just is. The question of why can be debated, discussed, analyzed to death. As one who is suffering, I simply don't care to debate, discuss or even analyze it. It just is. As a very young Christian, verses 3 - 5 blessed me immeasurably. I guess it taught me how to attempt to go through trials somewhat gracefully.
Another friend told me I inspire her! Can you believe that?!!! I inspire someone! She said I have taken the positive out of the situation and clung to it, made it huge, made it important. Perhaps, that is because I view this scripture quite literally like a ladder: suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope - the highest rung on the ladder.
These last two weeks, I barely survived, I didn't have much hope. Let me tell you that is a dark, harsh place to exist. Today I had another treatment and I don't want to exist in the dark, harsh land of mere endurance. I want to hope, I want to thrive, I want the joy of the Lord.
So, as a friend suggested, I'll nap on my swing on my patio to indirectly soak up God's sunshine and nature. I'll sit on my bistro table and read or crochet or simply sit in the beautiful garden my son planted for me. I'll listen to praise and worship music. I'll suffer, yes. But, I'll persevere. Then, as I sense right now, my character will be molded by my Lord and Savior. Then, I will have hope. And I will wear my banner of hope with confidence - because He who I hope in has poured His love into my heart through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to me - ME! AND YOU!
So, please join me in the journey with my Lord and I, a journey up a ladder that leads to hope.