(Previously published February 1, 2011)
We've hit the next milestone. Day 14 of 28 radiation treatments. Half way through this next phase of treatment and nearing the end of the medical fight against this beast. The arsenal of conventional medicine almost exhausted: surgery, chemo, radiation and then 2 final reconstruction surgeries waiting.
10 months in...... and the fatigue is taking its toll.
To say I am tired, would be inadequate.
Radiation has brought forth a fatigue that permeates my everyday. I wake with it. I walk around with it. I carry it to treatment and then it carries me home.
Within the last couple of days, the remaining energy seems to have evaporated leaving behind an overall loss of strength. It isn't a sleepy tired. It is a "just want to lay down and do nothing" kind of feeling.
And if you know me, that is so not me.
This past Sunday, while I was at church, a sweet friend came up to me to say hi and see how I was doing. She was quite intuitive, as she hugged me and saw something in me signaling my fragility. She grabbed my hand and asked if I was all right. In that moment, I wasn't. My body was worn. The free radicals from the radiation cursing through my body causing my body to wave the white flag of surrender. And the tears gently fell across my cheeks as she hugged me tighter whispering a prayer in my ear.
The strength from the hand of the Almighty ushered in through a faithful saint. Just when I needed it. He was there, and she became the vessel of His power.
Here I lay in bed tonight. After retreating here throughout the day. And I opened my Bible searching for His Words to comfort me and once again, today, give me the strength I need to press on in Him.
To endure. To withstand. To continue on.
Not just putting my head down and plowing through, but truly resting in Him.
I'm struggling with that right now, the resting solely in Him part. As I wake up late, my time spent with Him is shorter, not always first in the morning, as the children seem to quickly rise up with needs and questions. The daily duties and responsibilities pressing in, as I watch the clock knowing that I must leave the house within a few short hours to make the trek to my daily radiation treatments. A few hours gone from each day. Just the daily coming and going has become exhausting.
And then when I get home, my body cries out for rest. All I want to do is crawl into bed.
But the activity around me often calls louder than my body's cries for rest and so those are pushed down, as the needs around me are met.
14 more days to go. It seems like forever.
And so tonight, as I looked to His Word for nourishment and strength. He brought me to Hebrews 12.
There I read of running this race of faith with endurance. A race that has been "set before me," by Christ. Even that resonates within my soul. He has set this journey before me and He is there guiding me, sustaining me and strengthening me.
"....Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1
- characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith
and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
-a patient, steadfast waiting for, enduring, perseverance
These aren't new words to me. My eyes have beheld them many times before.
And we see the key to endurance in verse 2:
"looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross..."
What hit me in a new way tonight was the start of verse 3:
"For consider Him who endured...."
Herein lies the solution.
Considering Him, when often what I want to do is "consider ME."
But what I often fail to think, is that Christ did in fact consider Me and that is why He endured.
He endured the cross knowing that there was purpose and there would be fruit. For without the cross there would be no salvation. Without the cross there would be no forgiveness. Without the cross there would be no eternal life.
Christ knew. And so with joy He endured the pain. The scourging. The shame. The torture. The physical exhaustion. He knew that journey from Bethlehem to Calvary had been set before Him by the loving hand of His Father. With purpose.
Our journeys are no different.
And so refreshed from the life giving words of Christ, I endure because in enduring there is purpose and there will be fruit.
My eyes will be directed to Him. Seeking daily His purpose. Seeking daily His strength. Seeking daily His peace. Seeking Him.
Knowing that this breast cancer journey has been set before me by His loving hand.
The physical fatigue is real. And God sees it and understands it. And by His grace He will bring me through it.
I celebrate today that another leg of the journey is almost complete. One step closer today....to the finish line.
Thanks again, for coming along with me on this journey.