(Previously published November 7, 2010)
There is stillness all around me.
The house is quiet, but my heart is restless and my body is weary.
I am enjoying the quiet, not so much the restless and weary. It is Sunday morning, a day that I look forward to throughout the week. A time to go and worship my Lord and Savior sitting among the body of Christ. Opening God's Word together and allowing the voice of my Jesus to wash over me, teaching my heart while searching to the depths, uncovering the sin that lays there that it may be brought before the Lord in repentance. The newness and cleansing that comes only from Him.
There is no sweeter time.
Feeling the warm embrace of those around me asking me how I am doing. Praying for me. Loving me. Sharing our hearts together as they carry my burdens to the cross, and I theirs.
But today, there is a heaviness that seems to permeate. I don't understand it and yet it is there. And I welcome the silence. A chance to truly be still before the Lord and reflect.
And here I sit at my desk. The sunlight streams through the front windows. My shoulders wrapped in one of the many prayer shawls that have been sent to me, some by those whom I've never met face to face. And I feel the warm embrace of the body of Christ....of Christ Himself. I need to feel His closeness today.
The pains that accompany Taxol are running through my body hitting all my lower extremities. It is like an ache that has settled deep into my bones and muscles. Nothing seems to really take it away. Advil doesn't touch it and so yesterday, I resorted to Percocet, per my oncologist's instruction. Instead of relief, I was in a fog. Hence the restlessness.
I am thankful that the Percocet got me through Seth's football play-off game yesterday morning (and they won...so onto round 2 of Regionals!) My boy scored a touchdown and they went on to win 30 to 0. A proud moment for us all. But as the day progressed, the pain settled deeper. Once again, I retreated to my bed where I spend many a day after chemo. It seems sleep continues to call my name. Each time I awake, I think I will be refreshed, as that is what sleep is suppose to do, but my eyes seem to fall closed again and I drift off.
This morning, I just couldn't get myself together to get out the door to church. The pain in my legs still prevails and my eyes are heavy, my body worn out. Barclay's parents came to town to help this week, which has been such a blessing. Barclay left early as he had church responsibilities this morning, and Jim (Barclay's dad) helped get the kids fed and out the door to church.
Hence the quiet house.
And back to the weary....the longsuffering of this journey. Six months into this cancer journey and the realization that this will be with me the rest of my life. There isn't an earthly finish line to cross. Oh, there are the finish lines of chemo, radiation and surgery.....but I will always have cancer connected to my name.
I was reminded of that on Friday.
Sitting before my plastic surgeon. Thinking that this was one final check on the Betties and then he'd lay out the "plan" of my reconstruction for the months to come. And instead, the talk changed to two moles on my body that he wants removed after chemo. I felt sideswiped by the conversation. The reminder that once again in my little, finite mind, I can't for one moment think I have this cancer thing figured out. Again, my faith was tested.
"Lord, I trust you today as I did yesterday. I will not let Satan grab ahold of my fears."
But the whispers keep coming into my heart. And I keep going to God's Word for Truth this weekend. But my mind was in a fog from the Percocet. I couldn't think clearly.
My doctor assured me, it was nothing to worry about. A quick in and out procedure. A preventative measure for the future.
And the gentle, but real reminder that once cancer enters your pathway, your body will always be scrutinized by the doctors. What before was "nothing to worry about" becomes a possibility that cancer is showing up elsewhere. That no symptoms can be ignored. This is my new reality.
And to be totally honest, I don't like it. I wish it were different. And I feel alone.
So in the stillness that God has given me in these moments, Percocet put aside for today, as I need to hear clearly from God.....I will sit with Him and allow Him to speak to my tired, restless and weary heart His love and promises.
Because when the waves tend to overcome and beat down hard, the only place I can run is to the arms of my God who with a nod of His head, a soft word spoken or an outstretched hand can bring the waves to a standstill replacing the tumult with peace and calm.
"Be still and KNOW that I am God." Psalm 46:10
"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16
I am seeking His rest today.
Much love in Christ,