The daily, weekly, monthly battle lies between the words in my heart and the emotional energy it takes to bring them to life on this blog. I could easily just say, pray for this date, this date, this circumstance, etc. But that’s not my heart. So I guess I avoid writing anything at all, and probably have you sending out messages in bottles, bloodhounds, a search party to make sure I’m still here. Thanks for your responses to previous posts and your encouragement to keep writing. You all are such a blessing to me!!
Today I just finished my fourth chemo treatment. Praise Jesus! It looks like there will be a total of six treatments. However I will have a PET scan tomorrow morning (December 19 at 9:15 a.m. EST). Praying for a clear scan! They may still have me complete the next two treatments regardless of the results, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. And I don’t know what will happen after I complete this round of chemo. That is yet to be decided.
My next chemo treatment is scheduled for January 14 and 15 both in the morning. The first day usually lasts from about 9 a.m. until 4 and the second day from 9 a.m. until about 1 p.m.
When I finish chemo on the first day I have this insatiable craving inside of me physically. The steroid I get with my anti-nausea medication makes me feel like or have the urge to eat and eat and eat. And yet once I start eating even a little bit, sometimes I don’t feel good, it doesn’t make the emptiness, that craving go away. So then I just try to ignore it. And then I go back to, well maybe now I really am hungry. It’s hard to listen to your body when you have all of these new signals, drugs and reactions vying for your attention.
During my first time back at Panera Bread I couldn’t decide what to get, so I got it all!
Just recently I realized that the same thing is happening to me emotionally, mentally and spiritually. My life right now seems like two weeks down and then two weeks up and then start all over again. I can’t guarantee that I’ll feel better six days after chemo or even 14 days after chemo, but I hope I do. Then once I do feel better I jump in as if I were a child making a huge cannonball splash in a swimming pool. I go full force seeing and spending time with people and doing whatever I can to not be at home, and many times to not be still . . . and know that He. is. God (Psalm 46:10). This is not good for an introvert who can easily be mistaken for an extrovert.
When I’m not feeling well I have this insatiable craving to be anywhere but where I’m at, which is usually at home resting or supposedly resting. Even then I’ll soak up a ton of TV and movies to distract myself from my heart and the hurt of all that’s happened and abruptly changed these last three months, or even to begin dealing with the questions without answers and wondering what in the world God is up to.
This journey is so much different than the first time. I know, believe, and trust that God is right here with me. I believe He is still Almighty, Sovereign, So Amazing and Good, Faithful, Worthy of Praise, and my complete Trust. And yet, He’s not carrying me like He did the first time. There is so much more walking involved. And some days I’m exhausted from this faith walk. And I’m hungry! And I forget that He’s the only One who will ever satisfy my hunger.
Sometimes the journey feels like this. And most times I need to pray this because I don’t naturally respond with praise. But I do love this passage, Psalm 63:1-8:
O God, You are my God;
I earnestly search for You.
My soul thirsts for You;
My whole body longs for You
in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen You in your sanctuary
and gazed upon Your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise You!
I will praise You as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to You in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of You
meditating on You through the night.
Because You are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to You;
Your strong right hand holds me securely.
In this Christmas season when it’s so easy to think anything and everything advertised will be the next best thing that will satisfy. Or thinking the next stage of life, the next great relationship, the next promotion, move, etc. will satisfy. Let’s stop. Let’s BE. STILL. and be satisfied in Him because His unfailing love is better than life itself. He desires to satisfy us more than the richest feast. It can be so hard to understand, grasp and really live in that, but He is faithful. He keeps His word. He created the hunger in us, so we would come looking for Him to be the satisfaction. And He came to show us exactly how He would satisfy it. Angels appeared to the shepherds that Christmas night and said:
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).
What does that look like? For me. Hmm. Some days I think it means I need to carve out more moments to feast with Him and in His Word instead of feasting at Panera. However sometimes it’s feasting on dear friendship, feasting on how I can bless someone else, feasting on special moments with my family. Sometimes it’s Skyping with a friend overseas and even attempting to still speak German with my friend Barbara in Vienna. And maybe some days it’s a surprise menu and I have no idea what feasting will look like, but have to watch for how He may present a dish that will satisfy. My feasting must be focused. It’s not in the feasting on anything else that will satisfy, but when He’s the source of the goodness and richness the ways we can feast on Him I believe are so beyond the pantries we put Him in. I wonder how He will surprise us this week with a special dish. Let’s ask Him to open our eyes to see His ways of satisfying the depth of our longings with Him.
Have a wonderful week and a Merry Christmas!!
Here’s a little treat if you have a few extra minutes. Here’s a song by Meredith Andrews “He Has Come For Us” that I’ve heard a few times this past weekend at church. Beautiful and a great reminder. Enjoy!