My tears have fallen frequently as I attempt to absorb the losses that keep coming. As I write, I am thinking of the dilemma that currently tests me. The vertigo I experienced following the surgery to remove my tumor has lessened significantly, but I am still unable to lie in any position except on my right side without dizziness. My right hip is complaining, making sleep more difficult. I was thinking today, “Something has to give. Either my hip has to stop hurting or I have to be able to lie in other positions. I have to sleep in order to heal and fight cancer!”
A Song of Ascents, of David
1 Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
Several times in my struggles of the last several months, a friend has recommended that I reflect on Psalm 131 for comfort. To be honest, I found it hard to understand how a weaned child related to my situation until she and I discussed it further. She reminded me that a nursing baby is restless and searching for food, but a weaned child is easier to just hold. He trusts in the mother to provide for his needs and doesn’t need to keep fretting in an attempt to resolve his problems. As a result, he can rest peacefully.
Several years of chemical sensitivities that cause vertigo, migraines, and insomnia coupled with a difficult past 6 months including a broken shoulder, caring for family members with major medical issues, and worsening insomnia have been difficult but sanctifying. I keep hoping that a period of rest will come, thinking that a reprieve from trials is what is needed in order to accomplish this. However, God’s understanding is beyond mine. I have entered through the door of a new challenge… breast cancer.
With the threat of additional medical issues looming on the horizon, the Holy Spirit reminded me that my thoughts questioning why I may have to endure more affliction were not helpful. Instead of looking for God in the situation, I was focused on my fear of feeling physically worse than I do already. Thankfully, there is no end to the number of places I could find comfort and guidance in the Bible. My study for today included this passage:Read More »
As discussed here, the ministry of other Christians during a recent medical trial served to keep my sleep-deprived mind on Truth rather than downward-spiraling thoughts regarding my physical condition. I have continued to reflect on a particular letter I received during this time, because it contains key points that still encourage me daily.
At the end of my last post, I posed the question, “Can I be content even if I spend the rest of my days physically unable to do daily household tasks”? God has given me the opportunity to try to answer this question. My sleep deteriorated to the point that I was sleeping only 1 hour per night for several weeks, resulting in physical and mental deterioration; I felt much like Paul expresses in his second letter to the Corinthians:Read More »
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
An interesting thing has happened during these years of my physical affliction; my desires have changed. At one time, I had a strong desire to go back out into the workforce once our children’s needs didn’t require me to be at home full time. I had visions of contributing to our household income so that we could live the way we thought we wanted to live. The prestige of the positions I had trained for called me to keep the pace going by striving to attain even more. Requests from customers and previous coworkers for me to return to this course stoked my pride and kept my head turned to what seemed most desirable at the time. As a result, I didn’t see the alternative, cooking and cleaning at home, as something that would be satisfying at all.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Sometimes, I find myself wondering how I can possibly serve God when I am so restricted in what I can do. It seems that there are so many needs… so many people suffering… so many who need to hear God’s Word… but my hands are tied in many ways regarding how to reach out to them. I find my physical limitations difficult to understand at times; I wonder why God would allow me to be so restricted when I am willing to serve.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
By no means am I suggesting that what I am about to write is all there is to glean from this passage. However, I do believe that what I experienced this morning is one application of its meaning.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
In the course of my continued early-morning walk through Psalms, I inevitably came to this beauty: Psalm 23.Read More »