Monday, April 5, 2010
The Healing Journey
Recently I came across this statement in the book called, The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster: “Arrival is less important than the journey. This is because if the journey is a walk with Yahweh-man, there is an important sense in which you have arrived already. Yes, intimacy develops, but do you ever say of a relationship, “I’ve arrived”? Along the road there may be moments of epiphany but if not, that’s fine. Ecstasy isn’t of the essence of relationship. But expect things to happen. Your incremental shuffle along the road is an incremental edging forward of kingdom borders—it’s a restoration of broken things and a making of new things.”
After cancer treatment—I thought I had arrived at the other side, only to find that I am continuing on a journey, where there is no written plan. I am hoping that by sharing some of my experiences with the “restoration of broken things being made into new” it might be encouraging to others who find themselves, too, on this portion of the journey.
This past Friday morning started off with anticipation as I read the list of the winners for the She Speaks scholarship conference, knowing in my heart that my name probable wasn’t on the list, I still had a glimmer of hope. What a tough choice those judges had to make…over 300 entries and only 4 winners. Knowing this reality, why did I experience disappointment at not seeing my name on the list of winners? Maybe, because I was looking at the contest as a validation…that if I was a scholarship winner, I knew I am going down the path God wants for me. I mean if He opened the door for me to go to this conference, surely writing and women’s ministry is something He wants me to pursue….after reading the winning entries, offering congratulations and thanks to P31, I tucked away my tears and proceeded to get ready for work.
A common saying among oncology patients, “chemo is a gift with side effects that keep on giving”…. In January, when I had the laparoscopy for endometriosis, my gynecologist said my labs showed I was in menopause (a common side effect of chemo and which at the age of 41, I wasn’t too excited about as I do believe that there are many protective benefits of the menstrual cycle, etc.) So, to my surprise, a few weeks back my body gave me a gift (yup, Aunt Flo came a visiting). I thought I was back to “normal”. Who am I kidding? Nothing about this recovery journey has been normal. On Thursday evening, my body decided to let me know it was a bit angry about the torture I have put it through these past months and Aunt Flo kicked into overdrive…I have never experienced this before, even after having my babies. So, I spent Friday and Saturday talking with my gynecologist several times by phone, getting labs drawn a few times and many hours in the restroom. Thankfully my lab work stayed stable so I avoided an emergency D & C—Praise God!! Now, we just wait and see what next month brings. If the experience is like this time, recommendation is a hysterectomy, as it is too risky for me to take hormones. My body is tired and I really cringe at the thought of another surgery, so I am praying for no surprises.
Yesterday, in church we were blessed by a couple sharing how God met them at the empty tomb after experiencing the death of their baby. The wife shared how her childhood was filled with rejection, during her talk she made a statement that pierced my heart. You see, she found her baby dead in his crib and her thought was “God, have you rejected me too?”…for me it was an instant flashback…Remember those tears I tucked away on Friday? Well, the tear gates opened yesterday afternoon. With all the recent bumps in the road lately I had been wondering God what am I doing wrong? What am I “not getting”? When in reality, my sweet friend from church voiced my deepest fear; with these latest setbacks on my road to recovery did I think God was rejecting me? After all, I felt I had turned my life over to Him and all I seem to be doing is slipping and falling, sitting and recovering? In my tears, I cried out “Lord, please don’t reject me! Please help me understand… I just want some direction.” In my heart, I know that God didn’t and hasn’t rejected me…but by allowing my mind to go there…I was giving into the enemy, Satan knows what will trigger us into a tail spin. He picks our most vulnerable moments and can’t wait to pierce them with half truths. Thankfully, God allowed me to process all the happenings and thoughts pretty quickly, so I didn’t stay in the “ugly” place for long. Through my past experiences, I know that God is my Redeemer!