Today, I have spent a good chunk of my handful of waking moments, crying and feeling sorry for myself. I am weary of this road. It seems to go with the cancer journey – at least for me. I am so awful tired of chemo and it’s side effects….really DIRECT effects. I hobble with my numb feet, dragging my overwhelmingly tired body to the fridge for the start of breakfast at the ungodly hour of 10:45 a.m. Gone is the energy I had to travel the globe, listening to women share their hearts in Thailand, India, Cambodia, Cameroon and so many other fascinating countries. Gone are the nimble fingers ready to create art or play with my grandchildren.
Now, I fumble with my glass of lemon water; my neuropathy-filled fingers can’t handle the weight. I crawl back to bed, exhausted and no longer hungry after making the lukewarm oatmeal. Why did I even bother getting up to fight for a little oatmeal? I rarely eat it anyway. I recover in bed with a rest. I catch my breath and work up the energy to try the next thing. A bath.
I fight for a bath. I haul my limp, uncooperative body up the stairs to the bathtub. While running the hot, steamy water, I pour in a detox powder a friend gave me. (If only it would remove all traces of chemo and its effects.) I moan and groan as I lower my bone-tired body into the comforting, hot water. I cry. I cry because I can’t be the mom and grandma I want to be. I cry because people have asked me to serve women in faraway places, and I won’t be going. I cry because I hurt all over and my heart hurts in places I didn’t even know were there.
A new friend, Blythe, texts me as I return downstairs to try to dress. “Try” is the operative word. She’s “praying for me, calling out for mercy on my behalf” and she’s meditating on Scripture for me because she knows I don’t have the strength for it. She gives me Matthew 11:4, 28 Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on: the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side….”Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest….learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Blythe is grace and kindness in my hard, hard morning, reaching toward me, being with me. I just cry.
This new friend showed up in the middle of my hard, hard, stupid crying day. She is believing and trusting the heart of Jesus even when all I can do is cry. I texted her that I would fight to see grace. I’ve seen the love of Jesus melt the hardest of hearts and change the darkest situations.
My daughter, Katie, and another friend, Hannah, both kindly respond rapidly to texts for help with food and bath salts. Grace quietly moves into my day, like cats’ feet, and I feel loved and cared for in my crying, bad day. It takes loving community, and I vow to be the person who reaches out to broken, crying people when I am well enough. I take another nap.
I make another meal; it takes way more energy than I have, so I rest on Katie’s sofa. There, I see a little set of books written by my grandson. I have time and energy to read them, and so I do. When I get to the third book, my tears flow again, but in a strange way, they are happy tears. My very first grandson shows me I have meant something to his story, and I am thankful. It’s a quiet moment of actual, pure joy. Joy snuck in.
I’m not going to go all preachy on you and say all is well, because I am still having a crying hard day. But, somehow, with grace-filled family and friends, and my grandson, my day was redeemed in some mysterious and important ways. They have the courage to believe that God is good and for me, even on the darkest days. And, they had the courage to “show up” for me and show me what they believe.
“Joy is the heart’s harmonious response to the Lord’s song of love.” ~ A. W. Tozer.
Hugs, prayers and love!!!!
I have been thinking of you all day and have been praying. I’m linking arms with you to hold you up and to pray for you, and to love you.
What a legacy you are producing in your grandson! He gets it! And you get it, too, Marcia. That’s why the Lord is using so powerfully, even in this hard place. He’s also gathering all your tears because they are precious to Him – just as you are precious to so many of us. Love and hugs…
I have just started to get to know you, and I think you have such courage, such faith and more spiritual strength that you realize. I feel your tears for the mother and grandmother you want to be. But, you see you already are. Everyone needs grace to let each person in his/her life to be exactly what God wants them to be. You must believe that you are, tears, hard days and all. I think you’re awesome, dear lady! Love and hugs <3
My heart hurts for you, my friend! I hate cancer, hate that you have to fight this battle again, but I love that Jesus is showing Himself in so many ways. It’s ok to have days of crying. He knows every tear. You have such grace in this fight. Thank you for being so open and sharing your journey with us all! I’m covering you in prayer and thanking Jesus that I have the honor of knowing you and your courage!
💖😢🙏 ‘No words’. “He know’s”.
I liked this because of your grandson’s pictures to you. Sorry to hear of your struggle.
Praying for you now as I read this. May our heavenly Father meet you where you are with His mercy, grace, and power. Wish I could do more…but will continue to pray for you.
Praying for your physical strength so that you can, even if briefly, be aware of God’s mercy & grace in the midst of your hard!! Please know that you are being lovingly wrapped in the prayers of many!