Are you feeling stripped down to nothing? Have your insides felt like they are withered and stretched to the outside without your permission? Have you felt so lost, alone and totally deprived of joy that you do not know how you will get out of bed that morning?
We all have struggles, battles, hardships, sickness, dying loved ones, trauma, and loss of hope from time to time. This life is not promised to be all bliss and happiness. But, we have hope. I have hope.
I am so tired of talking about cancer. I want so badly to move on from it, but it is part of me and my life as a wife, mother and midwife. I have been in remission for almost 8 months now, since round 4 of 6 chemo treatments. The trauma of the experience is still lingering, still driving me, still encompassing my very being and I am told that this is the “new normal”. In that moment, I become abundantly grateful for the breath in me, the life I have been given (extension), and for each moment, each day, each month.
What have I learned the past few months? So much. For all of you who have known me in the past, I hope that I have visibly changed. Change never comes easy, it usually comes with a price. Sometimes that price is large, sometimes not so much. This “ride” has been a huge life changer. If you asked me how it has moved me, moulded me, changed me – I would have a hard time answering. That is how huge.
Some words come to mind: compassion, joyfulness, boldness.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Compassion has taken on a whole new meaning. I thought I was compassionate. I really did. I would serve, give and be with others, I thought, in a real, deep way. But, it was missing something. I was missing the knowledge of the depth that people’s souls can go, downward, and spiraled out of control. It was missing my ability to connect on a level that I am finding out so many people descend to. I now feel deeply for people, for my husband, for my children, for women in my care (I thought I did before)… and it has allowed me to be less of me, and more of Christ in me. This, after all, was what Christ was. Compassionate to a degree that people didn’t understand, that they shunned, that they fled from… but, we need more of it! We need a culture that feels, moves and breathes deeply for one another. It is part of our ministry as believers, as daughters of the King, as disciples of our Almighty God.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Joyfulness is this word that looks so beautiful on paper. It even sounds lovely rippling off your lips as you speak it. It can be so small of a word, joy, but packs so much effort into it. I have chased after this joy concept for months, knowing it is available to me, it is in arms reach, it is even inside of me – if only I can draw it up, tap into it, grab it and never let go! But, alas, it is not easy as all that. I have to stay in the word, stay focus, stay present, stay mindful, stay positive and most of all stay trusting and walking in faith to actually “know” this type of joy. We are told that the joy of the LORD is our strength. That sounds so easy, right? If I believe, I will have joy. That simple. But it isn’t. Sometimes joy stands right outside the door peeking in. Sometimes joy is seen on everyone around me but that elusive joy seems to hit a protective barrier that is around me, not able to penetrate my soul. I get this now. I appreciate the joy when it is present, I seek it in different ways. I sit in it, absorbing its fibers… it is a blanket for me. It covers me, protects me, stays me.
Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Boldness is living day to day, moment by moment, knowing. Knowing that God is with you. Knowing that I have purpose in my weakness. Knowing that God works differently than we do. Knowing that walking out in my weakness takes more strength than I give myself credit for. Boldness is done in humility. Humility speaks louder than actions. Our actions are only bold because we believe in the One who is “I am”. I want to cower in fear, scared to live, scared to believe good, positive, light. Boldness is knowing who I am in Him. Being stripped is part of His plan for me, and I can have boldness proclaiming my weakness caused by this journey. Boldness is waking up each day knowing that this cancer could come back and more hard things would be on the agenda. Boldness is knowing that many people need people, and I am one of those people. We are called into community, starting with our families, then our communities, our circles, our tribes.
This is part of me now. These words are what I think of daily. Compassion, Joyfulness, Boldness. What do they mean in your life? Hopefully the LORD will continue to use me to share with others. I want to ooze compassion from every pore of my body, I want to claim joyfulness, and I want to do it with boldness, knowing God is there every step of the way. May He equip each of you, where you are, in the battle you are fighting, in the trauma you are experiencing, in the solitude of your alone time, to be these things, and so much more. For the kingdom, the power and for the glory of God!
Are You at Wits End Corner?
Are you standing at “Wits End Corner” Christian, with troubled brow’?
Are you thinking of what is before you, and all you are bearing now’?
Does all the world seem against you, and you in the battle alone’?
Remember at “Wits End Corner” is where God’s power is shown.
Are you standing at “Wits End Corner” blinded with wearying pain,
Feeling you cannot endure it, you cannot bear the strain,
Bruised through the constant suffering, dizzy and dazed, and numb?
Remember at “Wits End Corner” is where Jesus loves to come.
Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”? Your work before you spread,
All lying begun, unfinished, and pressing on heart and head,
Longing for strength to do it, stretching out trembling hands?
Remember at “Wits End Corner” the burden bearer stands.
Are you standing at “Wits End Corner”? Then you’re just in the very spot
To learn the wondrous resources of Him who fails you not:
No doubt to a brighter pathway your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at “Wits End Corner” is the God who is able, “proved.”