It was yesterday when two different friends who I trust and love, at different times pointed out to me that if I am NOT fine, don't say I am FINE! I hate that, I want to be fine, I want to uplift and encourage people. Reports on chemo and what this whole struggle is doing to me and my family is not the best and most uplifting thing to put out there.
I got into my bed last night with the Psalms and searched for some others. David, the Psalmist and "man after God's own heart" has many other Psalms recorded in his book. Many of them are during times when he didn't feel God's presence and he was looking and praying, and PLEADING for a way out.
- "Lord, I cry out to You; make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You"
- "Deliver me, O Lord from evil men; Preserve me from violent men"
- "Oh Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure! For Your arrows pierce me deeply, and Your hand presses me down,"
- "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, May the name of the God of Jacob defend you."
Those are just a few. Is it okay not to feel good, or to at times feel like God is far away? Well, I think that "the man after God's own heart" has shown me that this is true right there in God's word. I don't feel an absence of God so much as I just feel physically and mentally drained.
Round four, and they told me that it would be rough by round four. I think the main problem with me is that I just don't want to slow down. I want to keep up with my life and my family and my activities. So mentally, I think if I were to be truthful, for those who won't settle for "fine" I would say the daily ins and outs of this is weighing. The activities, the people I don't see regularly, the burden of finances as there are less dollars and many more bills, all of the little side effects that may not get me flat down in bed everyday but make me everyday "mental".
- eyes that are irritated
- random tears and drippy nose
- taste buds that are either numb or not tasting (I posted on Facebook yesterday that I couldn't even drink a whole coffee on National Coffee Day - okay, that is a pretty lame thing to complain about, but there it is)
- tummy troubles - all kinds, take your pick
- fatigue, falling asleep when I really would rather do something with my family
- not being able to work
- fear of upcoming change in protocol and the NEW side effects
- heaviness in my chest and legs
- bone pain
- constant feeling of shakiness all over when I move
- getting winded when I get up from a chair or walk down the hallway
So I admit, when I say "fine" I am just leaving out the above list. It was my son who asked me last night "Mom, are you feeling okay today"? After hearing from my friends earlier in the day that I shouldn't tell people I am fine if I am not fine, I answered him with "No, I don't feel very well today". He told me that he knows because when I don't feel good I snap at everyone more and I seemed a little stressed today.
BUSTED! By my kid. Because on top of all the chemo, I still want to be a good mom and because life doesn't stop for chemo, I still spend time contemplating my parenting and where David and I are leading our kids on their way to adulthood. Unfortunately in my weakened state I have been pondering my parenting and focusing on a few negatives. I know...grace, God will fill in the holes.
So this Friday from the heart, I will be honest, and truthful and nitty-gritty. It is what it is and I am still thankful that I get to worship a God who thinks this is the path for me. I do not love every minute of it, but I can say that I am learning to be more honest and more compassionate as I have to become the receiver. I like being the giver much better.
I can give a little of myself away here and maybe that is where I find comfort in the whole blogging experience. So thank you, those who have been reading and keeping up with what is going on. We are never truly alone in our struggles.
"O Lord, You have searched me and know me, You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? if I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me', Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."
This is why I stand, even when I am shaking inside. This is why I smile when I feel "not fine". I may not be feeling fine, but if I have to be still, I can KNOW! (Psalm 46:10)