Monday, March 28, 2016

When I'm in the Slimy Pit

This picture is not necessarily how I felt when I drew it. It was how I know I should feel. I should praise the Lord that I have awoken to a new day. I should notice the vibrant colors around me, the warmth of the sun, the sound of the birds. I should praise God that I have the strength to lift my arms, open my eyes, stand on my own two feet. I should rejoice each moment that God saw fit to miraculously meld perfect justice and perfect mercy in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus for my sins. I should dance every morning in the glowing promise of eternal life.

This morning, I head off to the sidewalks of the abortion center to encourage abortion-minded mamas to choose life instead for their babies. Every Monday, this is my privilege and mission. It has a special poignancy for me since my cancer diagnosis. It is an interesting juxtaposition: counseling those who would so casually discard life while I so desperately cling to it. I have little doubt that Satan wants the cancer to stop me from coming here. It makes me want to come here all the more, since I see with even sharper clarity the precious gift of life.

As soon as I am done at the sidewalk, I meet for the first time with the oncology surgeon. I will get my first official diagnosis, clear understanding of what I am facing, and treatment plan. I want to be like the person in the picture I painted, but to be truthful, yesterday I was scared, and sad. It does not promise to be a fun journey for the next few months.

I read more about alternative cancer treatments, holistic health, and how to promote the immune system. I find them more and more compelling. I have already started some of the simple suggestions. Frankincense oil rubbed on the area of tumors, baking soda/lemon water several times a day to increase alkalinity of the body (cancer cells apparently don't thrive in an alkaline environment,) bone broth soup. Long walks. Happy thoughts. Lots of prayer.

I already eat really healthily, but I have added even more healthy fare to my larder. Hummus and broccoli for snacks, leafy greens, yogurt and blueberries...

I know my friend Carolyn would add icky things like liver and chicken feet, but I draw the line on those.

For almost a month now, I have lived with the knowledge of this awful disease lurking inside me. I have been supernaturally sustained, cheerful and upbeat. My cancer survivor friend warned me: there will be bad days. Days when you struggle. Give yourself freedom to accept that. It does not show lack of faith because you have down days. There will be many lessons on this journey, but sometimes you won't see anything worthwhile...just that it stinks.

God gives us a similar message in Psalm 38. The psalmist (David) cries out to God in weary distress: (v.9-10)
All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you. 

 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;    
 even the light has gone from my eyes.
(v. 17) For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.

(v. 21-22) Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.

Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior. 


Wow! Can I relate! Poor David ends the psalm without a solution, only his anguished despair, and recognition that his life is in God's hands. We should face life with a hopeful joy before God, but sometimes, it is just plain too exhausting to keep the mournful thoughts at bay.

Fortunately, those periods are not permanent. Look at Psalm 40: 1-4, my reading for today:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods

What a contrast from David's lament just two psalms earlier! God WILL lift me out of the slimy pit. He will lift all of us out. All we have to do is put our trust in Him. Around midnight last night, suddenly I felt a lifting of the gloom. I felt the urge to stretch out my arms palms up to the ceiling. Inexplicable comfort and joy flooded through me. The air seemed gentle, softer.

Someone must be praying for me.

Whoever it was, thank you.



4 comments:

  1. Praying for you as you head out to save the innocents, dear Vicky. Wonderful wonderful post.

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  2. Praying for you as you head out to save the innocents, dear Vicky. Wonderful wonderful post.

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  3. Midnight your time is 9 mine. Exactly when I went to bed and began praying for your calmness and good reports today. I doubt I was the only one though..... Still, I like that He listens and acts for good. Love you.

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  4. Many are praying I'm sure. While there are scary days and more so nights (aren't they the worst? Everything is worse in the dark- oh an analogy!) there WILL be times of peace and hope. Enjoy them to the fullest dear Vicky, knowing God is with you in the dark. Praying this afternoon...

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