On my bike, I was trying to keep up with my biking companion but could not. I knew I was going too fast for my battered body, but I didn't want to fall so far behind. The sharp pains in my chest got my attention. I stopped and got off my bike. I tried calling to my friend, who was way too far ahead to hear me. Besides, trying to yell hurt more. I rested my head on my handlebar, wondering if this sidewalk, on the side of a busy road would be my final resting place.
If I die here, so be it. At least I will have died doing something I loved. But I'd prefer not to die.
Actually, I knew I wasn't dying, but it did hurt. The expander for the breast reconstruction is under the pectoral muscle. When the muscle is further stretched as in extended deep gulps of air, it screams at me. I think it fights the over-stretch by trying to contract. However, it can't because the metal expander prevents that. In a month, the muscle will relax, having become accustomed to the stretch. It will be time to remove the expander and put in the permanent implant. Presumably, I will be able to breathe deeply in exertion without pain again. For now, I didn't move until the pain was gone. The spasm finally passed. From then on, I biked very slowly.
I rarely do too much, or go too fast when I am alone. I listen to my body, and am sensitive to what it is saying. This is why I prefer to kayak, walk, bike, and run alone. God speaks to me, and God never pushes me to go beyond what I am able. God is never disappointed that I am too slow, too fast, or going beyond what someone has advised. God is just there, with me. Never too far ahead. Never too far behind. In times of trouble, He is right beside be. If I collapse, He is there to catch me, and tell me it's okay.
I'm here, He whispers through the pain.
He will never leave me nor forsake me. As soon as I accepted Jesus as Lord, His Holy Spirit indwelt me. This miracle is beyond comprehension, but I know it is true. I feel His comfort and guidance from within, deep in my soul, at a place that cannot be shaken.
Anyone going through a serious trial like cancer understands the necessity of a positive outlook. To sustain good cheer for the long haul requires more than just force of character, at least for me. There will always be external forces dragging us down. Always. Anyone who isn't living in a bubble knows this. Whenever I find myself dipping into a trough, I recite scripture, read the Bible, sing songs of praise, pray for others. Invariably this helps remind me I am not alone. No matter what I am going through, Jesus endured worse. And overcame.
He who is in me is greater than the struggle, whatever it may be. This is a promise to those who have entered into a relationship with Christ. I don't rejoice in the struggle, but I rejoice in my God who never abandons me in the struggle.
pastel painting at top, Joy to the Righteous, 23x18. If interested, email email@example.com