I have had some thoughts simmerin’ in my little noggin over the past couple of days, so here they come.
First, let me again say that I am so thankful for the specific prayers regarding side effects. I do not know what is different this time, but I am praising God that I have felt so much better with this round of chemotherapy so far. I have not vomitted AT ALL this round, have had better energy and stamina, and have tolerated eating and drinking so much better. Seriously, those who’ve seen me have emphasized that I just LOOK so much better this time. In terms of my physical appearance, I tend to think when God is the one giving me strength it can’t help but be apparent even from the outside.
So, acupuncture today. Hmm, what do I say about my time as a human pin-cushion? Interesting seems to fall significantly short as a description. I really liked and trusted the acupuncturist. The initial stick (sticks, as I’d guess there were 20 or so needles) was definitely painful for me, but once they were all in, a very deep relaxation took hold. I think I may have even fallen asleep, because much more time than I thought had passed by the time it was said and done. He promised I will see a significant difference in my energy level tomorrow, so we shall see…
Now, to my simmerin’ thoughts.
Last night I had a “lightbulb” moment.
Let me set the scene:
One night, in the days after Anna’s death, as we were putting the boys to bed, I realized that I may never have another baby to cuddle and hold. I then realized that my boys will very soon be big enough that physical contact from old Mom will be “yucky,” so I asked Scott, my 3 year old, for a “special snuggle” in his bed. I crawled in bed next to him and held him close, talked about his day, and just enjoyed spending a few quiet moments with him. Ever since then, every night he asks either Brian or me, often each of us, “Can you peas snuggle wif me?” Well, because we are acutely aware of how fleeting this stage will be, we typically oblige.
So last night, I crawled into Scott’s bed for a snuggle. See he’d had a big day, and well, he was just in rare form. He was past the point of tired, to the delirious point. He was rolling around all over the place and talking a blue streak. Seriously, I couldn’t get a word in edge-wise, and couldn’t get him to calm down enough to relax and get to sleep. He’d had a few meltdowns in the evening, and I KNEW he needed to relax and have a good night’s sleep. That’s what his little body needed. But he would not allow himself to get still enough to let that happen.
Finally, I said slowly and emphatically, “Scott. BE. STILL.”
I layed one arm over him, lovingly, gently, but firmly enough to stabilize him and help him to calm down and get to sleep. I held him close. He didn’t fight it. He just curled into my arm and very quickly, fell asleep.
As I layed there listening to his even breathing, I thought, “Oh, God, is THIS what you’re doing for me?”
I got the distinct picture of God lovingly, gently, wrapping His arm around me to stabilize me and “force” (for lack of a better word) me to relax and see the beauty of the life that I was missing.
He hasn’t dumped heavy burdens on top of me to pin me down into a contorted, painful position where I’m forced to look at Him and plead for release.
He’s used loss, cancer, chemotherapy-induced fatigue to put me into a position of stillness. And while there, He’s wrapped His arms around me to stabilize me. I can feel His love in that embrace, just as I know Scott felt in mine.
See, I was drowning. I was missing LIFE-FILLED MOMENTS, PURE JOY MOMENTS all around me in my endless quest for that mythical perfect day. You know, that day when my to-do list was all crossed off, when everything in my house was in its perfect place, when every square inch of this house was clean and organized to within an inch of its life. As much as I was longing for my baby girl, I was overwhelmed with the thought of adding one more child to fall miserably short of perfection in raising. One more child to feel guilty about neglecting while I cleaned and cooked and frantically crossed-off my to-do list. I felt like I was drowning just with two children. In my hurry-scurry pace I was “rolling around all over the place and talking a blue streak” – to myself, to God, to anyone who would listen, with my “woe is me” diatribe.
I am ashamed. I am ashamed that it took all of this tragedy for God to get my attention.
So He whispers to me, “Be still and know that I am God.” “Trust me.”
Not “Be still with your body but then work your mind furiously in prayer to say just the right words so that you can get what you want.”
Not, “Be still and I will tell you all the answers you desperately want.”
Not “Be still just long enough to read your Bible with an air of self-righteousness so that you can mark it off your list of good things to do and then move on to the next item.”
Not “Be still and doubt the fact that the FULLNESS of God dwells in you because that doesn’t make any sense.”
He said, “Be still and KNOW that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day.” Nehemiah 8:11
“Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” Zechariah 2:13
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!””
Not sure, but it sure seems like there’s something to this idea of stillness. I’m having to learn the hard way what true stillness is. God has had to gently and lovingly “pin me down” to calm me down, to calm my inner storm. I hope it doesn’t take that for you. I hope we can all practice this: just being still with God, physically and mentally, even if just for 5 minutes. Just crawling into His lap and feeling His love, His goodness, without having to say or hear (read) a word. Just resting in His arms. Trusting that HE IS, He is who He says He is, He ALWAYS is, and that’s enough.
Maybe soon we can say as David did:
“Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child with his mother, Like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2
Ah, the beautiful hymn:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.
I wish blessings and peaceful stillness on you all –