Tag Archives: Oswald Chambers

I Breathe

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“Today” by Iona

– – –

Today the grass is greener

than I have ever seen

Today the sky is bluer

than it has ever been

And Today my heart is breathing

like I’ve never felt it beat

And Today flowers are growing

from the ground beneath my feet

– – –

Today my hope is stronger

and the visions clearer

To walk in Love eternal

the path that takes me nearer

And to You the music’s playing

like it has never done

And to You my feet are dancing

underneath the sun

– – –

In You I Live

In You I Live

In You I Live

and breathe

This song is exactly opposite of what I actually felt this morning. The day is indeed beautiful with the sky bluer, the grass greener and flowers growing around the back patio. And inside myself I felt distant from this beauty of the day. I did not feel like dancing, making music in praise. I felt heavy…burdened. Sorrow instead of joy in the morning.

Last night, I laid it all out. In my conversation with my dad, we discussed everything that I could think of at the moment…this decision about the chemo treatments is not just the treatments. I realized it goes so much deeper than that…job, living, safety factors as my body physically fades, side effects of medicines, what happens after I can no longer be on certain medicines, independence and dependence decisions, current pains, current emotions, hopes that seem lost…

In a day, I don’t think these things in this much depth. But because I fell asleep last night still questioning…today, the heaviness lingered. I started making my morning coffee and asked God, “What happened to my joy?” I remembered a verse where it talks about our sorrow turning to joy–so I set out to find it. I should have known it was in the book of Jeremiah. In chapter 29, God assures the Israelites that He has a plan for their future, one that prospers and brings hope (29:11).

This morning I felt too that I was in bondage…exile from former things, out of my comfort and asking God, “Where are You? Why am I here in this place suffering like this? And what is going to happen in my future?” Seems last night that is all that happened–I just asked a lot of questions. My earthly father put his arm around my shoulder as I wept. He could only answer my questions honestly saying, “I don’t know.” But my Heavenly Father says, “This may not make sense at the moment. I know your pain, sorrow, confusion. Seek me and trust me. I love you and have the perfect plan for you. Your sorrow will soon turn to joy.”

Then I found my verse that I was seeking–Jeremiah 31:12-14 (The Voice):

“The redeemed will return home and shout for joy from the top of Mount Zion; they will shine with the sheer goodness of the Eternal— The harvests of grain, wine, and oil; the healthy flocks and herds. Their lives will be like a lush, well-watered garden. From that day on, they will never know sorrow. Young women will dance for joy; young men will join them, old ones too. For I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort My people and replace their sorrow with gladness. From the overflow of sacrifices, I will satisfy My priests; All My people will feast on My goodness.”

My own visions are unclear, but seeing through eyes of faith gives freedom from this sorrow–maybe not physically, but in my soul. I learn to live. And I breathe.

We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing— that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future. But as we grow in His grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment. If we have God’s assurance behind us, the most amazing strength becomes ours, and we learn to sing, glorifying Him even in the ordinary days and ways of life.

~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, June 4.

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Thursday’s doctor visits.

And it happened. May is now officially over and June has just begun. Crazy to think!

So I thought I would just recap from where I left off…Wednesday evening:

I don’t know what kind of results tomorrow will show or what I will be doing in this next month or the rest of the year, but as I gather my list of inefficiencies, I remember that when I can’t…He can.

I wake Thursday morning around my typical time, 6:10 a.m. This typical morning time started about a month ago…steroids can cause change in sleeping patterns. Lucky me, I get morning shifts where I see the sun come up and drink fresh cups of coffee at breakfast.

Thursday was no exception except our coffee was on the go, because we had to get down to Cincinnati for my doctor appointments. The day turned out to be relatively fast appointments and we even made it home before 4:30 p.m. which is a record breaker!

I came prepared with my list of questions and observations of things over the past three months. The doctors said I am doing well for the condition that my body is living. And considering the results of my MRI, that prior sentence is an answer to many prayers daily on my behalf.

The MRI of the spine showed stable, which is not what I was expecting, because it usually has more liquid in the tumor at the base of the neck growing in the spine. I asked if there was more fluid in this tumor, but the measurements did not show so.

The MRI of the brain is what surprised me. It showed tumor growth in the meninges areas, including the 5th nerve, etc. I asked out of curiosity if my doctor had a count of how many tumors were growing. He did not know, but estimated about 80% of the tumors in this meninges area were growing; a few as much as 3-5mm and that is the most growth I have had yet. The tumor on the left acoustic nerve has also grown. When I mentioned that I had more ringing and my hearing test results from last week, it made more sense of why my hearing has decreased in that ear rapidly over the past two months.
Because I have had a lot of new side effects, I asked if the tumors from the brain are the ones effecting the rest of my body. It seemed strange to me that this could be probable. I guess I don’t know enough about the brain. Anyway, my doctor said that between the tumors in the brain, the one in my neck and all the ones in the spine down lower at the abdomen–it is extremely difficult to decipher which tumors are causing the problems.
My initial thought was that they would increase my steroids, but because I have been experiencing certain side effects, they are keeping me on the same dosage I had been taking already. The steroids are just to help keep the pressure from the tumors down, but don’t have any control on the tumors as I also have thought this whole time.
Right now, I do have a chemo treatment option. It is also the last option at the moment that I have as far as studied/approved treatments. It is an oral treatment, so I would take it by pill. We went over the possible side effects again. They seem tolerable if I would get any but most effects deal with the blood cell counts and high cholesterol. I could also get a rash, swelling in the face, sores in the mouth (things like this.)
Thursday morning, my reading in Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest talked about complete trust in Jesus: “Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says.” I didn’t make my decision on this chemo treatment on Thursday. In fact, I still have to pray more about it and make sure that this is what God wants me to do. But one thing is for certain–I feel God had prepared me for that day, the news, the treatment possibility. I had a peace that I normally don’t feel at doctor appointments.
I can’t say that over the weekend the peace remained as strong as what I felt on Thursday. There were times of doubt, fear of the unknown, hard questions to ask myself. But when the time comes for my decision, I want to know the fullness of His peace like I felt on Thursday. The peace that passes all understanding and say, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well! It is well with my soul!'” (Horacio G. Spafford, It is Well with My Soul. 1873.)

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