I feel so alone today. I feel so down. Did you notice all of the hair dropping to the floor of the shower and swirling towards the drain? Did you see my shaking hands with strands intertwined between my fingers? I shook because my nightmares were coming true. I was just a humbled, naked body trembling in the shower.
This is such a humbling process, Lord. First, you are told that something within your own body is dangerous; in fact, it could kill you and it is lying just beneath your skin. You can see the lumps. Dreams and plans are taken or shifted for an unknown amount of time called "treatment." Doctors appointments are the only things marked out on your once filled planner. The word "cancer" continues to be a blow to the gut. You do not feel like going out because you are self-conscious about the two scars that now adorn your neck. You receive more cards and phone calls on the day of your sister's, and best friend's, birthday than she does. You feel like you have messed-up everyone elses plans. "Treatment days" come and they pump fluids into your body for hours. Some days after, you struggle to do basic things on your own. It is an emotional battle. Why put on make-up? You only wear sweatpants. Showering means help is needed. You can't go out. You bake a cake because you are bored. There are many times that you just sit and stare out into space. You feel lonely, sometimes even though someone is right beside you. No one quite understands. Part of you wants to run away. Everyday seems like a roller coaster with all of your ups and downs. Your body aches, but not as much as your soul. You hate yourself for how you are. You should be stronger, more okay. You avoid mirrors. You have no idea about the future; in fact, the present is baffling enough. You feel so far from normal.
I have shouted and wept before you. I have gritted my teeth at you. I have cried out. I have resisted. I have rested. I have bowed; and sometimes I have bended and tried to do things on my own as you broke me.
You have pursued and watched over me. You have been gracious. You have been faithful. You have convicted and comforted me with your Word. You have used the words of others to humble me. Daily you bestow hurdles and blessings and the grace to accept them both.
You know all of those question words that we studied in the sixth grade English class? What? Why? Where? How? How much? I have memorized them by now because they frequent my mind. Actually, they are trapped there; bouncing and reverberating off the sides.
A friend wrote me a letter; she included a verse at the end. "Rejoice always." I wanted to scribble the verse out and forget that it ever existed. How could you ask me, how could you command me to rejoice right now? I feel so "not-in-the-mood"? But you are the God who never changes and your commands never change. I am to take joy in you even when I don't feel like it. I am to obey.
So today, Lord, I need grace. I need grace to have joy.
I have been so overwhelmed by this, Father. I feel like I am floundering. Would you overwhelm me with yourself? I feel tiny. Is it wrong to pray for a miracle? Is it wrong to pray that you would deliver me from this? Or should I just go through this? Show me yourself, God. I feel like that Spanish praise song that I learned while I was in Ecuador; I am just a small girl before you. However, you love me, although I am nothing. How great is your love, Lord. Overwhelm me with your love. Right now I feel so far from the strong woman that people tell me that I am. I am just a tiny girl looking out the window wondering, timidly, what in the world is going on and what comes next. But I will trust in your love. I will trust in your mercies.
(this is from my prayer journal a few days ago)