Letting Some Things Go

The last week was a struggle for me.

I waited until the point where I found out for sure that I would have six weeks of radiation to finally struggle with the reality of letting go of some things.  I had to choose what things would have to go from my life during that period to make the time and emotional energy I’ll need to handle radiation every day.

I fought it hard.

I wanted to do everything and prove that I’m strong and able to push through. I’ve been stubborn and didn’t want to feel defeated.

But that was silly. I realized that it is very unrealistic to keep every commitment I have. There aren’t enough hours and it would certainly be a disaster.

I realized that giving up some things was an act of obedience that God wanted from me. It’s what he was asking of me. But it’s hard to give up good things. Things that are life-giving and ways that I feel I can help and give to others.

I thought the path I was on looked pretty super and so giving things up makes me sad. I grieve the loss of dreams, plans and projects I thought would happen this Fall. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll never do those things. It just means I’m letting them go for now.

This is a season where part of my purpose is very different.

I don’t understand it well right now, but I’m taking one step at a time down this very winding road. There are many ups and downs. My emotions are not in my control and are very frustrating to me. But I have good people with me on the journey speaking in to the hard decisions, cheering me on and understanding and supporting me when I have to make changes or say no to something.

And then it’s up to God.

I’ve done my part. I’ve given up some things I would rather do than have radiation treatments. I’ve accepted this detour.

I don’t understand his plans and purposes for me in this season of life, but I trust that they are good. That they are actually the BEST. And so that means he’s got something awesome in store that I don’t know about yet.

All I have to do is keep going and I’ll hopefully get to find out what it is.

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Love Chasing Me Down

The simple message is that God loves me.

How many times have I heard this message? Do I need convincing of it? I wouldn’t think so. And yet,of all the thoughts and sentiments and reminders that I might have focused on in the last week, it seems to be this thought that prevails.

My daughter gave me a jar of little love notes on Mother’s Day. I am supposed to pull a note out of the jar whenever I want for some encouragement. This week the message I pulled out was “Think about the words to the song “Jesus Loves Me”. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, just do it. “

Turns out she was onto something.

For a couple of weeks now, I wake up with a song playing in the background of my mind pretty often. As much as I adore music and seem to constantly have it playing in the background of my mind in the daytime, this is actually something that I don’t remember happening in the night time before now. I constantly wake up hearing the song “Reckless Love”.  It is always the same song.

“O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. O, it chases me down, fights ’til I”m found, leaves the ninety-nine. “

God’s love for me has clearly been a theme.

In the last week there have been some difficult days. Physical pain and exhaustion and uncertainty can all lead you to a low place. I’ll feel myself go there, but thankfully I don’t stay there. Love refuses to let me.

God loves me very directly and has shown me so clearly in a lot of ways. I could feel his love yesterday morning when I sat on the back porch in the damp air watching the rain fall on the pond.

I took a breath in and out and thanked God for the gift of another day. I was trying hard to mean it with all of my heart, because the days lately have felt long and tiring for my body. I received a text from a sweet encourager at that very moment. She said that that morning, for the second time, God had given her the verse Ephesians 2:16-19 specially for me.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

God’s direct love continues to reveal itself to me.

And then he loves me through people. He’s done this in countless ways over the last month. I hesitate to begin recounting them because I can never name them all, but still I want to celebrate and thank God for them. I’ve gotten so many kind and encouraging notes and actual cards in the mail. We’ve had dinners arrive for us every night for a week, and fresh flowers to brighten my room on several occasions. There are some who have sent funds to help with medical expenses, which is a huge blessing.

My parents have helped me so very many ways. They’ve sat with me, driven me and entertain bored and neglected children. My mom took the girls shopping for school supplies to the point that I’ve not had to think about it at all.

My best friend has refused to leave me alone. Just refused to back out when I’m sad or irritable or don’t know what I want. She took me on my first post-surgery outing. She sat one day for over an hour in the van so we could talk because I didn’t want to go inside anywhere. She washed my hair when it was too hard.

The people in my house have been precious to me. They carry things for me and move the couch while I’m sitting on it to keep me from lifting a finger. They send me to bed and give me more grace than I could have ever thought I’d need.

I have so many friends who won’t let up with the texts to let me know they will not forget me and that they will not stop praying on my behalf. In the waves of emotion, and in a moment where I feel physically weak and tempted to feel depressed or unloved, God has surrounded me with people who will not let me.

HE simply will not let me. The song says it best. His love chases me down. I feel like it’s had to chase me down a lot in the last week. And I’m so grateful.