Last Friday was a big day for me! It has been a hotly anticipated date for many in the UK with the start of the Olympics but for me it was so much more. Last Friday I completed my chemotherapy!!! Hooray! I could hardly contain myself on Friday morning I was so excited. A friend texted me to say that she prayed my day would be filled with strange joy and it really was! I wasn’t worried about the side effects or going to the hospital or any of it because I knew that a milestone was being passed and a chapter was closing that I wouldn’t miss at all!
Since Friday I have watched far too much Olympics (we have 17 dedicated Olympics channels on our TV! A few too many I think as there is only so much fencing one can watch) and have been frustratedly waiting to feel better so that things can really get going again!
You might think that through this process I would have learnt patience and developed the grace to serenely accept what was happening in my body, but the truth is I haven’t. I still fight tooth and nail against being bedridden and regularly push myself too hard to get up and running quickly. Although I know pushing myself whilst poorly is counterproductive, I still do it as one of my greatest longings is for a normal life. Well, maybe that’s not strictly true, not really a normal life, but rather a life with normal things in it, like cooking dinner and doing the laundry! I long for a life where I can just be myself without anything holding me back and I get so frustrated when I feel like I am just spinning my wheels, wasting time trying to feel better.
This is a real challenge to me as despite feeling like this I don’t want to look back on this season and all that I can say about it is that I spent the whole time waiting for it to be over, to move onto the next thing, for a brighter day. I want to be fully present in each day, to be seeking God and remembering all the good things he has given me. As I seek to do this I am both challenged and encouraged by the truth of Lamentations 3:19-23 which reminds me of God’s presence with me and his mercies that are new every day.
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.