Friday, July 20, 2012

Trusting

Bring me all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn't have.....  Jesus Calling
I've been having such a hard time speaking my feelings.  That's actually a life long problem of mine.  But give me a keyboard and I'm golden.  I wonder why that is.  There are times when I know I have a feeling of discontent but I just can't put my finger on where it is coming from- what in my life is causing those feelings. I have friends who want to know what I am feeling about this journey, the pain, the waiting and there are just some things I am NOT going to share out loud with people who love me.  That is for the 'Ugly Journal' kept in a secret spot.  And these words just validated that I can keep them between me and my journal, because that is really between me and God.  It's my I'm fighting with God journal, my I'm fighting with myself journal, my I'm fighting with cancer journal.  And it's mine.  Not all my feelings are worth repeating, or worth saying out loud.  Everything changes when you say things out loud.
Do not hide from your fear or pretend it isn't there.  Anxiety that you hide in the recesses of your heart will give birth to fear of fear: a monstrous stepchild.  Bring your anxieties out into the Light of My Presence, where we can deal with them together.  Concentrate on trusting Me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you..... Jesus Calling
Anxiety hidden in your heart with give birth to fear of fear.  That strikes me as just the worst possible thing someone could be fearful of because that cycle would be never ending.

This week has been a roller coaster, ending on a really good 'turn'.  Last Sunday our sermon about David and Goliath really hit me strong and hard.  And the music selection was superb.  A new song called Always brought me to the alter for prayer.  The best part about that moment is that on the way to church last week I was nudged to go up for prayer- nudged to go up for prayer every week.  Now those of you who know me know, that in real life, I'm a bit private, and can say that I am not sure I have ever gone up for prayer on a Sunday morning.  I have been prayed over by the Elders and anointed with oil twice.  However, stepping out of my flip flops (so I didn't trip) and into the isle to walk those few feet to the alter was AWESOME.  Thank you for coming up and praying, or sitting and praying.  My prayer is for complete healing.  I want to be a living miracle, and last week I felt like nothing was working out, nothing was going to help, and took a little trip to the pit.  I'm tired.  I hurt.  I'm just done, which makes me thankful for a break from the chemo for a while.

I'm pretty good at hearing nudges.  I am getting much better at acting upon those nudges.  So if you see me up for prayer at the alter again, it's because I am trying to build my faith and trust that even a sinner like me can be healed and delivered from a disease that is relentless in it's pursuit of your life.  My soul, my heart, it cannot have.  That is where I want my strength to come from.  That knowledge that only Jesus has my heart and soul, and only I can cave in and let something else take them over.  So I am guarding them.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.   Ephesians 6:16
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.  The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.   Isaiah 12:2

My seemingly constant if not understandable battle with fear has been gripping me by the throat this time around.  Maybe it's just a third battle with the same beast thing.... I don't know.  More probable is it's my heart and my heads problem- not breathing in the greatness that is in me, around me, protecting me. Come what may.



Much love,
Vicki

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Whisteria

Finally the weather has given me a chance to get outside.  We had a family weeding day on Sunday after church.  I am in a significant amount of pain with this darn chemo and it is keeping me from doing things I could do 3 months ago.  So now the kiddos have to help, and can't complain because then I get to pull the pain card.  I don't really like to do that.  So while Jayson was weeding for the first time I looked at the Whisteria tree and decided I needed to tame it.  The blooms are about to blossom and one of my favorite smells of summer is that beautiful purple flower.

The vines are totally out of control.  They criss cross over and around and under and everywhere.  So I started at the bottom where the vines were really just growing along the ground.  That was easy.  Then I looked closer and found some vines that were dead, so I pruned those away.  As I was pulling some of those dead vines away I saw that altho some of the vine looked dead, the other end had new growth on it.  Thankfully I didn't prune away any flowers.  So I just kinda kept going but, as is usual, my mind got caught up in some thoughts about pruning the dead vines that were alive.

We learn in the Bible that we will be pruned so that we can bare much fruit- the fruit of the spirit.  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.  We learn that sometimes we need to continue pruning ourselves so that we can become more fruitful.  And I got to wondering: Is it possible to prune ourselves too quickly?  Like those vines I pruned that looked dead but really had new growth, do we prune something away that is sprouting new growth that will become beautiful?  When we prune something that hinders our relationship with Jesus do we give it enough time to be gone, for the new growth to begin to change us and make us beautiful, before we prune the next thing.  I wonder if that is a way to keep ourselves from facing our weaknesses and strengths.  If we just keep pruning without looking for the new growth, without learning how to be that new person, we never really have to come to grips with the changes happening within our hearts. Just another form of avoidance.

We tend to call it processing time.  It's that time when we talk it out with friends, pray about what is ugly inside of us, and realize that it is time to make a change for the better, to better our witness, to better our relationship with Jesus which will ultimately better us.  I am guilty of saying I'm processing when really I am busy cleaning or working or having fun so I don't have to face 'it'.  Like this recurrence again this spring.  I cannot get to the other end of the vine where the new growth and better relationship is.  I'm very viney, with thoughts, mostly bad, mostly unedifying, mostly negative, stringing themselves around each other until they are tangled up.  I'm just a dead vine.  I don't have Peace, and I'm pretty sure Patience is not one of my top 10 best qualities.  And Faithful- I don't know. I don't feel faith filled sometimes.  Maybe I am just one of those wandering vines I pruned from the ground.  Unsure of where I should go, how I should feel, how not to worry, how not to think the worst.

And the big difference this time is the pain element.  That is what is bringing my spirit down, making me feel unfit to fight this fight-again.  Me, in pain, in each and every joint, that has been known to bring me to tears makes for a strange Vicki.  Because Vicki goes, and goes, and goes.  And right now if I do that, the pain is worse.  So I have to figure out how to manage it, and how to manage a less active life.  And quite frankly, that makes me mad.  So bitterness is something I am trying to prune along with trying to grow some Peace about this body of mine.  I'm getting tired of redefining myself- my physical self.

Maybe the scent of the Whisteria will help to sooth my soul.

Vicki