Recent family events have compelled me to think about my summer last year. I went through a high dose cytoxan treatment for my lupus - a form of chemotherapy. During the treatments, I was pretty much isolated. The point of the therapy was (very simplisticly) to completely destroy my immune system, in hopes that when it regenerated itself (from the baby stem cells), it wouldn't be in the overdrive state that lupus throws it into.
It was a hard summer for me - a social person. It's one thing to choose to be a hermit (and, even though I'm social, I have that tendency at times) and to be forced into "hermicy".
During that time, however, I knew that the Spirit was working on me. I experienced alot of growth spiritually, growing closer to Christ, experiencing a deeper relationship with God. And, I was thankful for that time. It was a true "wilderness time" for me, and even though it wasn't "fun", I was thankful that the Lord had given me that time away from the rest of the world to grow in my relationship with Him.
I knew the whole situation was for good - I knew there was a blessing there. Yet, I didn't understand the extent of the blessing until recently. And, quite honestly, I still may not understand the full extent of it - but, there was definitely more blessings there than what I was aware of then.
written before about my mom having breast cancer. It's been a long
road for her, for my dad, for the family. But, she's maintained a
pretty good attitude. That is up until a few weeks ago when "plans"
were changed, and she was faced with the possibility of having
chemotherapy as well as the radiation which her doctors had already
discussed with her.
just say that the news of potential chemotherapy was not well
received. But, nothing was certain, really, until last Tuesday. Mom
went to the oncologist, and it was confirmed that she would need
chemotherapy before radiation therapy. I tried to lighten her mood -
reminding her that my hair came in so much prettier (fuller and
thicker) than it was before. Mom has sort of thin hair, so, I really
felt like this would be a good reminder.
also teased her that now she would be able to have a different hair
color & style every day of the week. It could be fun (I didn't
wear a wig last summer - hats/turbans were my friends - I just didn't
see the point in donning a wig on an already very tender and sensitive
head when I was just going to be alone in my room all day anyway.).
to say, my positive spin wasn't well received. Looking back, I know I
should have known better. After all, when I found out last summer that
I was going to have chemo, I was a wreck. I actually made the mistake
of answering the phone shortly after I spoke with my doctor and didn't
handle the call well (to say the very least). And, I continued to be a
wreck until after the first treatment - because the unknown was very
mom had her first treatment this past Tuesday. Things were tense over
the long holiday weekend, you could feel the apprehension and tension
in the air. However, after her treatment, she was much less tense -
actually, every one was.
morning, I called mom at work to check on her. The first words out of
my mouth were "How are you feeling?" - and then I immediately wanted to
take them back. I instantly was hit with the memory of how much I
disliked that question (I still do.) Because when you are feeling bad,
it's about the last thing you want to talk about! I actually
apologized to mom for asking that - and I felt our bond grow stronger.
" For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now, if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation,
which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also
~2 Corinthians 1:5-6
see, of everyone, I am the one who can understand what mom is going
through. Yes, she is getting a combination of drugs - only one being
the same as the one I took last summer - but, she knows that I have
been through something similar, and she knows that I can truly
empathize from that experience. I have been given the blessing of
being afflicted with the same treatment - and can now offer
consolation to my mother as she is afflicated with that same sort of
the blessing doesn't stop there, honestly. I didn't realize, last
summer, what every one else was going through. I hated the "how are
you feeling" question - but, when you love someone, what else can you
say? You want to help, and you can't...you don't want to ignore what
the person is going through - so, you ask *the* question. I've been
given a taste of the "other side" - the flip side of someone going
through chemo - the side that can help by praying - and offering silent
support...and it just doesn't feel like enough.
by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies
and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we
may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God. Or if we are comforted,
it is for your consolation and salvation."
~2 Corinthians 1:3-4,6b
the Lord comforted me last summer. I learned that comfort, I clung to
it...and now, I may comfort my mother - becoming an instrument of our
Heavenly Father, during this time of tribulation.
am in awe of our Lord as I write this. I know He is more than we could
ever understand or fathom - but, I never realized how a tribulation - a
long walk in the wilderness - could turn into such a multi-faceted
I pray that you will find many blessings, even in the wilderness, as I have.
(c) 2005, Dee Kreidel & Saving Grace Enterprises, except where
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