My house is silent.
This might be the first time in a month that I can sit and think.
I know many of you want to know how the Captain is doing, how I am doing... how we are doing.
The short answer is OK. Fine... about the same.
The long answer is much more detailed and imprecise.
How is Andy? He is about the same. What does that mean? Well the past 3 MRI's have been stable. Which is great news. It means the tumor is not growing. However that does not change the day to day aspect of his fatigue, physical and cognitive decline that we have experienced the past 6 months. He is the same today (give or take the level of fatigue, a headache or nausea) that he was about 2 months ago. That is when I would say changes and symptoms leveled off a bit. Now he sleeps most of the day and night (16-18 hours, normal for a brain tumor patient) and seems his most perky in the evening.
The drastic change in him and our lifestyle was hard for me at first. Well, is still hard some days, but God has been faithful on so many levels. Conversations with really good friends, family, doctors, have helped me process and cope accordingly. God working in my heart to soften and change my attitudes and desires about my days and my purpose.
To be brutally honest.
I hate what this tumor has done to my life.
My days are so drastically different from anything I would have wanted or requested... from anything I once dreamed.
About a month ago, Andy and I were getting ready for bed and he looks over and says "I'm sorry I have cancer." I told him I was sorry too. He then said " I know it has crushed the dreams you had for your life." I told him it crushed his too. We are in this together... and what we had thought our lives would look like... well, God had a different plan. One that is taking some adjustment and time to wrap our minds around... one that takes more letting go and giving up than is comfortable.
One that has a bigger purpose and meaning, I pray, than one I could have conjured up myself.
I have to trust in that... to believe that God is using this for His good. He even states in Romans 8:28 He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
I trust that God is bigger than me; that He knows more... that He sees what I can't; that He works for and in circumstances that I do not understand...God says in Isaiah 55:9
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
There are times when I get upset, angry, overwhelmed... and these are the truths that I cling to, this and knowing that there is more... there is better awaiting me. Clinging to the truth that this life is fleeting and temporary and knowing what lies ahead is more than glorious.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
And God is faithful... each day that dawns He fills with encouragement and grace... and mercy. He sustains me little by little each day, each hour as I walk (sometimes begrudgingly) through this trial.
Nobody likes hard things... things that hurt, or take away from what we want. Nobody likes enduring...while the struggle is upon them.
But just like anyone else who undergoes transformation during a struggle, and athlete striving for a better time or perfected skill, a person losing weight, a group finally working together as a team, a choir blending their voices and sound perfectly... all these things, after all the time and hard work and struggle and labor they can reap a reward.
The same is happening in my life, I am sure of it... the only difference is God is doing the work. He is shaping my heart according to His purpose... and the Glory will be His.
So on days when I feel crushed under the weight of it all, when I am completely overwhelmed... I go to God's word. I remember these things. I ask for clarity, for wisdom... for openness to His will. Or on days when I cannot do it myself, when I am dragging a kicking and screaming kid from the store, when I am mean to my boys after an hour of trying to get ready and out the door, when I snap at my husband for no reason... and I cannot seem to get ahold of my own emotions or redirect myself... God is faithful to bring me alongside others who gently push me back to Christ.
I want God to use me, to use my life to Glorify Him, to build His kingdom... to point others to Christ. And I know that I cannot do that while grumbling, complaining... while dreaming and wishing away what God has laid before me. I need to accept what He wants for me. I need to allow Him to do with me what He deems appropriate.
Today I am not flattened under the weight of struggle. Today has started with hot coffee and a quiet house. Today seems calm and easy... but it's only 8:31...
Surely I will have to re-return my focus today.
As the hymn says
"turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace."
God is faithful to calm my heart each time.
He is shaping my heart according to His purpose... and the Glory will be His.