This morning, I felt my mind mentally preparing for battle as I was waiting for mama to pick me up, drinking green tea. Singing and listening to
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Smile. You are humming in my ears sweet reminders of whose I am, where I am in this moment.
Recall, you belong to Him, in Him.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
As I mentally suit up this morning, this armor isn’t against the cancer itself, oh no, but the thoughts that come because of it, because of the chemotherapy. It’s the thoughts against my Spirit and soul that I’m battling. That is the real battle, dear friends.
Bundle up. Receive text from mama; she’s arrived. Let’s arrive together today on the beginning of the battle.
It’s becoming clearer to me that I am officially half-way done with chemotherapy today: my veins are telling me so. How they seem to long to want to give up more and more, the battle of science/chemotherapy-attrition weighing in them. Chemotherapy consistently taking over my body’s natural trenches of veins, of blood life lines. Can they handle it much longer? They don’t want to take the IV Jodi tries to place (this is becoming more and more of a typical occurence; slightly nerve-racking for someone who has good veins like myself). My veins are showing more and more bruises, their form of petition posters. Are you petitioning against me today body?
Wisdom whispers: maybe you do need a port in order to survive the next half of treatment…
A port. I’ve had them before, 3x—once for chemo at 13, 2x for chemo at 18. I’ve been trying to do all of my chemotherapy treatments this time at 23 without a port. I don’t want one again!
What is one?
Illustrations will do better than my own words this time:
Although they sounds (and ok, are) nice in theory and practice, I’ve been avoiding getting another port this past 6 months of treatment. I’d personally would rather have someone slide a needle into my arm for an IV than someone “stabbing” my chest with a needle to access the port/vein.
But are my veins telling me they need a rest? Are their petition poster brusies communicating something more deeper than my own personal port/fear/discomfort? Prayer for wisdom, prayer for insight there would be appreciated. Dear veins, I need you to work for another 45 (now 44) treatments. Please comply to my requests.
Brother-survivor Joel was my neighbor today during treatment! What a surprising joy for me! Oh brother, I was just thinking of you the other day. How many more of us Ewing’s Sarcoma sibling-survivors I’m meeting. Oh, there is hope for you, for me. So grateful God listened to my pleas to see you soon, and here you were today! Answered prayer for sure. Oh, how He listens and responds and reminds me that He is here, that He is listening, that He truly is personal.
As mama and I are leaving, another prayer is answered. Ran into Jasmine’s mama and dad. Oh so grateful to see your faces, hear about our Jasmine! How I’ve been praying for you both. Recall, our medicine is not just the chemotherapy, the meds we take in response/side effects to the chemotherapy but our medicine is also the relationships around us as well as The Ultimate Relationship we can have with Him. So grateful my friendship with you brings me hope-medicine directly from the Pharmacist Himself. I hope to see you this week Jasmine love. Praying for your energy and mine.
Sister-survivor, we are here in the midst of love, midst of hope. Remember this.
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day! —
I hope you spent it with the ones whom you love in all senses—romantically, affectionately, familialy.
What is love?
I experience true love in the greatest of all ways daily, constantly.
Here are His definitions for you today, yesterday and forever:
1 john 3 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
1 john 4 16 God is love.
Love is Him Himself. Love is action. And I experience that in my heart quietly in my time with him, as I look around and see the blessings of beautiful snow today and hot tea that I’m drinking, through my roommates’ smiles and encouraging words.
I wouldn’t know what true love is honestly if I didn’t know Him. The world warps its definition of love, limits its definition to only the romantic sense and we watch around us as our friends crave and strive for it, will do anything for it.
Is their love working?
1 john 4
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
His love is made complete in us as we move outwardly towards others in love, in service. Oh, how I’m experiencing and believing this is true more and more in my own life as I lean on His Love in order to love the ones around me He’s placed specifically for a purpose, for relationship. Nothing I can tell you brings me greater joy as I depend on the Love to truly love others.
This Love is real.
I pray you acknowledge that Love and experience that more tangibly through the loved ones around you. We experience His Love physically through His people. I am so convinced of this as my heart enjoys receiving encouragement notes, a rose, the guys in my homechurch cooking the girls dinner, sharing giggles with Celeste, and so much more on days like today all about Love but even also and further deepened belief on the days not about Love itself either. His Love is so multifaceted for us and with each human interaction another facet is cleaned off and is shining brightly for me.
This Love is real.
He is Love.