Although I don’t know how to, I’ve been canning, perserving.
I’ve been anxiously trying to keep my life in order, trying to perserve and conserve now for the future, for after treatment. Just like my grandmother and great-aunt do, they harvest their fruits and vegetables now for a later, future date. However, grandmother, great-aunt, you are wise in your preparation, but I am here anxiously canning, trying to set up schedules and activities for post-treatment life. Let me inspect the mason jars and hold them closely to me. Mason jars of time, of schedule.
So funny. I think I can control and hold onto life, onto stability of life. One such mason jar I’ve labeled “nutrition,” the other “job,” and another beside it “exercise.” Oh, how I am holding onto these things so tightly, hands wrapped around the jars that my joints are hurting.
Mason jars of glass, clearness, so clear that I’m trying to look at these things to rule my “schedule” for the future and yet there is no clarity, no security that is coming from me seemingly “knowing” what my future looks like.
I hold onto the jars in hope, and yet, I’m realizing, my firmest believe while holding onto these jars is that: if I know my future, then I am secure and therefore joyful.
Friends, these are not jars of joy I’m realizing. I can easily let go of them, they could easily fall off the pantry shelf and break.
I am placing my hope for joy in jars, in what I think I can literally handle. And yet, I”m finding joy does not come from these things but instead its opposing relative: anxiety.
It’s because, dear friends, I am hoping in a schedule that I think I can perceive and create, which I have no way of creating and crafting and perserving my future (shouldn’t this past year have taught me that by now??) Anxiety stems from me trying to take on the role of another, the Ultimate Knower and Good Planner of the Future.
Why do I think those things will give me stability, joy in schedule? Why do I think aand believe deep in my heart that joy comes from productivity and not from You and people and investing in my relationship with You and others and that connection?
I’m assessing myself and looking downward at these jars I’m trying to hold onto, trying to fill up. Flip through the prayer journals, flip through my thoughts, re-read old blog posts.
The answer becomes clear in reflection.
Oh, how I need my disciplines again of grace and gratitude, gratitude and grace. (Please dear heart, season your perserves-jars with these Spirit-spices)
Just like these runners who are going to train for a marathon, He’s been training my heart for the longevity and stamina of a life for Him—breath in grace, breath out gratitude.
GRACE: He freely gives me not just Himself, but relationship, life, and all things although I am underserving.
GRATITUDE: For the circumstances now, for the past, for the future I can be confident in that it will be good and made good because He is Good.
Cara is right on some level—I have chemo senioritis.
I don’t feel like doing anything for God or for building into others. I almost just want to be solo all of the time and just want to be selfish.
I don’t understand why all of these thoughts are coming to me as I’m the end of this marathon chemo schedule.
My emotions are boxing the Spirit—O Israel, O Jacob! We are both wrestling, the Spirit having eternal energy and stability. I can feel it in my heart as one emotion-opponent after another steps up into the boxing ring—Fear, Anxiety, Anger, Apathy in his stubborness—and they fight, and emotions sizzling and grow weary and they don’t want to fight (I don’t want to fight) but they stubbornly still stand in the ring of my heart.
And my soul asks my spirit, myself, “WHY AM I FIGHTING YOU?”
And You ask back, “Yes, why are you?”
We are our own worst opponents of the Fighter who wants to fight and win for us.
And lo, He has already won:
33 Jesus: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
3 Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Emotions, please stop and give up! You weary, weary thoughts.
He gives life to those who surrender, to those who accept, and will simply wait patiently until you do. The peace you want will come only in surrender.
Surrender, surrender and patiently wait and see.