I have a confession. There are parts of this experience that I do not like. I don’t like the uncertainty of how I will feel in the next five minutes. I am frustrated that I am no longer dependable or focused or engaged or reliable or imaginative or thorough or sensitive or responsible. I wish that I could make plans to go somewhere or do something or at times simply finish some task. I don’t like having to say entirely too often that I haven’t gotten to that task yet, especially when the task is important and urgent. I’ve stopped making to-do lists because the ones I make are growing too long and yet are still incomplete. I recognize the times when I am grumpy and unreasonable and difficult and complaining, but I can’t seem to stop being that way.
Oh, I’m handling the side effects as they come. I do rest and take care of my health. I am definitely not overdoing anything, not because I am good at doing so but because I have no other choice. I’m okay with the hair loss and the scarves. My white cell counts are fine, so I am not taking risks with infection. I don’t think that I’m discouraged or depressed, and I am absolutely certain that I am safe and secure in the hands of God. Nothing can happen to me apart from Him.
I am encouraged when students and friends stop me in the hall to ask how I am doing today. I appreciate the unsolicited help that I get from familiar staff and from strangers in grocery stores and shops. I treasure the notes and texts and comments that remind me that I am not alone and that I am loved.
I guess that I just miss the loss of what I thought were some essential pieces of me—those parts of my personality and nature—that aren’t true right now. Oh, I’m sure that this is temporary, but at some level I realize that this experience has forever changed me. The person who emerges through this process will be different, and that’s to be expected.
I hope that I like the person that I’ll be after this. Actually, I hope that I can like the person that I am through this.
On some level, I also know that this too is part of life. As I type this, however, I am reminded of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
What a powerful thought!
What I am experiencing right now, both emotionally and physically, is no different from what everyone else experiences. My struggle is with cancer; your struggle is with something just as challenging to you. It’s about fixing our eyes on what we cannot see and not losing heart, about knowing that an eternal glory outweighs our light and momentary troubles, and about trusting that we are being renewed day by day.
You know, I just counted the I-me-my words in this post so far: there are 57 and surely some were missed. (By the way, please don’t let me know I miscounted; of course, I messed up on this because that’s my life right now. Oh, did I mention I was grumpy?) In spiritual terms, confession is to acknowledge faults or errors, to agree with God about sin. Then confession moves us forward in confidence that the unseen is eternal, and it’s not filled with I-me-my words.
My mother always told me that confession is good for the soul. She was right. Confession is good for my soul right now and in what lies ahead. I will fix my eyes on the unseen—on Him—today.