Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

I've been trying to focus on things that I'm learning through this experience.  But it's so hard to come up with them when you're walking in the middle of it all.  I new friend of ours that we met in radiation told me that Mom will have to begin learning how to define her life as a cancer survivor - and the first phase that people go through is trying really hard to forget that they have/had cancer.  She also said that we will all be looking to get back to life the way it was before cancer but that we will be looking in vain - because it won't happen.  What's important in the next coming weeks and months is for all of us to figure out how to continue moving forward but NOT backing up to where we were before this happened and trying to move on from there - THAT is the temptation.

Mom looks better today.  Her neck is all but healed from the horrible burns and blistering.  Her taste has not returned yet which is driving her crazy because all she wants to do is eat some food!  but the fact that she WANTS to eat is a huge step forward.  She did some work around the house today and wasn't sleeping as much during the day as she has been.  In fact, this morning they both slept in until 7:00 a.m.!  That's GREAT news.

So now that we see little glimpses of "the way it used to be" - why can't we set our sites on that as a goal?  I'm in the midst of this so I'm not sure I can actually answer that question.  But I do know that we will never go back to the way we were because we aren't the same after cancer.  We can beat cancer and we're trying so hard to do that - but it will always be a part of our lives from this day forward.

I remember the days of church camps that I would be asked on occasion to give my "metal" sermon.   I would talk about how God is continually creating us - we were not just creatED one day and that was it - but we were made in to a creatING being.  We were meant to create - and change - we were meant to be verbs!  In order to make something with mettle - we had to be treated like metal.  To be a creature of courage and fortitude (mettle) we had to be fired up - placed in the burning hot coals - than pounded with a heavy hammer and then slammed in to the cold, icy water.  Then as the relief of the steam began rising up (what I referred to as the holy 'ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh phew')...we would be thrust right back in to the fire.  Of course this entire time I'm using an old cattle iron and sledge hammer to drive home my points.  The sparks would fly when I thrust the metal in to the burning hot coals - I reminded the listeners that in order to pound through our tough exterior, God allows us to be softened by fire - something, well, painful.  Then when we are soft, the hits of the world and our emotions and our state of being and our health and so on and so on are continually pounding away at us causing even more hurt.

It's hard to hear when you are being pounded on, it's hard to focus when you are still as hot as the hot coals of the fire, it's hard to keep your eyes open when suddenly slammed in to a bucket of ice water - and then finally, and you can hear it if you listen closely - the SIGH of relief accompanied by the steam and the new creature is revealed.

None of us are immune to the Master's creatING Spirit.  Oh we can try to run but we just end up in the coals ourselves and then who is there to pull us out?  So the only joy we have is the knowledge that once we get through this series of firing and pounding and reshaping and sighs...what will be before us is a new creation. I'm pretty sure that's what our friend was trying to tell us.

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