Monday, July 26, 2010

It Was a Hard Night

It was a hard night...or shall I say wee hours of the morning. I ask for your prayers today. So many of you have shared that you are praying and I truly believe in accordance with James 5:16 "that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Your prayers are carrying me. I thank you from the uttermost part of my heart. Please pray for God's strength for me today.

Yesterday, despite the physical pain running through my body, I so desired to be among the fellowship of the saints. To go to church and sit in His sanctuary of praise. To sit under Pastor Chris's teaching, to be near all of my brother's and sister's in the Lord. As I've shared before, I'm not a loner. I love fellowship. I love to be gathered together with those I love. I love the body of Christ.

So, with pain meds armed and ready, off we went, with the realization that I would only last for so long. After awhile, the Valium starts to make my eyes heavy, the body gets tired and I knew I would need to quietly slip out the back door. I jokingly said to my husband before entering church, "please, let's try to quietly slip in and slip out." As he opened the sanctuary doors and lead our line of 7 down the aisle....he kept going....and going and going all the way to about the fourth row. I about died thinking, "this is not what I meant about slip in and slip out!!" But it all faded away as once again, I was ushered to Jesus's feet in worship and praise and it was as if I was standing at the throne of God, just me and Him, with my eyes closed and heart crying out.

It was such a treat for me to get so many hello's, hugs and smiles and be able to reconnect with so many of you.

As we had pulled into the parking lot that morning, I had seen a special acquaintance entering the back door, and was reminded that her bridal shower was being held that afternoon. In the myriad of surgery, doctor's appointments, fuzzy brain and just being outside of my normal routine, I had totally forgotten of this date. Oh, how I wanted to go and love on her in support of this most precious day celebrating her upcoming union with the other half God has designed just for her. I quickly called a close friend of mine, who again, by the grace of God was leaving to get this precious one a shower gift and again so graciously agreed to let me go in with her on the gift. One less thing to do, and one more passageway for me to attend. She also offered to be my transportation, as I still can't drive. Another sweet gift from God. He had made the way possible to attend that afternoon.

So, I came home from church pretty tired physically, but rejuvenated spiritually. I slipped into bed needing to regain strength for the afternoon. Another dear friend stopped by later that afternoon, to say hello. She was a ray of sunshine.

4:00 hit and again armed and ready with my pain meds, I was off. It is actually nice to add a little bit of normalcy back into this life that has begun to revolve around doctor's appointments, resting, medicine schedules, and pain from healing that is constantly before me. I stayed a little longer than intended, but so loved to once again be among my sisters in the Lord. I loved hearing about their lives, being surrounded by laughter, to join hearts as a large group of women praying over this new to be bride and just to have fun.

The day held more than I have done in the last two weeks. But was so thankful to partake. I quickly retired back to my bed upon returning home. I drifted in and out of sleep from about 7:00 on. Barclay gave me my final round of pain meds around 11:00 PM or so and I assumed the new sleeping position....flat on my back. Due to the two drains on either side of me and the pain in my chest, I can't change position when I'm sleeping. It is quite a sight as I've got pillows piled behind me, pillows under my right arm where I had the lymph nodes removed and for the most part, God has given me restful nights.

Well, I awoke at 4:45 AM with pain and aches so intense, all I could do was cry out to God to take the pain away. If you've ever been put on bedrest with a pregnancy, maybe you can kind of relate...the body just doesn't want to stay in one position. I remember being on bedrest with 3 of my pregnancies and the pains that would take up residence in my body from lack of movement were intense. At least with pregnancy, you could roll from the left to the right and get a slight change. In the wee hours, I just sat on the side of my bed and cried. It hurt from the middle of my shoulder blades down to the small of my back. I stood up. I sat down. I laid back down. I considered just getting up and going downstairs, but was so tired and weak. And finally I had to wake Barclay for more meds. He laid his hand on me and prayed that God would just take the pain away and give me strength. He got the heating pad, rearranged the pillows so I could sleep upright, put a pillow under my knees to relieve the back pressure and some relief followed. Thankfully, I drifted back off to sleep until about 8:00 this morning.

Not sure the take home message and maybe there doesn't need to be one. There are going to be the good days and the bad days. I'm really trying to take it easy and let my body heal. For those of you who know me well, know that I don't stay down easily. But I have never felt pain as I have with this surgery and recovery, and so with this surgery, I have easily retreated to my bed thus far. I definitely did more yesterday than I have since surgery, but I think the movement was good, as the bed is not so welcoming anymore and I don't think our bodies were made to be stationary. But I felt like I had hit a wall, literally and figuratively.

I am up at my desk this morning, which feels good. But I am tired. So, I ask you to please pray for me today. Please pray for strength and endurance today. Please pray for the pain to be relieved and for my body to heal. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And on a separate note, thank you all for your encouraging words through email and FB. You bring tears to my eyes as you share the encouragement that God is bringing you through me (by the power of the Holy Spirit) in your own trials. I know He has so much to teach me and already has been through the daily struggles and surrendering of my will, and through the pain. And I praise Him that He is ministering to your hearts through my feeble words and open heart. (I warned you that you probably would learn more about me than maybe you would care too!!)

There is no mask. There is no barrier. This is me. This is who I am in Christ. Outside of Him, I am ugly, I am weak, I am can't run the race. This is the cross that He has asked and allowed me to carry and we each have a cross. Let us together take up our crosses in surrender to the God who made us and the God who sustains us and follow Him.

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

God gave us relationships. God gave us community. God made us to love. It is a privilege for me to share my journey with each of you. It is even more humbling to know that anyone is actually reading. As I pray anytime before I teach the Thursday women's Bible Study, "Lord, may you hide me behind the cross of Jesus Christ. May my words be Your words. May You, Lord, be seen and not me. May you touch the hearts of those listening and give to us intimately from your hand. " That is my prayer. I love you all.

Much love,


Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Continued prayers Stacy!

I would love to stop by for a quick visit - would that be OK?

Love and blessings,

The Montgomerys said...

I'm so sorry you had a rough night! I will be praying for you and your recovery. Can I just say, that you are an amazingly strong and beautiful woman! Praying for you Stacy!

Ellen Heller said...

Dear Stacey,

I find it hard to describe what a profound privilege it is to "share" your journey with you. Thank you for sharing your struggles, your candor, your faith, and the details of your trial. I felt like I was in the shower with you too - trying to hold up the grenades - sorry! I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that you have the incredible gift of communicating to others. I know that God will continue to use your journey as a witness to others- and He already has!
Keep the faith dear and know that we are all going to pray you through this!

As God words never return void-

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am you God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.



Debbie Wewer said...

Stacy,you are without a doubt the most beautiful sister in Christ I know. How is it that I lived in Chester Springs and never got to really know you in person and now the Holy Spirit is crying out to me through you???? I cry over your blog and I read each and every word and I thank Jesus for you.You are an angel.I am so sorry that your pain is so harsh.I pray that the Holy Spirit washes the pain away from your body tonight and provides health, strength, the love of Jesus around you,in you and you feel the peace and solitude only Jesus can provide. You are remarkable,incredible and I will continue to hold you in my prayers hourly. Lots of love dear one, Debbie Wewer

Mindy said...

I am glad I got to see you at church yesterday. You are as beautiful as ever. I have never had anyone placed on my heart as much as you have been these last few weeks. I pray to our heavenly father that he calm your mind and heart from anxiety and your body from these lightening bolts of pain. I spoke to Courtney today and showed her your blog.
Stay strong Sister,

He & Me + 3 said...

YOu are just beautiful...praying for you tonight to get the rest you need and to be pain free. So glad that you were able to do so much...but take it easy.

Emily said...

I am late reading today, but praying for your pain and endurance now! I am so blessed to read your words. You know where to find your strength- "The Lord is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed."-Psalm 28:8

Love to you and prayers to our Father-

Debbie said...

Stacy, I'm new to your blog but I'm glad I hopped over here from Jill's blog. I'm sorry to read a bit of what you're going through. I'm also glad that you have others who are lifting you up in prayer and offering you encouragement.

I loved the prayer you wrote.

Blessings and love,

Deb said...

I pray peace and strength for you today. Try to listen to your body and get the rest you need, take care of YOU! I know that you felt you wanted to go to church for your own reinforcement, but even in your pain, you continue to bless others with your honesty and faith. Thanking God for you this morning!

tab said...

Prayed for a better night last night and that you awoke refreshed.

Corie said...

praying for restful nights and less pain.

Clink family said...

The Lord placed you on my heart first thing this morning and so gently reminded me to lift you to Him. I didn't think to check your blog until now and it brings tears to my eyes when I read of the love that is shown through your family. Cancer stinks. And sounds so incredibly painful. But Stacy, I hear the smile of your voice in your words - and I know it is truly the joy of the Lord radiating through very difficult circumstances. Praise Jehovah Rapha who is indeed healing your body right now.
Praying for you,

babyrndeb said...

been thinking about you all day today...hope you are feeling a bit better and that your pain is in control. You are amazing and beautiful. Just remember to take care of yourself ~ it is such a fine line between recovery work and wanting to just live life and be out there doing things. Hope today brings some rest