Friday, August 27, 2010

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

That was the title of the Psalm that God spoke to my heart early Thursday morning as I sat with Him on the front porch, before my 1st day of chemo would begin. My heart was heavy and anticipation of the day was flooding through my mind. I don't remember how my eyes were brought to Psalm 121, as I began in Matthew 24, but God knew that is what my restless heart needed to hear and so He brought me there.

As the Psalm is so aptly titled, "God the Help of Those Who Seek Him", my heart was spurned on as I read each word.

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills-
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day
Nor the moon by night.

The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore."

As God always does, when I seek Him, He is to be found; waiting, with a heart filled with love, wanting to speak so intimately to the places of my heart that only He can see. And He met me in my quiet, deepest moments as I cried out to Him. He is my helper, my keeper and the one who preserves I lift my eyes to Him alone. He never sleeps. He provides me shade from this trial and He will not allow my feet to be moved from Him. I held onto each of those promises throughout the day.

It's funny how we build up in our minds what we think the day will look like (at least I do...I guess it is the planner in me and the walls of defense that I think I can set up for protection.) And in the end, God always writes the chapters more beautifully than we ever could think or imagine as we trust in Him. I am continually reminded that everything comes back to our choices...who do we put our trust in- God or man?

Barclay and I walked in the Cancer Center doors a bit late (not an appointment I was gunning to get to early), and as I slowly stepped inside, my eyes were greeted by the loving eyes of my best friend, Beth. She and I had spoken on the phone the night before, but I had no idea she was going to come. What a welcomed sign in a place I really didn't want to be. She said, even if she wasn't allowed to stay, she just wanted to be there for me. I thought only one other person could assist me....but as I asked at the desk, they said, supporters are encouraged to come. I was thrilled. She stayed with me and Barclay through the infusion bringing laughter, comfort and friendship. May we all be so lucky to each have a Beth in this world.

The room that yesterday felt dark and filled with death...became a room filled with God's bright light filtering through the windows, extinguishing the darkness. Laughter graced our ears, and filled our hearts, and hope spread through me. Hope for each other person walking this same cancer road, hope for tomorrow, hope in a God who helps us as we seek Him.

My new home for the next 16 weeks.....

God surrounded me with the most lovely nurses all who was also a believer in Jesus Christ. Kelly was another nurse who I had learned of through my friend, Hillary, a breast cancer survivor. Hillary has been such a source of encouragement along this path (as have each of you!). As Kelly saw me, she told me she had a gift for me left from Hillary. A party bag was handed to me filled with magazines, gum, and snack food to help pass my time. My heart was once again overcome with thanksgiving and praise.

Here the Adriamycin is being pushed through my port line. The Cytoxan then goes in as a drip, for about 45 minutes. Kelly was doing the pushing, but declined a picture....she said next time she'll be ready to be posted on the blog! She was another bright light on a dim day.

And here's my sweet friend and sister in the Lord, Beth. I love you, Beth! Thanks for walking so intimately beside me, once again.

And my precious husband, soul-mate and rock, second only to Christ, Barclay. He completes me. I love him more than life itself and pray God gives us many, many more years together.

We finished up around 12:30 or so. As the day wore on, I became pretty nauseous and tired. I think part of that was just the anticipation leading up to the day, but spent a few hours in bed that afternoon feeling pretty wiped out. The nausea lingered through the evening and is with me again this morning. Nothing too severe, but there nonetheless. My doctor has me on a tight schedule of anti-nausea meds, but may see if there is one more we can add in. I have to go back in today to get a shot of Neulasta which is suppose to help boost my blood counts, but is also can give you pretty bad bone pain while it works on the bone marrow. I'm praying against that pain, but knowing that God will bring me through that, too. One day at a time....

Thanks so much for praying for me and my family as we continue on this journey. Thank you for all of your comments here, your emails , cards and phone calls. I'm so sorry I can't respond to each of you personally, but know that I am thanking God for each of you and pray that He rewards and blesses you in ways I never could.

Much love,


Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Sitting here with tears in my eyes and thanking God for Barclay and Beth! Thanking God for HIS joy and peace that surpasses all understanding! Thanking God for the ways He keeps showing you, you are NEVER alone!

I love you and we will continue to be here with you praying each day!

God is keeping you and your family very close to our hearts!


Debbie said...

Soo glad to hear that this went as well as it did with your best freind and husband right by your side, and the Lord working out every detail. Praying you gather strength and that the "feeling sick" part paases quickly. How I love that the Lord keeps finding ways to let you know He is there and loves you and WILL see you through each and every step. Continuing to pray, Debbie

Sara said...

Stacy, I loved the pictures you shared... so precious. God is so good to provide those special special people when we need them. I have to just say you and your hubby look so sweet together. What a great man God has given you. I was praying for you yesterday and so happy to see a post this morning.

I will continue to be praying for the nausea too and for all those meds to be doing just what they are supposed to. You are loved today Stacy by the Creator of the Universe... Cast ALL your anxiety on Him for he CARES for you!

Emily said...

One of my absolute favorite Psalms! Funny story, we did a Beth Moore study at church and this Psalm was what we had to memorize. I came up with the catchiest tune to help memorize and as I was reading your post this morning the tune came right back to me as I sang the words!(I cannot sing and my voice is horrid!!)

I join you in praying against pain and nausea today. I pray you have a blessed time this weekend- resting, relaxing and just enjoying the ones you love most!


He & Me + 3 said...

Reading this with tears in my eyes too. You look just beautiful and your smile is so warm. So thankful for your wonderful friend Beth & your husband. What a blessing to have a Christian nurse too. It is so great to see God's hands over every step of your journey. Praying for relief from the pain for you today my friend.

Susie said...

Thanks for posting. :) I'm so glad we know what to pray specifically for you. I am going to share your blog with my daughter Jess... I know your words will encourage her too. :)
And the Lord said, 'My presence will go with you, and I shall give you rest.'Exodus 33:14
grace for each moment!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thank you for are continuously on my heart and in my prayers...God has given you such a sweet gift of being about to communicate your journey through words...isn't that what He lift for us...His written word? He is using His word to encourage you and your words to encourage others!!
May you have a joy filled weekend...praying for the benefits of the medicine without the side affects

Sharon said...

Stacy- Thought of you often yesterday and prayed that you would be surrounded by God's love in tangible ways. Your blog is an inspiration. Wish we could be your side each day but are with you in spirit. I check for updates several time a day to see how you are doing!! Love you lots, Aunt Sharon

Anonymous said...

I too am a breast cancer survivor. Reading your post and seeing your pictures brought tears to my eyes and a lumb in my throat. I too had the same combination of chemo drugs and 3 anti-nausea meds. The Neulasta shot did wonders for me. I hope it helps you as well. Just keep fighting the fight!

May God bless you. You are in my prayers.

Sheri Arnold, Lancaster, CA

stephannee said...

Once again I sit amazed as I read each word and see how God is with you every step you take. I am so glad you had your sweet friend and hubby with you and that you were able to post about your day. Such emotions stir within my heart for you and its quite surprising… since we have never met. I told my family about your day last night at dinner. Talked about you like we were old friends, funny… it feels like we are.
Praying for you!

The Montgomerys said...

Praise God! You were on my heart, and I was praying for you! God Bless You Stacy!
Monica <3

Birdie said...

Oh Stacy, I'm so glad to see your smiling face during the chemo. And what a sweet friend Beth is, and Barclay must be really wonderful too. Y'all are very cute together.
I'm still praying for you. I'll be specifically praying about the nausea and pain from the injection.
You really look wonderful!! I love to hear how God is taking such good care of you. :)

Kari said...

Stacy -

Your smile is so beautiful! I have been thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. Your journey has become a part of my heart and every word you share enters my mind and I pray that I don't forget all of the lessons you are teaching me about trust and about staying in TODAY and about remaining matter what!



Anonymous said...

I read these comments and am swept in a peace. Nothing is without purpose and I am delighted to see how your words, your journey, your honesty are meeting the hearts of people. God is using even this to minister to the hearts of people all over the place.

Missed talking to you today- praying that today was not too icky and that the meds are doing their job.

Love you!

Kelly said...

Sweet Stacy,

Praying for you each and every day. I love reading your sweet stories of God working in every area of your life! He truly is 'the whole package'!!! I loved to see your bright, warm smile in the pictures - you are so beautiful..inside and out!

Blessed to read that your husband and sister in Christ could be by your side as you began your treatment. We will continue to pray for you, your husband and your beautiful children.

Many, many hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

I read your post with tears in my eyes and heart. Relatives should know each other from birth but we were denied that. I now feel ever closer to you. I pray that God holds you close to His heart and gently guides you through this challange.
My love and prayers are with you.
Cousin Doris

Anonymous said...

At a loss for meaningful words...Praying and loving you and your family. Jerry & Kathy

Denise said...

Praying for you precious one.

Cheryl Jones said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago and was just reading your blog post on August 27, 2008. You have such a gift from God in the way you express yourself. I can only imagine all that he has planned ahead for you!!

You are a BLESSED CHILD OF THE KING OF GLORY and HE WILL carry you through to completion!!!

His promise! I haven't stopped lifting you up in prayer and have something I worked on for you and want to send you.

I had the same chemo drugs you just had Stacy. My heart is heavy for you and I just want you to know that he truly carries you...It is one set of footprints in that sand during many of these days ahead but it felt oh so good to know I was being carried.

Cheryl (Ohio)
(I need your address to mail you something)

A multi-dimensional life said...

Stacey, I just came across your blog via Janette's Sage and I'm so glad I did. You are an amazing woman! I admire your strength, humor, beauty, determination, and most of all your faith! I am going to be praying for you. I have seen miracles happen, mountains moved, and things that seemed impossible, accomplished! "God is greater than any problem I have"! One of my very best friends just completed treatment for stage two and she is doing great! You remind me of her...your spirit...your postive attitude which comes from your relationship with Christ, are very similar! May the Lord's healing hand be upon your body...may you find a renewed energy and vitality!
I am going to tell my dear friend about you and I hope she will visit your blog. I'm so glad I found you. I'll be sure to follow your journey and continue to raise you up in prayer! God bless you richly! Lorraine