Monday, November 22, 2010

Peace Like A River

I come once again to this place trying to make heads and tails of my thoughts and emotions. They truly are like a coin being tossed in the air. No sooner is one laid bare on the ground declaring its name...pity or gratitude, faith versus fear, weary and long suffering, war versus peace......heads or tails....I snatch it up, turn it over and over trying to understand and make sense. Maybe I make it all too complicated, which very well could be the case.

Maybe it is week 14 of chemo. The cumulative effect so talked about early on just now being made manifest within.

Whatever the case, there has been too much thinking time, interrupted with sleep, too much sleep, giving way for restlessness and pain that permeates the whole scene.

Needless to say, it isn't pretty.

The two worlds of thoughts and emotions collided on Saturday evening.

Saturday morning began with a renewed sense of energy. Following a day and a half of sleep, I awoke knowing I needed to get to the Cancer Center by 8:00AM for my Neulasta shot. Glad to be out of bed and dressed, the tiredness wrapped around me, but not consuming me, I made my way. It is quick when I have the shot on Saturday mornings, no traffic to deal with, no registration, no waiting for your name to be walk in the back door of the Cancer lounge, get your shot from the nurse working the weekend shift, and walk back out the door.


I stopped at Starbucks on my way home, picking up a coffee and a treat for my hubby and sweet Faith.

Jed had stayed another night at a friends. The three older boys were at a one-night Sunday School Retreat. Our house was really quiet when I returned home. Just Barclay and Faith at the kitchen island ready for Saturday morning breakfast.

We began discussing the day. Laying out some of the things that needed to be done, errands to run, and times when kids needed to be picked up. It all seemed manageable... so with my energy in we went.

I love running errands with my husband. Might seem silly, but I love just being with him. Doing life. Driving together, talking, walking through the store, laughing, deciding, united.

It felt good.

And so the day continued on with a sense of normalcy blanketing our time together. Off to pick up Jed and then a quick stop at a property that some dear friends are considering purchasing. Property that would bring them much closer to us. It was there that my world or normalcy and cancer collided. As I walked around through the house, my legs began growing heavy, the temperature swings began within me and I could feel the chemo effects begin to let loose once again. The downward spiral began.

I was done. Thankful for a couple hours of Saturday errands, but sad that my body just couldn't keep up.

To my bed, I retreated once again. This time, the pain came on steadily. As an unwelcomed guest. Holding me hostage to a place I didn't want to be once again.

And my thoughts and emotions were tossed in the air landing spontaneously in a puddle around me.

I couldn't make heads or tails.

Later that evening, Barclay came upstairs putting Faith and Jed to bed for the night. A routine I am usually a part of, but tonight, too tired.

Barclay peaked his head into the bedroom, after having laid down the two little ones. And the floodgate of tears opened as I laid there.

Will it ever be normal again? What is normal? Will this too pass? And what does the future look like? Will I ever be a "full" woman again for my husband and my children?

My sweet husband curled up beside me in bed and just held me close. He wrapped his strong arms around me, laid his head against mine and prayed. He saw the collision happening. He did for me what in that moment I couldn't do for myself. Lay the thoughts and emotions down at the throne of Jesus where He alone could cover them with truth, with peace, with love.

And it is at the throne of God where true grace, mercy and peace is found.

"For He Himself is our peace." Ephesians 2:14

Jesus is peace. It is what He embodies. Who He is. What He makes. Peace.

No collisions. No war happening in the mind and spirit. No coins tossed in the air. Just peace.

Jesus's peace began to wash over me.

From down the hallway, my little Faithy girl called my name.

"Mommy, are you going to come say goodnight to me?"

My husband let go of the embrace, and I pulled myself out of bed making my way to her room.

I climbed in bed with her. Laying on top of the covers, stroking her long hair. Her eyes danced as she asked me to sing to her, part of our nightly bedtime routine. We have the repertoire that we choose from. And she asked for the river song.

My eyes still wet from crying and my voice unsteady....I began in a whisper..."I've got a river of life flowing out of me, makes the lame to walk and the blind to see....." She interrupted me,

"No, mommy, not that one. You know the peace and river one."

"I didn't know what she was asking for." She must have sensed that, for began right in singing to me."

In her angelic, childlike singing voice, she began ministering to my heart.

"I've got peace like a river. I've got peace like a river. I've got peace like a river in my heart. I've got joy like a fountain, I've got love like an ocean. I've got peace live a river in my heart."

And the tears began to fall again. But this time they weren't tears of sadness and turmoil. They were tears of peace and joy and a deep love flowing over me from the hand of my heavenly Father.

Faithy girl looked at me and said, "Mommy, you are crying. Don't cry. This is a good song." And I wrapped my arms tightly around her as she continued singing, as the tears continued to flow.

And that is why God said, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6,7

When the thoughts want to battle emotions and the emotions want to take control of our thoughts....we have to leave them at the foot of the cross, allowing God's truth to permeate and stand guard. He takes the coin as it is tossed in the air, catches it and says 'It is finished. In Me there is peace. Apart from me there isn't. Remain in Me.'

Emotions aren't bad in and of themselves, nor our thoughts and understanding....but when left alone, outside of Christ's Truth, havoc ensues.

My heart and mind need to be guarded right now, especially as my body is weak and my thoughts play tricks on me.

And so God, once again, in His gentle, perfect and loving way, swooped in and met me right where I was reminding me of His love and sovereignty. Reminding me to come to Him and rest my head. Reminding me that in Him is peace like a river ready to flow over my soul.

This morning, the new light is dawning as He is once again relieving the pain, renewing and restoring.

I don't need to understand....just trusting Him there is peace.

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Much love In Christ,


Debbie said...

Oh Stacy I just know I will never find the right words to express everything I am feeling for you.... such sorrow that you are having to go through all of this, and yet such joy that you have the Lord and He is soo faithful to you. You write soo well and soo heart felt you could write a book after this is all behind you and how it would minister to soo many of the great love of our God has for us. It is soo clearly seen here that it is amazing. I am so glad that this is almost behind you and your body can begin the repair and you can regain your health and strength. I am praying for you everyday, and for your whole family. I know from my own experience how hard this all is on your precious hubby and children as well. Praise God for His peace and His mercy and His grace, and may He touch your body and give you a good day today. Much love to you, Debbie

Debbie Wewer said...

Stacy, I cover you, Barclay and your amazing precious children with loving prayer right now. God loves all of you so. Your blog has become a place for me to retreat and gather my prayers and has even ministered to my marriage! Praise God! I pray that you have a wonderful day and a renewed spirit within. I pray for no pain in your tired body and strength that only can come from Jesus. This will all pass Stacy. Jesus is truly amazing and He has you walking with Him. It is incredible to walk this walk with you even if I have not seen you for years. May your river be a peaceful place and may the sun shine upon your soul and I pray for love, laughter and peace in your heart. I love you. Love in Christ, Debbie

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Stacy - with tears filling up and spilling over - you are beyond beautiful to me. I can't thank God enough for allowing us to see each other for the brief moment last week - where I could hug you and see the beauty of His love in your eyes!

Sweet friend - you are a blessing, a treasure and a gift to all who sit with you at the throne of grace!

How precious that God used Faith to minister so perfectly to you!

Hugs and love!

Melissa said...

I have no words as I read this. I am Thanking God that He net you right where you are! I am His words and your thoughs as truth as I once again fid myself hed tightly in the grip of pain and I wnat to much to escape it and find relief for my body and peace for my mind. Thank you for the reminder that it all comes from Him. I am standing with you at the throne of grace. lifting you to Him. I am so thankful for you and the way that God is using your story to encourage and sustain me.

Love in Christ,


Darlene said...

Oh, how you minister to me and others in your dark place.

I cry along side you, my friend.

Praying without ceasing.

lisasmith said...

I am praying for you today sweet friend. May peace like a river wash over you and sustain you for one more day, one more bedtime, one more evening. I pray He is all you need today.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Stacy...I really don't have the words...but God knows my heart and my prayers for you. Watching our pastor go through his this year I have felt in my spirit and thought that many of the things you mentioned were going on in his house...they had a new baby when all of it started. I knew that there was delight in the regular activities of the day.
Oh that all of us would take that delight in the regular activities of the day...I am convicted.

I was crying the other day...God has supernaturally, through a stranger, provided for our physical four year old asked what was I tried to explain it was tears of joy...I was so humbled by someone reaching out to me that tears were the only thing that expressed my appreciation.

Blessings and healing in Jesus name...enjoy this season of all the holidays! My prayers continue to be with you

tab said...

Out of the mouths of babes. Oh, sweet sister. Wishing I could have been thare helping to carry the load.

Jenny said...

You are AMAZING!!! Your words continue to minister to me. Praying for you right NOW!!!! May you continue to be filled with such PEACE--a peace that passes ALL understanding! Hugs to you!!!

Trisha said...

Words don't seem enough, Stacy. I continue to pray for you, and I'm so thankful you know His peace.

He & Me + 3 said...

What a blessing to have a husband that prays for and with you as well as children that encourage. Praying that you have that peace & that you are finding your strength in HIM.
Praying for you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

How I wish we lived next door to one another... we could walk this together in a tangible way. You're almost there... I'm praying for you. We will get to the other side of this, I am certain, sister.

peace, indeed...


michele said...

I happened upon your blog. I am in tears reading this. Your faith is wonderful, inspiring and necessary.
What a GIFT you have in ministering to others!!!
Blessings... and prayers!

Andrea said...

Thank you for pushing past the tears to share HIS heart through your heart. I am touched and deeply moved by how gracious our GOD is in the midst of your sorrow! He met you in the deep well of despair and spoke deeply to your heart. Thank you, again for sharing HIS truths with each of us.

Blessings, hugs, and prayers,