Friday, March 19, 2010

Source of hope in the midst of suffering

After experiencing tremendous pain and suffering, it is a challenge to not succumb to feelings of hopelessness and despair. There are days I feel sad and I just want to stay in bed to avoid facing the reality of cancer. Most days, tears are always close to the surface, just waiting to be released. It is hard for me to talk about what I have been through without fighting back the tears. There will always be mental snapshots of this past year reminding me of the pain I felt, the fear I felt and the disappointment that swallowed me. It is a battle every day to avoid getting swallowed by all of these feelings and the negative thoughts the enemy tries to place in my head. The only source of hope and escape in the midst of it all is remembering God's love through it all.

"He shot his arrow deep into my heart. The thought of my suffering and hopelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction." Lamentations 3:13, 19-22

It may seem daring to make room in your mind for what you know is true about God, and honestly, it is difficult when it feels as if he has shot his arrow deep into your heart. But the truth of God's love transforms our thoughts and our feelings when we choose to remember and choose to BELIEVE. - The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie


So my constant prayer is that God will always make the reality of his faithfulness more vivid than the pain I have experienced this past year. When I think about what I have been through and what is still to come, I find myself easily getting lost in all of the pain and suffering. But when I think about everything God has done to pull me through chemo, radiation and surgery I find myself hoping again. A day does not go by where I am reminded of the message to BELIEVE. This message is in everything I see, read and hear.

The weather these past couple of days have been a tremendous blessing to me. The warm weather has allowed me to be outside again. I have been able to hop on my bike and get some exercise. All of this has lifted my spirits and brought me much needed JOY! Being outside has given me some time to get my mind of the infection and the upcoming scan.

I was invited by my church to be a part of a team starting up a new cards for encouragement ministry. It will be an opportunity to encourage those that are experiencing pain or suffering in many forms through cards handmade and written by the ministry team. The cards of encouragement I received by many of you this past year gave me much needed hope and support. Each of the cards were a tremendous blessing to me. I am so excited to be able to take what I was given and now in turn give it to others that are in need. I am hoping this is the first of many opportunities to take my experience this past year and use it for good.

The antibiotic I was on was not working so now I am taking a different and stronger antibiotic. I think this is the last shot at fighting the infection. Should it not work, surgery is the next option.

Physical Therapy is working. I am getting more motion in my leg and foot. I am not close to running yet, but I am heading in that direction.

I would appreciate your continued prayers that the infection will heal and that the rest of my wounds would heal as well. Thank you!

Sue

2 comments:

Mary Sears said...

Great to see you today! Thank you for taking Katie on your bike ride! She was so pleased.

Mary

The O'Briens said...

Sue,

A friend of mine that is a cancer survivor and also has a daughter with Cystic Fibrosis started this card company that she describes as "Stunning artwork and inspired verse that speaks on a deeper emotional and spiritual level than is commonly found, but one that is understood well by those suffering the uncertainty and grief that accompanies serious illness and loss."

http://solacecreek.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=SC&Category_Code=GC

Perhaps you'll find some good ideas for your new role on the card team at church. Love your new blog wallpaper! Thanks for your updates and honesty. We are praying for good scans and a successful round of antibiotics.

~Jeni