I never knew that those few words could be so important and yet so difficult to follow.
The past few weeks have been a ride on the familiar roller coaster I lovingly call the “Chemo Train”. I have been the typical “rider” both throwing my hands up and laughing on good days and then gripping the safety bar for dear life and screaming my lungs out on the awful days.
I checked round two off my list and settled into the reality that after two comes….three. So last Thursday I wrapped up my turban, put on some fancy earrings and made my way to the hospital. You ask, “Who wears fancy earrings to chemo infusions?” Well, this chick does.
I decided early on that I will not let cancer define me or change who I am or what I love. So, if I’m going to have toxic chemicals pumped through my body in a sterile, bland environment, I’m going to do it with some pizzazz!
This round didn’t disappoint with the side effects, and even blessed me with a couple of new ones, oh joy! But, as I currently claw my way out of the dark pit of this first week post-treatment, I have taken some time to look back on the recurring lesson I feel God has been teaching me and it is to…
Ok seriously, I had a “What you talkin’ bout Willis?!” moment when He hit me upside the head on that one. Yep, I’m dating myself with the Different Strokes reference so thank you to all of you who can relate. And yes, I got “hit on” by Gary Coleman when I lived in Los Angeles years ago. Couldn’t have been Brad Pitt, nope, Gary Coleman. Different post for a different day.
So if you know me, I like to be moving, and doing, and getting stuff DONE! So the thought of being still just isn’t in my wheelhouse. But, when your life comes to a screeching halt due to an illness or a tragedy you learn that shockingly, life continues to happen around you and without your help.
I am so guilty of getting caught up in the rat race and the call of the “To Do List” so this was a tough nut for me to crack. I’m the girl who likes checking things off lists, a…lot. I will even write ridiculous things on my list just so I can cross them off. Brush teeth, CHECK! So the thought of being still was a new one for me.
Chemo is the equivalent of running at full speed into a brick wall. You guessed it, you are physically stopped cold. Especially during my rough days I am forced to literally sit, and that is the extent of my movement.
Thankfully, the warm weather has allowed me the sheer joy of sitting outside and really absorbing God’s creation. I find that I notice birds and the beauty of their song. I now really “see” flowers and how perfect each petal is. Closing my eyes and listening to the gurgling of our water fountain in our garden is so therapeutic. And I love to soak in the gentle breeze in my hair. By “hair” I mean in the singular sense. Yep, still have a couple stubborn ones that just won’t let go! Come on! Give it up!!
If we don’t allow ourselves the grace to be still we miss out on so much. We miss out on the chance to rejuvenate our bodies, and our minds. We also miss out on the countless little miracles that happen around us on a daily basis. We miss out on the opportunity to spend time with God, and have Him speak to us and pour into our souls.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God…”.
It’s a direct command to stop running for a minute. Be still. I know that looks different for everyone and we all are created with specific paths for recharge, but for me it has been a routine of sitting, closing my eyes, putting away all technology, and praying.
Carving out a specific time to do this and not just on the fly when you’re running out the door or sitting in the carpool line is the key. In the past, I always “found time for God” throughout my day, but I never made the dedicated decision to be still each day. It’s amazing what God will tell you when you are quiet enough to listen.
So, as I continue to recover from this latest round I will daily try to be still. It is NOT easy, and I would be lying if I said I’ve got this thing down. It’s a discipline not just a decision. I will be working on strengthening my “be still” muscles everyday.
But, what a perfect season to start. Aren’t we supposed to be enjoying these lazy days of summer? You’re probably asking, “What is that?” Ask yourself where you can find time to be still in your day.
What is SO important that it comes before your well-being or your relationship with God?
Trust me, when you are faced with a life or death experience, your priorities change. Even fifteen minutes of quiet can be incredibly life-giving, and who doesn’t need to have their hearts poured into? We all give so much of ourselves everyday to people, jobs, and families. Allow yourself to be filled back up again, and just….