I have to say, there isn’t much that stresses me out. I’ve been pretty blessed as far as treatments and surgeries go. I believe God deliberately made that a part of my story because the other stuff, when it hits, is so overwhelming.
I look to the women who battle with me in the breast cancer world and some of them are so very ill. The treatments for some are unbearable, the surgeries are rife with complications. My heart aches for their struggles.
I remind myself that our struggles are merely on different levels. While they struggle with terrible side effects and surgical complications. They don’t have to choose between paying for registration on their vehicle or keeping an active phone.
Being on state assistance is not easy. After they pay for my rent and utilities, I am left with exactly $122/month to live on. This must cover all of our needs except food. Driving the boys back and forth to school means driving 450 miles every other week…three tanks of gas a month (just under $100).
While I was able to work, I used my pay to pay the cell phone and internet service (whatever we had leftover generally goes to Sjoberg’s even if it’s only a few dollars, just to prevent them from disconnecting it).
Now I’m back to not able to work due to surgeries and cutbacks are again necessary. Every now and then I wish people could live in my world for a few months. Then again, I’m so glad they never have to.
So I work on reconciling my turmoil, and it’s difficult. I feel like I should just be thankful that I am able to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Those are big things to be thankful for.
Yesterday, our Pastor talked about using our struggles as an opportunity for growth. I get this. I try to focus on this. We do not grow when we are comfortable. Every growth has growing pains. Kids need new clothes, plants need new pots, families need larger homes. As wonderful as it is to experience the newness, it is a lot of work, and it’s not easy work. It’s painful, dirty, and down right time consuming.
God wants us to be growing. We are all seeds, planted to grow and bare fruit. We are called to see each obstacle as an opportunity, God’s way of teaching us the lessons we need to learn.
If a mustard seed, germinating under the dark soil decided this was all there was to it, we’d have no mustard. If the chick forming in the egg thought this is the end and that breaking out of the shell was just too much work…well, I’d have no breakfast. Just as these living things must fight to get to the next stage on their journey, so must we. So must I.
Cancer is my soil, my egg shell. I’m confident there is more beyond this and I’m not stopping until I get there. I eagerly work towards to light as I break free from this leg of my journey. Imagine the blinding light to the sprout and the baby chick as they finally break free from their darkness. The breakthrough although wonderful to those on the outside, I imagine it is cold, and scary and frightening. When they stop and look around though, they have a renewed sense of life and renewal. They see that life is only just beginning.
As I pick away at the shell, fight against the tightly packed soil; I make my way to the sunshine. I trust that there is warmth and light just waiting for me. This darkness is only my beginning.