Saturday, May 24, 2008

Encouragement for myself...

So last night I was thinking about King David... I was thinking about how he encouraged himself in the Lord. While I wondered what that really meant, I started thinking of my favorite passage of Scripture.

This passage is almost always read at funerals. I read and re-read it several times while I was in the hospital. And yet last night, it spoke to me again...


1 - "The Lord is my shepard; I shall not want." First off, the word "is" is in italics. To me that says that God is my shepard. Period. He guides me, which means that He knows where I am at all times. Even when I feel so confused and so alone - He knows. The second part of that scripture reminds me that I don't need anything. God is my provider. I don't have to want for anything.

2 - "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters." Wow. He maketh me... God is my creator, and He created me to have calm in my soul. He didn't make me to have turmoil in my heart... Hurt, fear, and blindness were never His intention for me! The second part of that scripture tells me that when I don't know which end is up - He's right there to calm my soul. He leadeth me... That means that I don't have to lead myself... I can't lead myself!! He'll take my hand and lead me to a place of rest, relaxation, and healing...

3 - "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." God is my healer!! He restores my soul!! He speaks to the brokenness in my heart and heals it. He doesn't condemn how lost I feel. He doesn't put guilt on me. Instead, He restores me! Again, the second part of verse 3 says that He leads me... I don't have to find righteousness on my own. He's right beside me, holding my hand, and leading me...

4 - "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." I'm crying again now... Verse 4 is so powerful to me because that is how I feel. I feel like I'm walking though the darkest and lonliest valley that I've ever walked through. Death literally consumes me. And yet, I'm not alone. God is with me! Again the word "art" is italicized and that means that God's not playing! He's right beside me!!!!!! I can find comfort in the Almighty... In fact, He tells me plain as day that He holds comfort.

5 - "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." I can just invision myself surrounded by "my enemies"... Fear, doubt, hurt, this stupid brain tumor... And sitting down to dine with them all... I must not be afraid of them! They must no longer have a hold of me, which leads me to believe that they've been defeated! God anoints me?!?!?!? Again, I can't help but think He's not mad at me... He may not want me to feel like I do, but He knows me and He's with me and He wants me to feel better but He's not mad at me! I no longer have to duck my head in shame for being so lost! My cup runs over??? So God wants to BLESS ME? So here I am, feeling lower than I've probably ever felt and more alone that I've ever felt, and yet God wants to bless me? Not only does He want to take my pain away, but my cup runs over?!?!?!

6 - "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Mercy. Now that's what I need, and that's exactly what's been promised for me! I'll dwell in His presence FOR EVER?!?!?! That just reminds me that He'll never leave me and never forsake me. There are no conditions. No strings attached. Verse 6 doesn't say, "I'll dwell in the house of the Lord if I never battle fear. Never battle depression. Never have doubts." The scriptures above let me know that God knows where I'm at, and STILL I will dwell in His loving arms for ever. And ever. And ever.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On the verge of a panic attack...

Today hasn't been a great day for me.

First, I'm feeling upset because I only have 2 weeks left at a job that I absolutely love. Even though I went back to work (with the okay from my dr) in February, I ended up getting sick again in March. The tumor didn't grow back (thank goodness), but the area where the tumor used to be was full of fluid that wasn't wanting to drain and causing infection. That caused some of my same symptoms to return (headaches, loss of mobility, and left side numbness). Against the doctors wishes, I returned back to work about a week later. I still work part-time, and that is causing a problem. Ever tried cramming a full-time job into a part-time one? Doesn't work!

So I resigned from my job. Mostly because my family was suffering and it stresses me out not to be able to do all the things at work that I once did...

That decision has been very bitter-sweet. We've downsized vehicles; used our stimulus money to pay off bills; and my husband got a promotion at work. I'm looking forward to spending the summer with my kids and focusing on myself. I should be grateful that even though we'll be sacrificing, there is a way for me not to work right now. But I'm sad too.

I love my job and would never been in this position if it weren't for that stupid brain tumor...

Secondly, today has sucked because my confusion affected someone else. A friend at work was having a bad day. I thought I'd cheer her up by having lunch together. We decided to meet at the resturaunt. I waited and waited and waited. Then ordered my food. Then realized that I had gone to the wrong place and I had picked where we would go!!!! Of course being the only person in the world without a cell phone, I had no way to get in touch with her. Great!

Of course I've noticed myself doing "crazy" things like that... I've gotten dressed only to realize that I'd only shaved one leg. I have a hard time grocery shopping and ALWAYS forget something even though I now have a list with me. I've washed laundry only to realize that I didn't put any laundry soap in the washer. Things that don't seem horrible to anyone, but for me it gets really frusterating.

Thirdly, I'm feeling anxious today because the stupid brain tumor had fingers in my brain stem. What does that mean exactly? I was told that radiation might be necessary if the tumor re-grew in my brain stem. I thought that was because surgery sucked, but now I'm thinking surgery is really hard there??? I've also been reading that a tumor in the brain stem isn't very good... Too make me worry more, I have read very little positive reports about anyone surviving a second "attack".

So today kind of sucks.

And although my family is wonderful, sometimes I feel so all alone... When I'm forgettful, they try to play it off. If I worry, they just tell me not to worry (as if the thoughts can escape me that easily). And with my decision to quit working, they try to be encouraging by reminding me of all the positive things I have to look forward to.

But I know that my mind isn't quite right. I know that I'm going to miss working and I'll miss my co-workers and I'll miss that "normalacy". I know that I wish I had of never had a brain tumor. And I know how bad life will be for so many people if the tumor ever comes back...

I try not to be morbid. But I find myself thinking about my own funeral arrangements. I find myself wondering what my kids will do without me. I find myself wondering how long it would take my husband to move on.

And I think that I'm just being realistic. I feel like I am... Oh I just wish there was someone out there that has been where I'm at and would talk to me...

Monday, May 12, 2008

God did not give me a spirit of fear... (Romans 8:19)

Logically, I know that God did not give me a spirit of fear, and yet I feel so very afraid...

Sunday I had every intention of going to church, but the weather was bad. Well, even though the weather has NEVER bothered me before, and it's been much worse than Sunday, I stayed at home because I was scared. I wasn't scared that we'd get struck at church, or that power would go off, or anything half way rational. Instead, I was scared that we'd get in a car accident because it was so windy and my scar on the back of my head would pop open and my brains would spill out all over the road. Sorry to be so graphic, but that's honestly all I could think of. I nearly worked myself into a panic just thinking of how awful it would be to have a gapping hole in my head... again...

The doctor assured me that there was no chance of my scar ever "popping" open. Yet I won't ride a bike. I worry that I'll be hit by a car. I worry that I'll fall and land on the back of my head. Just crazy stuff!

So I pray that I won't feel afraid. I pray that fear won't cripple me. Yet sometimes, it does...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Maybe I should just shave my head again...

This is my constant complaint, I know, but if I looked as "slow" on the outside as I feel on the inside - people might be more understanding. Not that anyone intentially makes me feel bad, but it happens. Yes - I have lived through surgery, but it's a lot harder for me to process information in my brain. Afterall, it was cut wide open!!!

I'm forgetful and I can tell that I'm not as "fast" as I used to be. Will I get better, or is this the aftermath that I need to learn to live with? I now get very easily distracted and my judgement has definately been affected.

Plus, I'm tired. Yesterday I got pretty annoyed when someone tried to be sympathetic by saying, "Yea, I'm tired too." I wanted to scream,"NO YOU'RE NOT!!" Tired really isn't the right word for the way I feel... Exhausted maybe??? Every past of me is just worn out. It's honestly nothing that I ever felt before.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. There is a fine line between complaining and just being real. I don't want to be negetive, but sometimes I get aggrevated. I get aggrevated at myself, the stupid tumor, and other people. Guess I shouldn't because it is what it is!
(In the picture is my Papi and me at Easter. I'm lucky to ALWAYS have supportive parents that LISTEN!!!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

Tomorrow is my birthday and I don't remember ever being so excited. Not because I'm having a party. Not because I'll get cool gifts. Simply because I'm alive! Honestly, I don't think that I thought I'd ever see another birthday again.

And yet here I am... Turning 25 tomorrow!

I don't blame this tumor on God. I think that "bad things" happen to all people simply because that's part of life. If I didn't love God - I would have gotten the tumor. And knowing God - I still got the tumor.

Knowing and loving God has only served to help me through some of these dark days. His word and promises have sustained me and I know that even when I've felt all alone - He's been right there with me.

Some have said things that almost rubbed me the wrong way. I don't think that they meant to hurt me, but sometimes people do. I've heard that God was still working on me. To me that suggests that I somehow brought the tumor on myself. That's hogwash. Can God use what I've been through - sure! But did He allow me to become sick because of my errors - no. God loves me and I don't think my suffering brings a smile to His face.

The hardest thing for me to hear is that I'm alive and God must have spared me for a great and mighty reason. I know that my "story" is awesome, but what if now something else equally as awesome should happen.

What if His healing me was enough. Will people be let down? What if the tranformation in my soul is it... Did God not do a great thing because no one walked on water or Red Sea's didn't split? Maybe this doesn't made sense to anyone else, but for me it does. (-:

Anyway, all I meant to say was happy birthday to me! Don't know how I strayed from that!

Sometimes I wish the outside matched the inside...

So yesterday I decided that I almost wish that I didn't look so good on the outside because it's so easy for people to completely forget that I'm still healing on the inside. I wish that I was still bald and had those big ugly stitches down my neck and up the back of my head. I know that no one means to down play how I'm feeling, but I guess unless you've actually experienced it yourself - it's pretty hard to relate.

Someone at work asked me to do something after work for work at night. Used to I would have totally said yes, but this time we had to look for another option because I am just too tired. I could almost see them thinking, "You're planning to be tired???"