Hello Courage

by

“But now you must be strong and not let your courage fail.”–II Chronicles 15:7

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There was very little sleep last night. The intracranial pressure so bad I had to focus on not throwing up. I tried not to cry. This makes the pain worse. My legs twitching kept me restless. My joints burning made every move agony. My mind and heart assaulted by fear and anger and self pity. This is what happens when fighting for treatment takes weeks from sudden onset. All the ground I feel I’ve covered towards healing and happiness is swallowed by more despair.

When I can’t pray I turn to music. Playlists of hymns and spiritual songs fill my thoughts with truth of God’s faithfulness and love and turn my eyes towards Jesus. I also turn to Scripture I’ve memorized. Reciting the promises of God bring my intense fear into perspective.

This morning I pushed my body out of my bed to get Danica ready for school. My head feels like it might explode. I believe this is not because perhaps my shunt isn’t working or the changing pressure due to weather but because my brain is swelling. All these things combined create the perfect storm of suffering. Dan rose very early to take Delaney to school for a field trip to Columbus. The roads were slick. He returned to make coffee and Danica breakfast, and he oozed fear. Everything our family has been through breeds this feeling that the worst will happen. We wrap our children in a bubble wrap of sorts that others cannot understand. Danica’s first words to me were about how her head and tummy hurt. I wanted to keep her home but how could I? She missed her Thanksgiving party and her Christmas program from illness. Her little heart was longing for her first grade Christmas party. She won’t have a parent there. Again. She said as she walked out the door with Dan in her swishy gold skirt, “Mom, I want to stay home, but I want to go.” How could I keep her home knowing I need to have my cath placed today and perhaps even have my first treatment?

My dad is on his way to get me. I am terrified of this puncture and placement. I am heartbroken this is happening to my family and I the week of Christmas.

I read this from Elisabeth Elliot in my quiet after everyone left.

Fear arises when we imagine everything depends on us. We assume burdens God never meant us to carry. How much better to take whatever is troubling us immediately to God, confess our helplessness and perplexity, and do the next thing.

Today I will do the next thing. Will you please pray I will lay my burdens down and rest in His faithfulness and great love for me? Will you ask God to comfort my husband, protect my children and give us all comfort and peace in this?

Here is my prayer in Elisabeth’s words.

Lord, You well know how my flesh and my heart shrink from suffering, and how prone I am to forget that I once determined to follow one who was crucified. Yet in Your human flesh, dear Savior, You, too, shrank from the bitter cup your Father offered. I humbly ask You to strengthen my weakness, forgive my hesitancy, and open my understanding that I may gladly receive the small share of pain which is mine.

Here is the song I played over and over last night.

Earth has no sorrow Heaven can’t heal.

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3 Comments on Hello Courage

  1. Jan Cutter
    December 19, 2014 at 9:28 am (3 years ago)

    Sweet, sweet Monica – in my mind and heart your hand is being held by the many people who love you and who you have encouraged in this devastating walk. Holding you up in prayer as always; praying for strength and faith. YOU CAN DO THIS! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! HE IS WITH YOU. luvu

    Reply
  2. Suzanne Anderson
    December 20, 2014 at 7:10 am (3 years ago)

    Beautifully written, hauntingly painful, my heart is broken for you, yours & so many others in similar boats. The labor, transition & birthing place. The gauntlet with a gift. Thinking of you always. Praying for a lightening of your heavy load. Love you Monica~healing~peace~love.

    Reply
  3. Paula Gamble
    December 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I needed these words, Monica. Thank you for writing even in the midst of severe suffering. Your words give me hope. May you continue to find comfort and peace, dear friend. I have no doubt that you are being held. You are loved!

    Reply

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