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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Like Water

*****Update: We just found out we can move into our new house starting Friday. Please pray that decisions would come easy and plans would start falling into place.*****

A couple of weeks ago, the Lord made it clear to me that it was okay to grieve. There are feelings I have been holding back. I want to be strong for my children. I want to be strong for those who are helping me through this.

I have set feelings of deep sadness and grief aside because above all I want the Lord to know I am grateful. The miracles of this journey are not lost on me. I am thankful. I truly believe with all my heart I had my surgery because you were praying and I was spared chemo because you were praying. I know I will get moved with everything I need because you are praying.

The great big good in all of this doesn’t negate the dumbness of cancer. Receiving a cancer diagnosis of any type is devastating. Learning to live with a constant reminder that life is very, very fragile is hard. Watching your children struggle with their own fear that their mommy may not always be with them is even harder. Cancer stinks!

There are just some super deep (and some very shallow) feelings of grief and sadness in all of this. For awhile the battle was so fierce. The bad news would come, a hard blow. Then in the very next minute something so good and so big and so awesome would happen, the sad stuff got knocked under the table for a bit. Then the reality of waiting for a doctor’s appointment set in. I no longer had the insurance battle demanding my attention. I no longer had the pressing need for surgery. My body was healing just fine. Life was advancing. The wait was long and my emotions were raw.

When this whole moving thing was piled on top of an already precarious emotional situation, I caved. I needed some days to cry. I'm going to miss this place I've called home for the last twenty years. I've got girlfriends and an incredible church family here. Saying goodbye to all that when I feel I most need it is hard. I needed some minutes to yell, sob and ask questions. Sometimes just getting it all out is as therapeutic as figuring it all out. And mercy, I know I won’t figure all this out this side of heaven!

So I spent some days in solitude. Just thinking. Processing. Praying. I got it out. It felt good. I finally started sleeping well again. Rest can dramatically change a perspective!

Today I’m ready for today. I still can’t think about tomorrow. But then again, we’re not supposed to do that too much are we? Today is my packing day. Some friends are on their way to help me box it up. Sort, sift, share, take, toss.

The Lord is reminding me about my heart as I empty my stuff into boxes, the Lord is talking to me about emptying my heart. Sorting, sifting, keeping, tossing, sharing what's in my heart. Last week He led me to Lamentations. I was just singing the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness over and over so I decided to look it up and see if God was trying to tell me something more.

He led me to Lamentations 2:19: “Pour out your heart like water in prayer to the Lord.” I thought of the many days of holding back I’d had. I was pouring my heart out more like a bottle of sticky syrup than a pitcher of water. I knew that God was telling me in that moment that He was big enough to take it. I could let Him have all my emotions, all my requests and even my questions along with all my prayers and praises. My biggest prayer is still this, "Lord, don't let me waste it."

I will praise Him because He is good. Cancer or no cancer, chemo or not chemo, radiation or no radiation, He is good! He is good! He is good! As I said, His miracles haven’t been lost on me. But the effects of an emotionally draining few months have also taken their toll on my weary body.

Something amazing happens when we pour out our hearts like water. We go from fainting to fulfilled. We go from battle-weary to believing. We got from desperate to dependant on God. Even when we daily remind ourselves of deep truths, we must make time to nurture intimacy with Jesus in order to live in those truths.

Then our pouring out turns back to praise.

“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:19:20-23


Michele said...

Lisa, From a militray wife who has moved 12 times in 18 years, please remember that moving is HARD, even in the best of circumstances!!!! Continue to allow yourself time to process all of your feelings including the grief! So normal! Keep your eyes on the Lord, thankfully He moves with us each time, and know you are loved by even strangers! You are a hero to many, including HIM!!

Deborah said...

Isn't it crazy how everything happens at once, but I have always felt that the God will only give you what you can handle.
I pray for you that you have the strength in everything you do.

Melanie said...

Dearest Lisa,
What I have learned: Both tears and laughter are gifts. And sometimes they coincide. And that's okay. Even if someone else doesn't understand it, it's okay.
I am thankful for those gifts.
My love to you,

Andrea said...

I praise GOD for all HE is doing in and through your life. You are an inspiration to each of us...each step of the way you have shared honestly with all of us...pouring out your heart. GOD is using you in the lives of so many just as HE has used others to help and encourage you.
Remember...one step at a time...that is all you need to focus on.

Continuing to storm the heavens with you,

Anonymous said...

I've never had a dx of cancer, never had to move away to start over, so I can't relate to those things, but your words about the Lord spoke to me, and I felt chilly bumps come over me as I read. I wonder how unbelievers cope when the going gets tough. I'm happy to have our Dearest Lord as our Helper. God bless and keep you through yet this another trial, the trial of moving and beginning again, and through your cancer treatments. Keep the faith.

GrandmaK said...

Thank God for the cleansing power of tears. Moving is never easy but through your example you have taught us all how to persevere! Thanks be to God!! Cathy

Jan said...

I wish you well with the move Lisa and I certainly understand the emotions that it is bringing on! Twenty years is a long time and I'm sure those walls are filled w/memories galore. Those memories won't be staying there tho, as they will travel with you to your new home where I know you will allow God to reside as well :) You my dear are gonna be a blessing to many new people and I'm sure that is exactly what He had in mind :)

Rachel Kerbel said...

oh man, you are going through a LOT!! I know this is a hard time with moving, I can only imagine just when you need your friends the most! we have never felt more at home than when we were at Lakeside bible church there in montgomery-check it out, it may help ease the transition! love ya girl!

Angel Muly said...

Moving away from friends and church family is hard enough without all the other you are dealing with. It's okay to cry and be emotional with Jesus and that is a wonderful thing. I am praying for you, praying for peace and an easy transition into the new place. Love and Blessings, Angel

Lora said...


I am rejoicing that you are sleeping well again! Praise the LORD! I love the verses you referenced about not worrying! That portion of Scripture in Matthew 6 is one I read over and over last week. Continue to rest in Him and pour everything out like water to The Source.

With love, hugs and prayers,

Denise said...

I am lifting you way up high to the throne of our Father God sis, I love you.

Donna said...

Lisa, moving is very hard. We were pastoring at a church for just short of 11 years. Both of my kids were born there and we had a lot of memories. When we moved to another church I cried for almost a year. I knew it was a God-thing, but it was still hard. We were leaving a church family. As others have said, it's okay to grieve.

I like what you said: " Something amazing happens when we pour out our hearts like water. We go from fainting to fulfilled. We go from battle-weary to believing. We got from desperate to dependant on God. ... Then our pouring out turns back to praise." Amen sister!

Praying for you and your family and for the move. Blessings to you!