It's been well over a month since I've posted anything here. During that time, I've undergone a round of radiation and two rounds of chemotherapy. I have experienced a good deal of pain and a lot of fatigue. And I am still deep in the midst of a long, hard road, the road I am calling my healing journey.
I am just now beginning to feel as though I can write a little about how I am feeling. Both reading and writing -- my go-to pleasures and habits of a lifetime -- felt too exhausting during the initial days and weeks after diagnosis. Sometimes literally too exhausting -- I would try to read and fall asleep before I reached the end of a page, or I just found it too tiring to sit at a keyboard or pick up a pen. I'm still incredibly tired, but I'm in the midst of an extra week "off" between chemo rounds, to try to build my strength before the next one. And I am thankful that I am beginning to be able to read and write again and find solace and comfort in that.
Re-reading is such a gift in times of illness. For me right now, I am needing the comfort of familiar and beloved stories. I re-read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (a favorite novel I tend to read annually) and am in the middle of re-reading the Harry Potter books. I am thinking I make take a dive into some old Agatha Christie novels soon too, and I've read bits of some favorite Austen books.
While I'm not feeling like tackling anything new and large, I am finding I can read new reflections, articles, and poems, so I've spent some time online doing that, especially some pertinent things for Lent and Holy Week.
Mostly I am trying to rest...not just outwardly, but inwardly. I am resting in God's goodness. I am resting in his loving care for me and in the knowledge that he is the great and gentle healer. I am trying to abide in Jesus and "stay on the mat," as a friend advised me (the image comes from the gospel story where friends brought their parlyzed friend lying on a mat to the feet of Jesus -- so thankful I am that so many people are bringing me to his feet right now)! I am spending time in the Word and meditating on the words God gives me, through the Scriptures and through others.
My friend Erin sent me a FB video the other day that showed a bunch of swirling flower petals on a street. It was lovely -- just a group of beautiful pink petals all caught up in a vortex of wind, swirling this way and that (almost looking like a flock of birds). I loved the image of those petals caught up in the unseen wind, blown about in such an intricate dance. It made me think of Hildegard's "feather on the breath of God" and how I long to let myself be steered by the Holy Spirit.