I had a lot of time to think in the wee hours, and God definitely spoke to me during that time.
I realized how much my body, my flesh, is trying to work against me. First of all, by the cancer itself. But as I fight it, the flesh resists. I have sleep issues. Yesterday at the gym, my heart rate was above normal. My flesh is anxious.
But my mind, my spirit, is not. I truly am calm and have peace about this whole journey. It isn't easy. But I'm not freaking out. Sometimes the flesh gets the upper hand, I'll admit. But for the most part, I'm okay. In fact, sometimes the reactions I get from others are much more severe than my own.
A recent example. I've been a girl scout co-leader for Isabelle's girl scout troop since they were Daisies in kindergarden. This year is their first year of Juniors. We have a few new girls joining our troop. On Wednesday, we met to fill out some paperwork for an upcoming camp out. The leader mentioned that she would be trying to work the schedule out around my schedule, which brought a few looks. One mom there didn't know, so it came out. No big deal. I'm not secretive about it. Everyone was supportive, but at the same time the one mom who just learned was freaked out. I guess she is scared of cancer in general. But she marveled at how upbeat I was. I am kicking myself now for not saying something like, "It is by God's grace that I am even here right now. He is getting me through this." I mean, that is what I want to reflect on this whole journey. God's goodness, His faithfulness, His sustaining hand. I want to bring HIM glory. Instead, I said, "Well, its something I've got to do either way. I might as well do it with a smile on my face."
I've also had others look at me with sadness and pity. Like I have a foot in the grave. Even some people at church. I certainly don't share those emotions.
Some might refer to this as the "mind-body" connection. In a way it, is. But it goes much deeper than that. But my flesh wants to drag me down and freak me out. This is most definitely as much of a spiritual battle as it is a fleshly one.
This is how I see it in my life. The spirit and flesh are at war. It is a microcosm of the war between God and Satan, good and evil. I am a born again Christian, so I am blessed to have the indwelling of Christ in me. (To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27) Satan sees that and attacks it. He uses my own flesh sometimes to do it. Right now, it is sleeplessness. It was the same right before my surgery as well.
But God is so good to me. Because despite the fact I am getting less sleep, I am not tired during the day. I'm able to function. He is lifting me up on wings like eagles. I am running (figuratively) and not growing weary, walking and not growing faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
God is stronger than the enemy. I know that He who is within me (Christ) is stronger than he who is attacking me. (I can't find the scripture reference quickly, but I know it is biblical.) Ultimately, I will win because Christ is my defender. But the enemy does not give up quickly. He is persistent.
I'm off to my first round of chemotherapy this morning. I pray that I am able to continue to resist the enemy (so he will flee). I pray that God refills my Holy Spirit tank each day as I feel the effects of this new phase of treatment. In any event, no matter how severe it may get, I know that I am not on my own. That God is with me, within me and will uphold me with His mighty hand. If I look like I am handling this well, it is not out of my own strength, but His. All glory to God!