Learning the Language of Grace

I am learning the language of grace each day. Grace for myself. Grace for my children. Grace for my husband. Grace for my friends & family. Grace.

People ask me all the time how I’m doing. I really don’t know how to answer that. How do I explain that while I may be fine one second, give me one second more and I could feel like collapsing from fatigue or my emotions may betray me into a heaping ball of sobs? I am on medication that makes me nauseated and irritable. I have one year down and four more to go of that drug. As a side effect from chemo, my brain doesn’t make connections like it used to, and I find myself overwhelmed by the smallest tasks.


It is so much for me to get through my day just taking care of my children much less to have the strength to do laundry, clean my house, plan & make meals, de-clutter, etc. And I want to do more than just care for my children and Bri. I want to put the energy into loving them.

Someone (with good empathetic intentions) responded to this struggle with, “Oh, yes, taking care of children is overwhelming.” I wanted to cry when they said that because there was no understanding of the depth of my struggle. It is so beyond the normal. And normal for me before? It wasn’t overwhelming. There was rarely the question of, “How am I going to get through this day?” Home management came naturally for me, perhaps because I had such an amazing role model with my mom. Our home was a fairly well-oiled machine with a squeaky gear every now and then, but it was life and it was easy. Easy compared to this. I honestly have to pray every day for strength to just get out of bed because of the pain and fatigue that lingers.

One of our elders, Bruce, was encouraging me recently and said, “It’s so easy to think, ‘Oh Angie’s done with treatment. She’s better now.’ But recovery is a long, hard road.” He understood it. And it was so good to be understood. That each day is a battle. That I have no energy to pursue others. That pain is exhausting. That some days, I take a 4 hour nap. Yes, you read that right. Four hour naps. That if it weren’t for my mom, I don’t know how I’d do this.

How do I explain this? That tasks that used to take me 30 minutes now take 2 hours. How do I explain the anxiety and fear that washes over me with each new ache or pain? Is it new? Do my bones ache because cancer is forming? How do I explain the fact that the loneliness still remains? That I am unable to pursue others like I long to. That relationships are exhausting work for me, and I need all the strength I have for my family. That I need a place where I can just BE and not DO. Honestly, I haven’t found that safe place yet. Perhaps it’s my own hang-ups. Perhaps it’s a trust issue, because there is hurt there. Perhaps it’s my own issues and expectations I place on myself. Perhaps it’s a mixture of them all.

I’m learning to let go and not focus on what used to be, but to move toward the now. Today is what I have. Today is where I am. I can’t compare it with yesterday. I am different. I am changed. I am learning.

Yes, I am learning the language of grace each day. Grace for myself. Grace for my children. Grace for my husband. Grace for my friends & family. Grace. Beautiful grace.

“It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” Hebrews 13:9

8 responses to “Learning the Language of Grace”

  1. Oh, yes, Angie, it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace!! But I just cry reading this and am so sorry for your physical pains and know (though I don’t know like you do) how frustrating it is to not have the energy to do all you want to in caring for your family. I do think of what a blessing it is to have health. I do forget that you have a long road of recovery and hate that that medicine has that side effect. I will increase my prayers for you!! Please know your in my thoughts and prayers today and in the coming days! May the Lord bring you a spot of bright light today, feeling well and having energy!

    Much Love!


  2. Oh, Angie!! Even when you were “doing” so many things, the most precious gift you ever gave your children, husband, and friends was just “being” you. I loved being in your Bible study because I loved being around you, not just because you were a good teacher (which you are!) And I still love being around you, and learn so much from you, just because of who God has made you to be. I guess what I am trying to say, is that your just being is so much more of a blessing
    than you will ever know! Still, I can only imagine how difficult all of these changes must be, and I am sorry that things are so hard. I’m glad, though, that you are learning more about grace, and are more dependant on the Lord than you would be if you were not going through all of this. I love you and will keep praying for you friend!


  3. I struggle with understanding grace so much it was actually a small joke among me and a couple friends of mine (a Pastor’s wife)…the best way grace has ever been explained to me and it came from a Pastor friend of my mom’s…”Grace is God doing through us what we are unable to do ourselves.” Your post today exemplifies this. He is pulling you out of bed in the mornings. He is getting you through the day to day. He is allowing your Mom to be there with you.
    Thank-you for this post. Thank-you for yet again teaching me so much.


  4. Angie I think of you and your struggles often. I know I don’t really “know” you but I care, I pray & I am touched by your writings. I too need to extend Grace to myself and my loved ones and mankind in general. I pray His grace will minister to your soul during this long recovery.


  5. What an amazing post. I had West Nile Virus many yrs ago and suffered for months on end, but I am humbled by you and your graciousness. I will continue to lift you up as you continue down this path, for you have a hard row to hoe, but HIS grace is sufficent.

    Have you ever heard of MOPS? Their website is full of “stuff” for moms. http://www.mops.org I work with MOPS in Field Leadership; it’s an amazing ministry to moms.


  6. Oh, Angie, I’m sorry. May God give you peace and rest during this season when simply “being” is so thoroughly exhausting to your body and spirit.

    Be still, my soul,
    The Lord is on your side.
    Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.
    Leave to your God, to order and provide.
    In every change He faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul,
    Your best your heavenly friend,
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

    Be still, my soul,
    Your God will undertake
    To guide the future as he has the past.
    Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake.
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
    Be still, my soul,
    The waves and winds still know
    His voice who ruled them while he lived below.


  7. My precious one,

    In the midst of our growth, the pain is so hard to understand. This growth is a growth that belongs to Christ. His sufferings go through us and our soul, because of the various emotions, wants to wander on itself. We are not our own. We cannot account our lives as dear to ourselves, and when we do, then our trials are focused on ourselves and there is no way we can do what He has ask us to do. In James 1: 2 -4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing (knowing, this is where I have to ask for wisdom and then call her my sister and understanding my intimate friend) of your faith produces patience. But let patience (patience, my willingness to rest in the finished work of Christ) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. verse 5 – the key to this is asking for wisdom and God will give it to me liberally. WISDOM – He who gets wisdom loves his soul; he who keeps understanding will find good. Prov. 19:8.

    I cry out to God to perform that which He has commanded, that the work will be seen that it is from Him and not myself.

    Let’s continue to run the race, He is at work in us to work to will to His good pleasure. We are in the safe hands of the potter and He is making us into the image of Christ.

    God Bless you my sweet one,


  8. Hi,
    I linked here from another site. I feel awkward reading another’s personal story, but was drawn to this one you shared. I’ll join in prayer for an increased measure of grace for you and your family. As a minister there is a lot I would like to say about how God is working through this, how he is working in your family, how he will enrich you. But, as a fellow struggler in life I know that these are things we need to find out for ourself and not be told by someone who doesn’t even know us. So, I’ll refrain and just pray. God bless. And, if there is anything else you or your husband would like for me to lift up in prayer, just email me. WB


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