God Sightings

There are different types of hardship. The hardship of broken relationship is different than the hardship of learning how to live in a new marriage. The hardship of pregnancy and childbirth are different than the hardship involved in learning parenthood. The hardship of lupus is different than the hardship of cancer. The hardship of treatment is different than the hardship of recovery. The hardship of expectations is different than the hardship of learning a new normal. The hardship of fear is different than the hardship of discovery.

These past weeks have been beyond hard. The exhaustion in my life is palpable. I’ve had nothing to give and when I needed to give, adrenaline kicked in and got me through.

Overwhelmed is an understatement.

While we’ve moved into a home I absolutely adore, my project list is growing. They are simple projects, like painting chairs, but the thought of getting out all the paint supplies exhausts me. And my discouragement grows as long as my list.

CT scans, doctor’s visits, pain, consume my life… but I don’t want them to ruin it. Unexplained pain leads to another biopsy. A clear one. And we breathe huge sighs of thankfulness. But the pain remains. Unexplained. And my discouragement swells with along with it.

My children go to school, and my Bear comes home longing to have stayed with me all day. My Asher comes home, a child with no guile, who believes everything his classmates say, and I stand on the precipice waiting to fall into hurt feelings with him. Ready to catch him when it happens. I cannot be there. I cannot help in classrooms like I want. I cannot attend every function. The fatigue overcomes, mentally and emotionally. And my discouragement deepens.

We have plans, events, parties, guests, on top of just living life. And I think, “It’s over. Cancer is gone. I can do this.” So I forget for a while that I am not well, and I make ridiculous dives in volleyball games and dance like a crazy woman at wedding celebrations and laugh loudly at potlucks and invite people into my home. Then I sleep for days afterward, soothing the achy joints with warm baths, and I am reminded that life is different. Discouraged that I am not what I once was.

Discouragement. Meds that cause depression and nausea. Needles that can’t find veins. Bloodwork that comes back anemic every. single. time. Pain that keeps me awake at night, all the while knowing that sleep is what I need to feel better. Endless.

It seems the song of my life has become a dirge.

And I long for it to not be so. I beg Him for patches of Godlight.

And He comes.

See, here I am. In all you do.

–The marriage vows between two people I love dearly, a true taste of the wedding feast to come.

–Friends who surprised me with a two-year celebration… who have walked every step of this journey with me.

–Another mom from our school giving me no choice but to let her clean my house so I could rest.

–No cancer! Clear scans! Clean biopsies!

–A sweet friend who brings us supper every Monday just so I can have a break.

–Heart smiles from my Bella: “Mommy, I love Jesus just a tiny bit more than I love you.”

I drink deeply of these glimpses. For in a world where little joy is shared, but hardship seems to always be headlined, these God sightings remind me that He is still working, and He is enjoying life with me here until I can enjoy life forever there.

10 responses to “God Sightings”

  1. Angie,
    Once again your way with words and your faith inspire me.

    I refuse to watch the news most days because it’s all so bad. What is so wrong with GOOD news? I search it out – I search out God amidst the struggles.

    When we turn our eyes towards Him and look for Him, it is amazing how He reveals himself, isn’t it?

    Praying for continued God sightings among your struggle.

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  2. judieyoung@hotmail.com Avatar
    judieyoung@hotmail.com

    My precious Angie,

    How great the battles, how impossible the mountains are to climb, the hours spent wrestling with fears within and the works that we have to believe in. I look unto Christ, the author and perfector of my faith as I have spent time in battle and say, “thanks for the works that you did for me I have works to change my whole life”. And praise be to God I have assurance in these works. As weak as our battles make us, His power is perfected in our weakness and now we can glory in our weakness that His power will rest upon us. My sweet one

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  3. judieyoung@hotmail.com Avatar
    judieyoung@hotmail.com

    my page jumped. Here is the end.

    HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!! Let’s walk in newness of life.

    I love you deeply,

    Grace and blessings,
    Judie

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  4. Angie,
    I’ll continue to pray for you. I do pray for healing and strength and rest and encouragement. But most of all I pray that He will continue to assure you that He loves you and is with you! I am glad that He Has done that and trust he will continue to meet you. I was so sad to miss your celebration. I love you friend!

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  5. Angie, Your “God Sightings” are what I call “Brooks in the Way”. How good is that first sip of water when we’re “dying of thirst”?
    When we are in our deepest depth , GOD does provide us relief from our struggle. Whether for a moment or a day, we need to see it as just that…a soothing balm of cool water in the heat of our battle.
    I’m going to pray you continue to LOOK for and be blessed by the brooks in your way. God IS a loving God.
    In friendship and love, Beth

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  6. Wow. I really wish that I could be there to make dinner for you. I would even clean your house for you, and sister, that is saying something because I don’t like cleaning.

    But seriously, I really appreciated this. It really helped me to understand some of what you must deal with on a daily basis. What I find so incredibly amazing is that you always find some of the good. Some of the God sightings. While I tend to minimize those sightings when I’m down, you hold them up for all to see. You are amazing Angie.

    I was shopping today and found a carved angel holding a butterfly. I thought of you. I hope you know that you will always have my prayers. And you have my help, too, if there is ever anything I can do.

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  7. Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to explain that with chronic illness/recovery, every event is a trade-off; the currency of pain and weariness purchases every invitation, every request.

    But oh, dear friend — please do not stop the crazy dives and the dancing and the inviting people in. Because, believe me — you can stop all those things, and you’ll still have the pain, depression, and exhaustion. And then that’s *all* you have. Better to feel the pain after a hard game, and the fatigue after a wonderful celebration.

    (And besides, I’ve known you long enough to know that if there is a ball, you ARE going to dive, and if there’s music you ARE going to dance!)

    But you know, moderation and take care of yourself and remember to rest and takeyourvitaminsandiron and all that jazz. Because we love you and stuff. 🙂

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  8. Angie…
    Tears, understanding, empathy, and in true confession, thinking about myself as I read your words the first time, and not just thinking about you. I just had to acknowledge this post because I understand it so well, because I feel for where you are so deeply, because I am there where you are, and Greg is too. We are all grieving. I have been looking for my place to perch and keep on moving…for that new normal…and at this point, most days I have to say, I don’t know if I will ever find it. Just when I think maybe I have found that groove, I get knocked out of there. I still have joy, joy in the Lord, and worshiping Him, joy in my sweet kids, but the sadness and losses are all too real…sometimes more than I think I can bear…that is when I need my brothers and sisters in Christ to be with me and help me bear my burdens. But at times, God has left me to my own…and I believe it is because He wants that time with me. Boy are we learning a lot while we are here in our temporary home and our temporary bodies.

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  9. angie,
    i am saddened and uplifted by your words. I am uplifted by the ways others are walking beside you, showing you Jesus through tangible acts of love. I am uplifted for a second time by Bella’s beautiful words because Jesus is in her heart and mind at such a young age. And I uplifted that you can dive for the volleyball and dance like a dancing queen…because not too long ago, these weren’t even options. Yet, i am saddened because fatigue, physical and emotional pain still dictate your day to day life. And like kristen, i long to help ease the pain in more tangible ways. This is not how i can love you right now though. Nevertheless, I ask for your forgiveness if i haven’t loved you as you need to be loved in other ways. sometimes I make light of the situation too easily and too quickly. you know that i tease you because i love u, but sometimes i realize i can get carried away. i’m sorry I don’t take more time just to listen and pray for the troubles of your heart. reading your blog today was a God sighting for me. A reminder of how much i need to rely upon the grace of others and the grace of God. love you and miss you.

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  10. Dear Angie…

    Praying for you today…

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