Fighting for Rest

Every week our church sends out an All About Sunday email to help us prepare for the upcoming service. It includes a brief synopsis of the sermon as well as links to various pieces of helpful information. I make a playlist of the songs we will be singing, and I blare it every Sunday morning while we’re getting ready for church.

This past week, our pastor, Todd, wrote the following about Psalm 131:

The place of rest for our souls is not circumstance but a Savior; not a place but a Person.

I have had a very unrestful weekend… well, I guess it’s been more like an unrestful few weeks. But it all culminated Friday when the plan we thought we had in place changed. I won’t go into the long and sordid details, but here is a brief update on what we learned Thursday and Friday through appointments and phone calls with my doctors.

—It is confirmed metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in my neck. The spot is in the thyroid bed near my clavicle. My oncologist had them redo pathology on my particular type of cancer because cancer can morph and evolve into a different type over time. It looks like mine has remained the same. This will help with treatment options.

—The area in my abdomen that they biopsied came back non-diagnostic which means they weren’t able to get enough tissue from the samples to make a definitive diagnosis. After contacting the doctor who performed my biopsy, radiology does not think it would be wise for me to re-do the needle biopsy because there is no guarantee this won’t happen again.

—After an agonizing weekend (y’all, I’ve cried an insane amount of tears for the past four days), we went with the recommendation of our specialist, and I will have a surgical biopsy the beginning of October on the lesion in my abdomen. My oncologist was hesitant to put my body through another procedure; however, we agreed that for my peace of mind, this is a good decision. This way we will know exactly what is going on in my abdomen.

—I will still begin treatment for the MBC (we are waiting on insurance approval). The new treatment I will be on is a more targeted therapy and should not impact my blood numbers.

So, that’s the short of it, but it feels so very long.

I wrestled and wrestled this weekend. I fought God and His goodness. I ached for my family. I despaired of healing. I crumbled under the weight of anxiety that Stage IV cancer brings. I fought with Brian. And then we fought to make our marriage better in this. I became frenetic in my desire to get things under control in a home that is under renovation and broken like me. I cried until I thought I couldn’t cry anymore. And then I cried some more.

I fought for rest.

Kind of an oxymoron isn’t it?

The thing is, if I had perfect health and a perfect marriage and a smooth family schedule and children who never struggled and a home that belonged in Southern Living but I didn’t have the salvation and restoration that Jesus brings, I wouldn’t have rest.

Because my circumstances shake, but He is unshakeable.

My feelings ebb and flow, but He is always trustworthy.

My life experiences shift, but He is steadfast.

I do not have to have health restored to be made whole. That will come… one day. Because my hope is not in what, it’s in Who.

My brain, which is already so messed up from chemo-brain, feels like it’s only firing on one cylinder these days. Bri asked me last night what he could do, what he could take off my plate, and I crumbled, “Can you take away cancer?”

We are weary, friends. I know many of you are, too. There is so much going on in your lives, yet there are those of you who still ask, “What can we do?”

I know you can’t take away cancer.

I know you can’t change my circumstances.

I know there will be tangible ways you can help, especially as I recover from surgery.

But will you show me Jesus?

And by His grace, I will do the same for you.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

10 responses to “Fighting for Rest”

  1. From two of my favorite hymns: “Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy and shall break
    In blessings on your head.” and “When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
    “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not harm thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.” Prayers.

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  2. Words fail me! May Jesus draw to you and your dear family! I’m praying!!

    “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

    Love you,
    Chanley

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  3. just know you are loved so much by so many!

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  4. I love you so and you are My faith hero. Always remember you r a superhero

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  5. I want to share a poem written by brother Mark. It changes nothing but I hope it touches you as it has me.
    The Sun is Shining

    Today the sun is shining, it’s warm upon my face.
    Reminding me that God is kind and lavish with His grace.
    Established in the sky and clear for all to see,
    Nobody doubts the sun is there; it blesses you and me.

    Today the sun is shining, though clouds are all I see.
    The sun, while hid from my dull sight, shines just as brilliantly.
    Unmoved from where it was, though hidden from my eyes,
    The sun is shining just as bright; the clouds do not despise.

    Tonight the sun is shining, just on the other side
    Of the earth on which I’m standing, as round the sun we ride.
    Fully eclipsed by this ol’ earth, I trust I’ll see it soon.
    My hope is bolstered by the sun’s reflection on the moon.

    Today the sun is shining, and when my eyes grow dim
    Steadfastly there, it never depends on my perceptive whim.
    And when my body fails, and when I breathe my last
    The sun will mark the years it’s been sense my brief life has past.

    Today the Son is shining, His glory then I’ll see
    While I’ll be changed He still remains perfect consistency.
    And when I am reminded of the darkest times I’ve seen
    I will recall the light He gave; you’ve reflected Him to me.

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  6. Oh Angie, I am praying for you, and I’m amazed by all your little body has been through since before the day I met you some 20 years ago when you shared you had Health issues then..Thank you for always being so vulnerable. so transparent about your fears, your needs, your places of brokenness…And then the way you allow Christ to meet you- Eacch and Every time…what a witness!!!! Thank you for sharing. I love you and I’m praying for you!!!!

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  7. Oh Angie, we all ache for you and your family. We pray and pray. You have and always do show us Jesus. You have a gift of writing simply yet with eloquence. I am always challenged and encouraged spiritually as you always bring this life’s emphasis back to God, to Christ and the scriptures. Thank you dear one.

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  8. You speak truth. I hear you.
    Blessing for your soul. Your body. Your mind. Your spirit.
    Praying from here. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

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  9. You’re courage and transparency are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing. “The holy one of Isrial says, you will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.” Isaiah 30:15

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  10. I hear you in all the things. I ache for your pain. I, too, have cried buckets and wrestled and fought in different ways. I hate that yours is cancer. Mine feels like cancer of the heart. I am not trying to minimize or compare. I searched my own blog for the theme of fighting since that was in your title. Here is what I have to share. http://compostingtheheart.com/fighting-forward/
    You are very loved. I’m fighting with you. Thank you for showing me Jesus in the struggle.

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