Hope: Shaken not Stirred
We haven’t been too busy to write a post, we haven’t let ourselves get distracted and we haven’t forgotten. No, I have dreaded reliving the weekend long enough to write it down, I have needed to process and even now I have a knot in my stomach as I try to put to paper how we feel. We spent New Years Eve in the emergency room. Where we find ourselves now is striving to look at 2019 with fresh eyes, trying to be excited for the future. And yet, a cloud lingers on the horizon.
It started Monday at 12:30 pm as we were driving home from a family trip to Seattle. The pain in Rachel’s abdomen was back. It started sharp and then transitioned over time to a radiating, pulsing pain throughout her insides. Rachel was in more pain than she had ever experienced before. There was no relief.
We headed into the ER at about 3:30 pm. Because it was New Years Eve, the ER was full, so we waited for over an hour to be seen. Rachel was experiencing a blinding, hope-shaking pain at this point and there was nothing we could do about it. She put it this way afterwards “I was THAT person in the ER, moaning and weeping in the corner.”
It took four more hours and seven different doses of opiates to finally curb the pain. Curb, not stop. After all that, we had no answers and we had to decide between being admitted to the hospital for pain management or go home and risk another episode. Thankfully, it has not returned.
We were five weeks past our last Chemo treatment and now all theories for the pain were out the window. We headed home shell shocked and scared. We were shook. We are shook.
Talking afterwards, I think we are learning that suffering has a honeymoon period. A window of time where things are new, fresh, they drive you closer to God and you see the sweetness in pain. There comes a time however that the newness fades. The things that once had a sweetness turn bitter as the long-haul sets in. When the feeling that at any moment this trial could be done turns into a dread that it may last a lifetime.
We feel no less close to God, and yet His plans seem less clear to us. We know His word and we see how He has used this situation in our lives and the lives of those around us, but still. We’re scared. I know there is little encouragement in this post, but I felt it necessary to share where we are. I don’t expect us to be here forever, God rarely leaves us alone long enough for attitudes to become routine. Pray for and with us that, like a seasoned marriage, we would find the joy in the depth of relationship we are developing with this trial. That we would be renewed in our strength and resolve to press on, recognizing that even if this were to last a lifetime, it is but a moment.
The words of the old hymn now play on repeat as we speak to our souls like David did:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy 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.