I celebrated my birthday over the weekend. It was a quiet event for the most part. A couple of friends surprised me with visits, and my youngest daughter and her fiancé brought pizzas for an impromptu pizza party in the evening. She celebrates her birthday a week after mine so her siblings are planning a combined family gathering on Sunday. It will hopefully distract me from my fourth chemo treatment on the Monday.
I am thankful I have these “days of grace”, as I call the ten to twelve days leading up to the next treatment. My treatment day and the nine to ten days following it are my most challenging. Chemo side effects level me on the frontline of the battle. Then it is like a fog lifts slowly from the battleground and my body goes into recovery mode. I catch my breath and feel almost normal. I relish these days of grace before I march onto the field of battle again.
During these calm, almost tranquil times, I seek solace and peace from the Lord. He renews my strength and prepares me for the challenging days ahead. I experience first hand what it means to be led beside quiet waters, to be refreshed, and to be comforted as the Psalmist writes in Psalm 23. There is a dark valley to be traversed through ahead of me, but God tells me not to fear because He is with me!
I will admit when I am experiencing the full effects of chemotherapy assaulting my body, I forget God is still with me. I feel alone in the valley, with the enemy screaming in my ear, “You are weak! You are insignificant! I will defeat you this time!” I listen to the lies and feel overwhelmed by the onslaught, but then the Lord’s still, small voice whispers almost imperceptibly into my ear, “You are mine!”
On my own strength, it’s hard to block out the barrage of verbal gunfire the enemy aims at me during those days of chemo thunder. So it is in the midst of battle I cling to Scripture that I have hidden away in my heart to remind me of God’s mercy. God’s Word encourages me to see past my circumstances and to look ahead to the days of grace that follow.
2 Corinthians 4:16-19. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Isaiah 40:31. “but those who hope in the They will soar on wings like eagles; ”
Deuteronomy 31:6. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matthew 11:28:29 “ .”
Psalm 23 “ ”
I covet your prayers on Monday and through the next round, dear readers!