Belief, Cancer, Faith, Family, Mindset

Standing In That Space

Valley of my life

What I try not to remember, is exactly what I need to remember, not to relive it or even give it a place in my life, but to finally say “I am done, these memories no longer serve me.” It is time to say goodbye and bury them once and for all.

Since my surgery six weeks ago, bits and pieces of past trauma have crept up into my brain. Almost taunting me to give up a little more of my protection, my shield, my independence. These feelings are so foreign to me now because I have built up a hard shell almost impenetrable to anyone even my children.

At some point in my childhood or maybe as a teenager, when I don’t remember, I made a decision, perhaps self-consciously or otherwise that emotion and feelings were for the weak. Maybe it started when my childhood friend, James committed suicide when I was in the ninth grade. That was my very first experience with death. I can remember that day, like it was yesterday, the kick in my stomach when the words rolled out of my dad’s mouth.

Or perhaps it was the following year, when the funniest guy in my class, Mark, was killed in a car accident, while joyriding with some of our classmates. He was the only in that crash, who did not survive. Then there was my dad’s promotion that required him to relocate at the start of my junior year in high school. New state, new school, no real friends. Once again, another layer of protection applied.

Somehow I managed to get through college and graduate school and start my career before the people closest to me began to die. My aunt Martha, Nana and the ultimate blow, my mom. Of course by the time my mom died the shell around my heart was titanium or some substance that only God could pierce, but only when I wanted him too.

What I have determined is that I do a great job of compartmentalizing to prevent myself from collapsing into the sheer pain of it all. To allow myself to feel that pain would leave me vulnerable and open in a way that would let the world know that I am really not as strong as I want everyone to believe that I am.

I am at my core, the woman that always wanted someone besides my mother and father to say everything is going to be just fine, with conviction. For my husband to say you have a purpose, a hope and a future designed by God. He (God) is standing in the doorway waiting for me to finally give it all to Him.

Though my legs are still wobbly and weak from these weeks of recovery, I will trust in Him. His plans for my life. I will stand in that space until all the pain and sadness have been stripped away from my heart and my mind.

For I know the plans, I have for you declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Cancer, Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, Faith

Pride Is Not a Virtue

September 25, 2021

I am now four weeks post surgery and while I am feeling better and improving, I thought that now would be a good time to reflect on some very important lessons that I have learned along the way.

One, humbling yourself enough to admit that you can’t do it all is important. I went into this surgery believing that I would just need about a week of strict rest and then I’d be as good as new. Wrong! Turns out I needed more. Still need it, but that’s a conversation for another post. There is a reason that the Bible talks about pride in the way that it does. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18. Lesson learned here, don’t have so much pride that you are unwilling to ask for help. Check!

Two, people do really want to help and serve. I can honestly say that friends near and far have really tried to help me through this journey in ways that I never could have imagined. Tears still well up in my eyes when I think about it. Even accepting the help has been hard for me, why? Because I guess I didn’t believe that anyone would want to help me. Or that I even deserved it.

Even still as I am writing this post, one of my local mom friends is taking time out of her day to find me a respite person to give me relief from time to time. Guys, even that was something that I wouldn’t even do! Because again, that creepy thinking of I have to do it all myself keeps me from asking for help when I should.

I know that I am not perfect and never will be, but it is my hope to be more like Christ everyday. For the Bible says, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness with brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1: 5&6. While pride isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it certainly doesn’t meet the definition of virtuous.

As I continue this healing journey, it is my prayer that God will surgically remove more of that pride from my heart so that it might be replaced with humility.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Cancer, Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, Surgery

The Part That I Never Share

I debated writing this post because being vulnerable is excruciatingly difficult for me. Even within my inner circle, sharing a day in my life isn’t easy. Not because I can’t share or even that I don’t want to share, but in my mind it feels as though I am not handling “it” and to me that is an admission that I am failing.

But, it goes deeper. I never want to seem like I am complaining. Even when my mother died (who happened to be the closest person to me in the world, my sister in Christ and very best friend), I compartmentalized her death until the thing next to her death, I had ever experienced happened. My son’s first seizure at my dad’s wedding. The one person that I needed to hold me up wasn’t there so I collapsed to the floor, I’m a heap of tears, hearing my family calling my name, my dad praying over my son, but in those painful moments waiting for the ambulance to arrive to take us to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, I was in effect unresponsive. I had lost the ability to speak.

I had no idea at the time, what that was going to mean for my son and his future. But I can assure you, the years following have been anything but a cake walk.

Since that day, I have endured many more hospitalizations with my son, a big move, a divorce and most recently, cancer. People, like to say that, God will never put on you more than you can handle, but here is where I disagree. That statement is nowhere in the Bible, and two life has given me a whole lot that I haven’t handled… well. You see, I just compartmentalize and figure out how to do it myself, because if I don’t, I am a failure. By the way, that isn’t in the Bible either.

I guess, what I want you to know is in this moment, my life is hard, it is messy and today was not a very good day. Ethan’s nanny didn’t come because she was sick, the full moon last night set off seizures for Ethan and I tried to work (my job) and manage my son’s care while simultaneously trying to be mindful of my own recovery.

I am grateful for the daughter that I have, who has had to sacrifice more than any child her age ever should because were she not here, this day could have been far worse. Her presence kept both of us from going to the hospital today.

You’ve probably surmised by now, that my life is in no way conventional or sane. So, if anyone asks, this is why I want more than anything for my health and wellness business to grow. There is no job, that I could ever do that will ever accommodate the unpredictability of my life.

Growing in faith,

AngelaChristine

After bandages were removed- September 15