"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." (NIV) Isaiah 40:29
Sixteen years ago yesterday, when I was 36 years old, I heard those words, "You have cancer." It's an odd thing when you hear those words. In my case, the doctors and nurses had "prepped" me for hearing those words - they shared that there was a high probability, that I should be prepared, that someone should come with me for that appointment with the surgeon. Yes, I was well prepared, until I heard those words. Then everything that I thought I was prepared for went out the window. Lots of other thoughts entered in. The greatest of them all was, "what will happen to my girls if I die?" And that was the last thought I had like that - after that - the battle began.
I would love to tell all of you that I was the vision of strength during this battle. I would love to tell all of you that I was strong and ever relying on God. That, my dear friends, would be a lie. There were times when I felt strong. There were times I gave my illness to God. And then there were other times when I didn't. I would get tired; I would get sick; I would wonder why. Before my diagnosis, I was a woman on the move - work, children, wife, daughter - all those roles had me hoofing it! I was always on the go and very rarely did I stop for anything. There are many times I wonder if that was part of God's message to me during that time in my life. Yet, you can imagine how frustrating it was to be moving on all cylinders to come to a complete stop.
Maybe that was the greatest difficulty. Being tired - and not just tired - weary. Completely drained of any energy whatsoever - having no energy to get out of bed, to take a shower, to only have energy to lie on a couch. That was horrible for me. I looked back into a journal I kept during this point in my life and found the following:
I was nauseous, I constantly find myself tired - 1.5 weeks after my third chemo treatment. It's such a horrible feeling of "unusefulness" (I know, not a word). I really don't want to go through round four. I am just plain tired. I'm tired of trying to help everyone else feel comfortable with this. I'm tired of trying to get up for work. Yet, if I don't do this, I am afraid that people will find me weak. That for me is unacceptable.
It was unacceptable for me, and that is a problem. My Savior knew me better than I knew myself. He knew what I needed. That was when something made me move. Something made me get up, take a shower, hug my children, and smile. It wasn't 'something', it was 'someone'. It was my Dear Lord. Reflecting back, He was truly the only one who could give such strength to my being weary. He was there despite me not always praying. He was there despite my questions of why. He was there when I felt so lonely. HE WAS THERE. HE GAVE ME STRENGTH. I look back on that time in my life and wish I was stronger in my faith. I wish I had prayed more, read the Bible more, latched onto God more. I didn't. I was tired. Yet, when God gave me the strength that I needed - He also gave me the faith I needed, the hope I needed, the love I needed - from HIM!
The good news is that when I couldn't, God could. He didn't leave me, he supported me. He gave to me even though I didn't give to Him. Praise the Lord for His goodness. I am one blessed lady!! Unfortunately, I know many others over the last 16 years up to today that have heard the same words I heard. They are God's children fighting the good fight. They are moving forward and not looking back. The Lord provides the strength for them each and every day. Blessed are all of you who are strong, albeit weary. Know that I am praying for you that our Dear Lord will continue to walk with you as He walked with me.
We all have times in our lives when we grow weary - when we don't know how we can take another step, we don't know how we will go on. Rest in God's grace, for He knows you are tired, He knows you are weary, and He will give you the strength that you need. Let Him hold you. Let Him comfort you. Let Him love you.
"Dearest Lord, thank you for giving me the strength to move closer to you. When I am tired, Lord, you come alongside of me and lift me up. When I'm not sure if I can go on, you make sure I know I can. Please continue to walk beside me Jesus, for without you, I will fall. With you, I know I can make it through all my earthly days."