Posted in Devotional

The New Normal

Can you define normal?

The normal most of us have been accustomed to for much of our lives is out there in limbo somewhere scuffling to survive. And, I hate to be the one to break it to everyone, but I don’t think it’s coming back anytime soon.

At times, I have tried desperately to stop the noise. The talk of the pandemic, the political strategies, the negativity, the debate on schools, the opening of the country. It is an abundance of information to process. And, most of it is negative.

It is entirely too much.

And, I don’t have the answers.

Much of the time I don’t know what the questions are.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

I do know we are in this together, although we may not all agree on the situation, we are one.

If you have ever read about the end of times and some of what the Bible says it can be a little intimidating. Scary almost. The Antichrist, the beast, a war waged on Christians.

Before I go off in another direction, my point is simply this. We cannot flip a switch and make this go away. We cannot sit and wait for normal to return. We cannot put our lives on hold.

We cannot live under a rock, in fear, in anger, in oblivion. We must keep moving and trust in the Lord.

We are all grieving right now. We are mourning the way our lives used to be and our freedom. We have unknowingly taken so much for granted, and just presumed living would always be just the way we imagined.

The pandemic has affected most everyone’s mental health. It has been difficult on us as adults and especially as parents. We grieve for our old lives, we grieve for our children losing out on school and sports and socialization. We mourn for what we have always had and always known.

It is a difficult state to be in. Depressing.

It has created an incompetency that our mentality cannot digest.

However, our children are more resilient than we think. We need to give them credit, give them support but keep moving forward, out of this darkness, this fog that is hindering everything good within us.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Everytime I think about what has been taken from me and my family I relate it to cancer.

This pandemic hasn’t caused any grieving that cancer hasn’t already caused us; however, at times, it has exemplified the pain and the alienation and the anxiety.

But, it didn’t cause it, and I’m not going to let it reside over my life.

Another example of what cancer has taught me.

I have been grieving for two years now. I have been a mental mess for most of it, and I find it is sometimes a daily struggle.

Still.

Before the pandemic hit there were times I had to social distance, stay home, sit in a hospital, and wear a mask. Being a caregiver for my hubby, a wound care nurse, giving daily shots, administering IV antibiotics, keeping up with pain meds, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, scans, and symptoms is more than overwhelming at times.

I never thought I had the strength I have found in myself, and for that I am so thankful. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have a choice.

And sadly, we don’t have a choice in many situations right now, but we do have a choice in how we deal with them.

I have sat alone at night while everyone was sleeping and cried and begged and pleaded for my husband, my children to not have to go through this cancer fight. I have asked God why, I have made myself sick, and I have fought to comprehend what is happening. I have stayed in my nightgown all day, not hardly gotten off the couch, cried in the shower so no one would know, and mislead my friends and family in believing I am OK.

At times, I have lived in fear, struggled to trust in the Lord, and wondered if I had enough strength and hope to get through the day. There have been moments my children were the ONLY focus I had that could drag me out of the darkness. Having the four of them has been my saving grace.

Many of you feel the pandemic has stolen your normal, but cancer stole that from my family awhile ago.

Even on bad days, even in times I fight to stay afloat, I refuse to give in.

I cannot.

I will stay positive for my children’s sake. I will make the most of this situation. It may not be normal, and it may not be what I imagined, but it is what it is. How I handle it is what matters.

It is up to us to make the new normal our normal.

We can let it take us down like quicksand, or we can embrace the change and keep moving forward. The choice is simply ours.

My Refuge and My Fortress

1Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14“Because he That is, probably the king loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Helpless

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24

Do you ever just feel uneasy and can’t put your finger on why?

Lately, I have felt out of sorts in a way, but I can’t figure out the exact culprit. Maybe it’s a combination of things or maybe I’m just tired and overwhelmed.

When in my life have I not felt overwhelmed? It is hard to remember.

It seems to be a recurring role that I can’t rid myself of for one reason or another. I just keep hitting snags, unable to settle back into a rhythm.

Last year at this time, I would say I was in somewhat of a downward spiral. Not one of my finest moments in life, but sadly I was in a very critical place mentally and emotionally. I was a mess to say the least, and for the next few months I continued to descend.

It felt something like when you get to the top of that climb on a monster rollercoaster and feel as if you are going to stall that second before you are full speed ahead in a downhill fall. Gravity is tugging at you so hard you can’t pull yourself up or breathe.

The sad reality of it all is no one noticed.

No one.

Not my friends, not my family, not even the real me. Not until one night, when my hubby was smacked with a sudden truth about the trouble I was in.

I took myself to the doctor, multiple times, and I prayed for strength, multiple times. And, every day, every week, every month I was slowly able to pull myself back together.

I started my blog shortly after that, started taking better care of myself physically and mentally, eating healthier, exercising more, doing things I enjoy. I was in a very good place…and then the virus hit.

It has taken an extra mental effort to get through the last few months, but I am well aware of the struggle. I feel like the social distancing and other precautions were already starting to take place in our lives last year when chemo began. With the virus it was all of a sudden not a choice of when we should distance ourselves, but rather a constant of just having to do it.

Tonight, I was talking to a friend from the past who has been struggling with her own personal hardships for about the same two years as me. Different situations for us, but ironically some of the same harsh effects. Hers was sudden, where my situation is ever evolving.

I realized many of us are going through a variety of troubled waters these days resulting from different situations, but we are suffering from the same emotional and mental difficulties.

We all feel helpless. We all struggle. We all are heartbroken. And, we all have to find the strength to keep moving forward.

In these times, we cannot allow ourselves to slip backwards, to fall, or allow ourselves to suffer mentally. We just cannot.

And, I won’t. I have the strength, and I have the Lord to help me. I know that.

Pray for each other. Build each other up. Show support. And, most of all take notice when you know something just doesn’t seem right with those around you. Don’t ignore what’s staring you in the face.

We all have the opportunity to help someone, each other. And, sometimes we may be helping someone without even realizing it.

Like I always say…if you can help someone, then help them. The reward is far better than paradise.

And remember, if we all pray for each other, someone will always be praying for us. xo