“Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid for I will be with you.” Clinging to the promise of His presence, as I embarked on the process and whirlwind of decision making with my doctors, in the turmoil finding stillness and guidance to go through the necessary steps, tests, and procedures. He promised presence was there as I experienced and discovered the unique loneliness of the journey.
Realizing no one could go through breast cancer for me, or even always be with me, sent a cold chill through my heart. While everyone supported and loved me, I alone had to have dye shot into my veins for the lymph-node mapping…endure the excruciating needle biopsy and wire placement…painful surgery. I alone carried the heavy weight of fatigue, dizziness, and sleepless nights.
I, also, sometimes feel alone watching friends going on with their lives. They leave from visiting or hang up the phone and continue about their day as usual. My life seems at this point will never be “usual” again. I pray for their protection from breast cancer, and that brings feelings of isolation and loneliness. A constant prayer that I will be the only one in this family and group of friends. Lord, did you need me closer to you? Away from the noisy crowd? Was your intention to draw me in even as I looked up at the cross in from the church pews? Fulfilling your purpose in me and to others through this page? Let me never forget that with the Holy Spirit in my soul, I will never walk alone!
Occasionally, I have felt the “pity party” coming on. The kind of parties you don’t plan; they just happen. They’re lonely too! No time to send out invitations, so no one shows up but you. No streamers, flowers, or cake at a pity party. They’re of short duration and successful if you recognize enough of the symptoms to end it before it really takes hold on your fragile inner self.
I know you have lonely times, too. Many phases of breast cancer journey trigger a devastatingly empty, alone feeling. Maybe it comes during your biopsy, surgery, while lying in bed after the mastectomy, during radiation, chemotherapy, or while hugging the toilet while throwing up. No one can do any of this for you, so this is when you are most likely to get lost in self-pity. Maybe it’s while you are putting on that little gown preparing for the mammogram, because you just had a feeling. Whenever or wherever it shows its self, we all have those moments of excruciating, intolerable loneliness. It is natural. It happens. Your friends should leave, and your family hasn’t arrived home from work or school, yet. You sit in the living room, bedroom or hospital room watching the door…and you just feel alone.
You’ve heard we’re never alone with Jesus in our lives, but you long to experience His presence. Well, alone is the perfect time and place to do that. Being by ourselves or feeling alone is when God can really get our attention. No distractions-just God and us. If you have not already experienced this, the next time loneliness grabs your heart, picture Jesus sitting right next to you. What is the conversation you would have with him?
No matter how challenging or difficult your present circumstance may be, I can assure you of one thing: If you cry out to God in your crisis, He can and will bring you help. Not only will He help you but He can make a multitude of blessings out of every situation. Be encouraged, because as you cry out to your Creator, He can and will turn your mess into a message, your test into a testimony!
God tells us to call on Him when we’re in trouble and He will deliver us and we will glorify Him. In other words, once He delivers you, you can testify of the goodness of God and what He’s done for you—and how He got you out of your mess and turned it into a message.
It doesn’t matter how many times the storms of life knock you down. You can rise up after each fall, because God in heaven is there for you. That’s good news!
Psalm 57:1-3 says that God will take care of the things in life that concern you. And He’ll reproach the devil on your behalf. When you call out to God in times of crisis, He shows up and gives you the faith you need to climb whatever mountain you may be facing.
When you are in crisis, your first impulse should be to call on our Father—our heavenly Father. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Ps. 50:15).He created you and is acquainted with all your ways; no one knows better than God how to heal your body, repair your relationships and fix the things in your life that concern you. Since He knows best, remember to call out to Him in your time of trouble.