Spiritual Quicksand

This blog has been great therapy for me. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and the mental exercise has been good for overcoming chemo brain. However, sometimes I’m struggling, and I don’t have anything witty to say. In fact, anything I do have to say would probably be decidedly not witty and uninspiring. That’s precisely the reason why you haven’t heard from me in over a week and a half. It’s like Cowboy Bob used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I was in meltdown mode on Sunday. It’s amazing how you can be in a church full of people, or at home with your family, and feel all alone. But that’s exactly how I felt. It was as if I was holding myself together with a fraying thread, and it was just a matter of time before it would completely unravel.

Yesterday, I talked to someone who loves me, and she gave me what amounted to a spiritual kick in the butt. You see, I was trying to do it myself. But I don’t have the strength for this—which is why I’ve been a basket case. The bible says that God will give us strength, and not only that, if we let Him, He will fight our battles for us. However, I often decide to wrestle with these things myself. I’m a control freak that way. The problem is that this time I bit off more than I could chew. Satan has a hayday with this type of scenario. When I’m feeling alone, he whispers, “That’s right, you are alone…nobody understands…nobody wants to hear about it if you’re not happy inspirational cancer girl…” When I think about my surgery, he says, “Gee, it’s too bad you’re going to be maimed in a few days…you know that reconstruction won’t look natural, whenever you finally have it…I wonder if you husband will be able to stand the sight of it…”

I can’t fight that kind of thing myself. Before I know it, I’ve been dragged down into it like it’s spiritual quicksand. I kick and thrash, but it only makes matters worse. Only when I recognize that that my self-focused methods aren’t productive, and that I need to instead focus on God, do I calm down enough to stop sinking. This time, it took someone standing on the edge of the pit holding out God’s Word like a life-saving tree limb to pull me out.

I hesitated to post all this, because I know everyone is expecting something funny. Especially if you’re new here, you may be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute…you tricked me! I thought this was supposed to be funny.” Folks, I’m not super human. Most of the time, I am fairly positive, and I do find humor in a lot of the things I’ve gone through. But to pretend to always be happy-snappy would be dishonest. As I said before, my blog is therapeutic for me. I do get a kick out of entertaining and informing people, but I also want to be real. I certainly don’t want someone else who is going through the same sort of thing to be discouraged because they’re not handling it as well as they think I must be.

And hear this: When I am weak, it’s not because God can’t or won’t strengthen me. It’s because I’m trying to rely on my own strength. When I finally admit that I’m at the end of myself, and I say, “Lord, I cannot handle this. I am giving it to you” that is when I become what many of you call strong.