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Radiation- Unexpected Praise

At the start of Holy Week, I started to really think about this journey I’m on and all the emotions that have passed through me over these last seven months. As the struggle would have it, I started Sunday with a terrible headache and nausea that after trying to push through it, kept me in bed for the better part of the day and evening. At times I literally cried as I was really sick and tired of pain..even pain that was more easily addressed with over the counter medicine. I was also frustrated because I could have avoided this pain by just drinking more water....yes it was a dehydration headache and for those who have had these, they are excruciating and really the only thing that works is hydration. Anyway, I pushed through as usual and as I was at times sitting and feeling sorry for myself, I started to think about the the meaning of Palm Sunday and Holy Week and what Jesus was about to go through. He knew the path and the reason and still there were moments that he appeared to angst about the journey. Just like I did, He called out to God...Luke 22:42 "Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me--nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done." But unlike me, Jesus in the same breath submits to Gods will. So in being reminded of that, I leaned in and allowed God’s hand to roll over me. Truth is, I was exhausted and as much as I needed the water, I needed the rest...and God knew that and used my self created set back to bless me in spite of me. That has been my story during this entire walk...hell during my entire life! So what does this have to do with Radiation and unexpected praise???? Well, this week started my fourth week of radiation and I was starting to feel a little of the discomfort of the burning, but because I had my double mastectomy first, it was discomfort and not pain. He knew what I needed! For those who haven’t been through this, the process of radiation has me stretched out on a table with my arms stretched over my head. It is an extremely vulnerable position...powerless even. I suspect Jesus felt that way on the cross. As they go through the process, they ask me at times to take in a deep breath and hold it. As I shared in my earlier blogs, my breaths during this walk became a purposeful way for me to take God in and exhale doubt and fear and exhaustion. From a medical perspective, the deep breaths push my heart down, which helps to protect it from the radiation. Breathing God in protects my heart...think about that! During my radiation process every day (which is actually about 15 from the time I get on the table) I talk to God directly. I ask him to give me strength and energy to move through this journey and to do the work He has called me to do. And before I get up, I praise God knowing it is already done...Everyday God reveals His presence to me and while some of it comes in the form of discomfort, I count it all joy. So as I was thinking about what to share in this blog, I looked up the definition of radiation.. Radiation is the complete process in which energy is emitted by one body, transmitted through an intervening medium or space, and absorbed by another body. Isn’t that just what God does with us through our radiation moments??? He uses them to give us His energy and His strength so we can do what He has called us to do. My life has pruned me in many ways and there are things I can no longer do, but as my pastor the Rev Dr Jeremiah A Wright Jr said in his sermon on Sunday - the events in his life could have taken him out but they didn’t. While he doesn’t have all he use to have....he will praise God with what God left him with! I never thought I would praise God for this journey but unexpectedly I find myself doing that more and more. This journey has been a Bitch at times and has taken so much from and out of me but in so so so many other ways....IT HAS GIVEN ME LIFE! Thank you God!

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