All the time

“God is good all the time.”

Even when my mind feels so full that it may combust.

“God is good all the time.”

Also when the stress of this current life make me feel like I’m going to throw up.

“God is good all the time.”

Especially during the days when I don’t feel overwhelmed emotionally, but I can tell there is so much anxiety that my body tightens and I can’t seem to loosen my grip.

“God is good all the time.”

Particularly once I finally realize my attitude of “I got this, we can do this easy” previously was naive and probably a bit prideful.

“God is good all the time.”

On the days I feel alone in this, like I’m trying to be mother, nurse, and therapist while trying to somehow keep a death grip on my positivity and childlike nature, and not burn out or blow up….

Yes. God is good all the time.

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Dealing with emotions is difficult

So it’s been a really hard few days.

Dad’s tumor marker went up, which basically could mean that the chemo dad has been using for 15 cycles is starting to sorta wane.  I haven’t really been letting myself think of that, the alternatives to his getting better, but my immediate family all are starting to see that.  Or at least we’re trying to come to terms with even the thought of it.

God can heal daddy.  There is no question of that.  It’s just, will He?

Sadly I know that a lot of these questions can sometimes, with me, stem from my feelings mentally/physically at the time.  Not that those things change the situation, but it’s more that I’m able to cope a bit better when I feel better.  At the moment, I am feeling sick since I ate way too many Reese’s mini cups.

Which brings another scenario into play that has been happening this week.

I seem to be using a lot of coping mechanisms right now, since dad had a big bout of turmoil over a decision that I won’t go into.  Seeing him hurt, makes me hurt the most.  Therefore, that’s when I tend to seem to go into “make yourself feel better” mode.  That includes a bit of stress eating, a lot of drawing, and pretty much all hours modding on discord.

I had a big emotional….I don’t want to say purge but more of a release this morning, so that’s really helped.  As in God helped me to sorta get out stuff that I don’t know how to get out on my own.  I asked Him to help me to let go of stuff that I’ve been holding onto, and I just started crying.  Which is good.  Sadly I’m a person that subconsciously stuffs things that bother me way down, and I try to deal with them as best I can, but it seems like sometimes the emotions just get squirreled away without my meaning to.  Then they kinda….splash out.

And the thing is too, I’ll own up to it, I could be PMSing a bit.  That always makes it worse.  But still.  Hard stuff.  I mean at one point I literally felt like my head was gonna blow up because of all the emotional stuff going on.

Anyway.  God is good and He helps me through all this.  And is going to keep helping me.  Despite of myself.  Which is the best news I’ve ever heard of.

Stuff that’s happened in the last few months… Wait-has it been months?

  1. Dad is going towards his 15 round of chemo.  And it still works.  That is amazing in and of itself.
  2. I got sick for a week with some sort of infection, which means I couldn’t do a thing.  It was just horrible.  I felt like I wasn’t doing my job.
  3. My sister moved closer to our state, and is planning to visit every so often.  Dad was elated.
  4. The sad realization came that I may not be able to ever go to a convention again.  At least not in the near future.  Too many germs, too many people.  I had a sad.
  5. Discord chat servers were discovered, which led to some definite drama in ways I wouldn’t have expected but also meeting some nice people I wouldn’t otherwise.
  6. God may or may not be leading me into a field that I would have never in a million years considered.  But I never considered my dad having cancer either.
  7. I get to see Blainy this year (yaaay!!!)
  8. Slowly I seem to be understanding just how selfish I have been in my life, and how much I keep withholding from God.  And I want to fix that.  Or rather let Him help me to fix it.
  9. I am finally taking steps toward being healthy.  I joined a zumba class, which I started yesterday.  It kicked my buuuuuuttt.  In a good way.
  10. God is good and I and my loved ones have not been effected by any of the hurricanes, riots, or earthquakes I have been hearing about.  I hope God continues that.

Messing up and mercy

I think I've fallen for that thing that caregivers get called "feeling good about yourself so you start becoming neglectful."
I don't mean like not taking care of my dad neglectful, but like "not taking care of the house as I should" neglectful.

My dad is doing the dishes right now and all I can do is sit and wallow in my guilt while I type this. And I mean what are you going to say? "Don't do that thing that needs to be done because I feel bad that I didn't do it when I should have."

But as my dad finishes and I ask forgiveness for not doing my job like I should, not being diligent enough, instead of reprimand or wry agreement, I'm greeted with a big bear hug.

"I appreciate everything you've done," he says with a tearful smile.

This is the thing that people find when they come to Jesus, when they have a relationship with Him, when they really love Him. We admit we mess up, expecting something horrific, and He instead comforts us and says, "I love you anyway."

A message from my dad, Mark

To who may all receive this message Jesus loves you:

 

I have lived my Christian life knowing that I am a sinner in need of a savior and God gave his Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and rise again to forgive me of my sins.   My Christian walk has been one of grace and works.  My life has been blessed and stable which has allowed me to follow my calling and attend a church which has fed me spiritually my entire adult life.

 

My cancer diagnosis has rocked my world and it has motivated me to spend much more time in prayer and be in the word more than I have ever been in my life. If we are Christians to die is just a step into glory but my current adversity has put my mortality and the promise of heaven front and center.  In my life death has been something that was always very far back in my mind.  Please pray for me as I go through this adversity.

 

It has hit me like a ton of bricks that my love of Jesus needs to be stronger and everything in our life is based on our love of Jesus.  We can thank him for his love towards us but our Christian walk is determined by how strong our love for him is.

 

I raised my family in a Christian home that was very pragmatic.  We went to church and we prayed at home sometimes but I relied on my Church with its messages and church camps to minister to my family. Our prayers at home did not focus on developing a greater love for Jesus and loving what he loves. I felt the holy-spirit in church and relied on that to develop my love for Jesus and his word.

 

I now realize that I needed to actively encourage my children when they were younger to press into a deeper love of Jesus and that is something for which I am very sorrowful of and a time which I can never get back. I encourage and pray that each of you begin today to press into a love of Jesus beyond measure and you will in turn love what Jesus loves. If we are in love with Jesus all the other parts of living a life for Jesus fall into place.

 

I am thankful that we have a God of the now. I am actively seeking a greater love of Jesus.    I have been blessed to see this need in my life and pass it on.  I need Jesus today more than ever.

 

I know many of you have had life changing events of all kinds and are still working through changes. I am praying for you individually that you will start today to develop a deep abiding love for Jesus.   I am also praying that Godly people will come into your lives to help you with your journey.

 

 

I love all of you so much and only want God’s best for you.

 

In Jesus love

 

Mark Russell

A thought about Pslams 124

So God laid it on my heart to do a little “fast” of my time on the internet just a few minutes during the day for a week.  And during that I’ve been making sure to read my Bible, which nowadays a very rarely have done to my shame, and one thing I think God had me look at was Psalms 124.

It talks about Israel saying soon that, if God hadn’t been their refuge, then they would have completely overwhelmed.  Not just like physically by men who wanted to hurt them, but it spoke about the rivers overtaking their souls.  That got me thinking, like how do people even go through some of the things they go through without God?

I mean the morbid answer is some of them don’t, but I’m not gonna think of that part.

It just makes me so incredibly thankful.  Thankful for all I have, but especially that God has been here for me.  Not just with dad’s cancer, but with my own personal battles with mental health.  There were times I legitimately thought I was gonna have to be put into a hospital, but through all of it God was with me, and gave me my parents as huge supports.  Along with all my church family.

I know it’s kinda rambly and short but, I just can never say how truly thankful I am.

 

“Vicarious” fear

We're sitting here, waiting for daddy as he gets hydrated at the cancer center. "Hydrated" is basically the technical term for "getting pumped full of water and saline." In our little cooler full of medicine and supplements, we have a newly obtained medicine called Ambien. It's a sleeping pill for my dad. He's been having issues staying asleep since he started weaning himself off Lorazepam. It makes sense that he has it. He should have it.

I'm scared to death of him taking it, because I was scared to death to take them myself.

Isn't it funny how that works? I guess it's a good sign that I'm worried about his long term wellbeing, since my biggest fear is his becoming dependent on them. Yet somehow the feelings keep circling back to myself and my own fear. Why is that?
Does anyone else do this? Find yourself reacting in fear and trepidation about something, but more because you had once had that fear yourself and transfer it to someone else?

This could be an odd, flip flopped way of "living vicariously" through someone else, yet more like "fearing vicariously."
I wonder if this is what being a parent feels like. Part love, part, empathy, part concern, part total lack of trust in the world around you and hearing too many stories of friends who have become unaffected by sleeping pills from constant use. Needed use, yes, but medicines become less and less effective over time.

That could happen to him. Please Lord don't let it happen to him.

Also, on a more sarcastic note, I find I never truly know how distress I am about something until I start writing and stir it up. I guess I need to deal with things more than I realize.