Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bad day.  No bones about it.

I struggled this whole day to swallow the less than desirable at work, to not think about that email, to not sorrow over longing for the Lord's Supper that I have missed the past two Sundays, to not grieve over bible study that I have missed the same, to not stare at the bruises still faint upon my face.  I struggled and failed miserably, darting out for gas mid day, for gas and a chance to let go the tears I had been holding inside.

I cried for hours when I got home, even after talking to Pastor.  I had called Bettina earlier and asked that she play Scrabble with me, that she slaughter me and play all sorts of brilliant words.  I couldn't play for a while, but eventually did.  She won, but she helped me play a few good words, and I did play igneous all on my own, which then led to us looking up rock information online.  I love that she is brilliant. I love that she is curious.  I love that she took the time to tell me also of sedimentary and metamorphic rock (I struggled with the latter) in the middle of the game.  She is like that.

During the game, I did rather recklessly drink a Dr. Pepper with lemon, but I ate some beef jerky hoping that was enough to offset the sugar.  We shall see.

The nausea and hair loss and cold spells are better, now that I stopped the medication that seemed to be in conflict with my thyroid medication.  I am still nauseous.  Tonight, I have the heat set at roaring furnace because of a chill.  And, much to my sadness, not a shower goes by without more hair piling up on the side of the tub.  But it is better.  Markedly so.

Some days, I think about just shaving my head, so much do I hate what is happening, but I keep hoping that, somehow, the scalp view I currently have will be the worst, that I will have some hair left while the rest grows back in.  I know that many still cannot tell, but I can. And I now have a second Ziploc bag since the first is filled.

I think I am moving past the trials and another comes.  And another.  I am very, very tired.  I read and read and read the Living Word. I study the Book of Concord and Walther and Kleinig.  I pray, for others at least.  I pray and read Stark's Prayer Book and I sing hymns.  I sing hymns and set several ones Pastor recorded for me on repeat, such as From God Can Nothing Move Me, Abide with Me, Speak O Lord Your Servant Listens, To God the Holy Spirit We Pray, and I Leave All Things to His Direction.  With the latter hymn, I fill my ears because I wish for it to be true; I wish to trust more, to be able to walk confidently in His mercy and grace no matter what is happening around me.  Alas, I fail miserably at doing so.

One of the ways which Pastor has cared for me, at times, is to email me prayers.  At first, he would send me ones he prayed for me, so that I would know that he prayed and what he prayed.  Once he even texted me a prayer; I like to think he did so that I could have it with me throughout the day.  But then he sent me a prayer he wrote for me to pray.  And an another.  In them, he laid bare the contents of my heart before God, but wrapped them in Gospel, teaching me how I should pray for myself, showing me that it is okay to feel as I feel, to share such with God, but share certain of His love for me, His grace, His mercy.

I told Bettina about the one below. I told her so that I could read it to her.  I read it to her so that I might learn to pray it.  Until that time, Pastor recorded it for me so that I could pray it with him.  Such is pastoral care....

O God, help me! I know not where else to turn.
I look at myself and all I see is my sin, my failure, my unworthiness.
My prayers feel like lies.
How can I pray?
Yet you have commanded us to pray, and so I will pray.
Help me!
Give me the peace and joy that I lack.
Give me the hope and love that I lack.
Give me the faith and trust that I lack.
Help me when I see my unworthiness to look to the cross of Your Son, and see there how much You love me!
Even though I am unlovable.
Forgive me for Jesus’ sake.
All my sins. They are so great.
But Your love is greater! Greater than I can imagine.
Help me this day.
Help me see Your hand at work.
Lead me in the ways I should go this day and every day.
Give me Your Spirit, and restore Your struggling, fearful, helpless child.
For yes, I am Your child.
You baptized me!
It’s true.
Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.
Help me.
Help me.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I long to pray this truly.  I long for my life to be the testimony of the words of the hymn below.  I grieve that it is not....  I am baptized.  God does bring laughter after weeping, especially with Bettina and with Pizza Man.  There is joy in sorrow in His infinite mercy.  Would that I walked more in Christian resignation.  May what pleases God in my life, please me.

I Leave All Things to His Direction

I leave all things to His direction;
He loves me both in joy and woe.
His will is good, sure His affection
His tender love is pure, I know.
My fortress and my rock is He:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

God knows what must be done to save me;
His love for me will never cease.
Upon His hands He did engrave me
With purest gold of loving grace.
His will supreme must ever be:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

My God desires the soul's salvation;
My soul He, too, desires to save.
Therefore with Christian resignation
All earthly troubles I will brave.
His will be done eternally:  
What pleases God, that pleases me.

My God had all things in His keeping;
He is the ever faithful friend.
He gives me laughter after weeping,
And all His ways in blessings end.
His love endures eternally: 
What pleases God, that pleases me.
(LSB 719)

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