The doctor told me several times during the treatment process, “You’re probably going to begin experiencing some fatigue toward the end of treatment. It will be worse for a couple of weeks after they are over.” Right, right. The radiation techs told me, “Now, it isn’t uncommon for you to feel really tired for a couple of weeks after treatments stop. Just let yourself rest if you need to.” Sure, no problem. But I only took 5 days off for surgery and have worked throughout radiation treatment, so secretly, I was fairly certain they did not mean me. Others, perhaps, but not me.
One day and a half after my last treatment, on my way home from the office, I was ready to pull my car over to the side of the road, put my flashers on and take a nap – right there with cars and trucks zooming past me at 70 mph, (does anyone do the speed limit in this city?!) Just leave me alone, please, and give me a wide berth; I’m snoozing. And the day after that, and the day after that, and…well, you get the idea; this girl now needs daily naps! Good grief. My life has once again been INTERRUPTED.
I pondered this as I was lying down today, (my new favorite position these days), and realized that this is not the first time I have felt a skip in the recording of my life. Ten years ago, after returning to school to complete degrees and entering a fulfilling field I loved, my life was completely stalled by fibromyalgia. It took 8 months and multiple doctors to discover the cause of my malaise, but it didn’t change the outcome. My body had betrayed me-or so I felt-and my life was on hold.
Unfortunately, my stubborn streak is clearly revealed when I admit that it took at least five years for my gracious Lord to lead me to accept the “new normal” that became my life. It took another year or two for me to believe that God continued to have a purpose for me in this world…yeah, I had swallowed some pretty big lies. Did I mention that depression is a huge factor with chronic pain?
Fast forward – new path to new calling, new career…almost there…the end is in sight, and what raises its ugly head? Cancer. Then cancer treatments, which require time off; more interruptions to my life, and gosh! I’m getting old! Time is running out! (Chronos time, that is.) Dear God-what is this crazy journey I am traveling?! Will there never be an end to the interruptions, to the detours that I find myself traveling?
No, probably not.
Possibly, the most difficult truth to accept is that our life is the journey- the ups and downs, the joy and the pain, the sickness and the health-it’s all part of His plan. As much as I have tried to make it so, in my heart I am aware that life isn’t a linear thing in which we walk a nice, neat road from point A to point B.
In recent days, my thoughts have turned to Stephen, whose life was ultimately and completely interrupted because he spoke the Word with boldness. And what about Saul, who, on the road to Damascus had a major life interruption, wouldn’t you say?! In fact, throughout Paul’s life after the Damascus road experience, his journeys were repeatedly interrupted with beatings, imprisonment, shipwreck, and changing of road trip plans. Not exactly a point A to point B kind of guy, that Paul character!
We can say the same thing about any of God’s leading characters: Abraham, the prophets, certainly, David, both before and after he became king; of course, the disciples went from following the Messiah to ultimate death. There are exampleseverywhere we look in Scripture of lives that are riddled with interruptions from their original plans, but the unifying theme throughout each of these lives is the sometimes wild, sometimes fearful, but always a willingness to follow God with everything they had, regardless of the cost…and most paid a very high price.
Interruptions, detours, pain and sorrow will deviate us in what we thought was the ‘right’ path, perhaps many times, perhaps so many times that there doesn’t even seem to be a path, but be of good courage, brothers and sisters, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)