Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out
~ From the Inside Out, Hillsong
I woke up in the middle of the night and felt an old, remembered pain in my throat. I couldn't talk when I tried to reassure Amelia, who woke up when I startled. It brought me right back to the bottom of the black pit I found myself in last summer, newly diagnosed with cancer, recovering from surgery, unable to speak out loud. After a few words, my voice clicked back "on", I reassured Amelia and lay watching her as she fell back asleep. I lay awake, praying and thinking about how much has changed in a year's time. Now, I am used to cancer, a shadow in the back of my thoughts. It is part of the rhythm of normal life now. I lay marveling about how fit I feel, physically. I would never know I have cancer if it weren't for a doctor who tells me so. Yesterday I biked a few miles in the wind again, pulling a sail in the form of a Burley full of sixty pounds of kids. The horses we biked to visit were far up in the pasture, and I biked through a plowed field, then pulled the bike another 100 yards or so and finally walked through brush until we could finally coax the horses out to taste the oats we brought to feed them. Amelia and Caleb were thrilled, I was bone tired. Who knew a cancer patient could do such a thing?
When I woke this morning, it was just a sour day from the start. I feel as windblown, emotionally and spiritually, as I do physically in the 30 mile per hour gusts the Midwest is suffering today. The onslaught of wind buffets my body like my mood has buffeted my mind today. Lots of potty accidents for Amelia, fussing from Caleb, wind making all outdoor tasks impossible. I am worried about our missing (pregnant) cat, and frustrated by the ill-trained dogs who haven't gotten enough attention with Aaron gone. Every task I began ended up convoluted and difficult, and I found myself cursing the curse, begging God to ease my load a little on this bad-for-no-good-reason morning.
My mom sensed my mood when I dropped the kids off, and gave me permission to spend some time with God after my school teleconferences were done. I put some loud worship music on while I put clothes away, as completing a task is the quickest way to reconnect with God in these busy days of motherhood. Hands busy free my mind for prayer. I laid it all out there for God. Told Him I'm frustrated. Told Him I'm frustrated that I'm frustrated!! I cried while I sang out the words to "From the Inside Out" (above). And felt relief and release as I sang to "One Way" (below). Whatever the troubles of today, it's true: He's the only one I can really believe in, rest in, shout at, cry to, live for. There's nothing else I'm that sold on. Nothing else that resonates with every part of my emotional, spiritual, and rational mind. He's the only thing capable of inspiring me when I'm ready to throw in the towel on all the little irritating details of my life.
I lay my life down at Your feet
Cause You're the only one I need
I turn to You and You are always there
In troubled times it's You I seek
I put You first that's all I need
I humble all I am all to You
You're the only one that I could live for
You are always, always there
Every how and everywhere
Your grace abounds so deeply within me
You will never ever change
Yesterday today the same
Forever till forever meets no end
You are the Way the Truth and the Life
We live by faith and not by sight for You
We're living all for You
~ One Way, Hillsong
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection...Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (from Philippians 3)