The past five months have been a roller coaster of emotions. Anyone would understand. Hormones are trying to figure out what is going on inside this body of mine. A body that endured a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation treatments. A body that can no longer take anything estrogen or any supplement that produces an estrogen effect. I jokingly tell friends…forget the boob, give me my estrogen! Hot flashes are one of the side effects of breast cancer that I knew nothing about. Discouraging moods seems to go right along with the package of breast cancer treatment.
If all that shifting is not enough, the mental shifting of accepting a cancer diagnosis is enough in itself. Add to that a tendon tear a week after radiation and you have the makings of a very discouraged woman…me.
In the middle of it all, I kept asking myself ” what would you tell another woman to do if she was in this place of discouragement?” The answer to that is very clear in my mind. I teach it, preach it, coach it and counsel it. I would tell a woman to begin thanking God in the middle of the trial, look for good and fill her mind with the Truth of God’s Word. Find a verse or passage…read, repeat, read, repeat, remember …. Sounds easy when it’s someone else’s discouragement. But, friends, once again I have had the privilege of seeing the truth of God’s word at work, for real, in my own discouragement. His ways are right and lead us to a place of peace. I came out of the den of discouragement, into a place of immense joy, by focusing on the good, the gifts, the truths. It works!
At first it was hard. I sat at my piano and played a chord progression as I read in tears the Psalms. Then I began singing 10,000 reasons by Matt Redmon.
Bless the Lord Oh My Soul, Oh My Soul…Worship His Holy Name…Sing Like Never Before Oh My Soul, Worship His Holy Name.
At first the words were just half utterances through tears. I mean, this girl was discouraged. The tendon tear and cast was just one more thing. Really? Really Lord? But as I began to rise above the cast, and venture into praise, through tears, something happened.
It was like a miracle. My own personal miracle. Thanking God works. Focusing on Him works. This is abundance, that I have a personal relationship with God. I hesitated on blogging because I didn’t want to exclaim one day of joy…but it’s been about 3 weeks now. Things have happened within those weeks, but I just keep thinking ” I am not letting anything steal this joy” And, when I’m tempted to crawl back into the den of discouragement, I lift my hands, my head, my heart…and I begin to sing or praise, or recite the Truth of God’s Word.
Call me a fanatic of faith, or realize that I am a broken woman like the rest of the world and pay attention to what I am saying. God paves a way for us through His Word. His word is truth and truth sets us free. Here is the backing to what I am professing:
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give t hanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The word, “will” here means…delight or pleasure. This is God’s delight and pleasure that we remain joyful, connected to him in prayer and grateful to Him in thanks. His pleasure!
If you are in the den of discouragement, please don’t discount this. Give it a try. Even through tears. God loves you so much. Could it be that this discouraging moment can be a memory some day of a time that you began drawing closer to the Father’s heart regardless of circumstances. Could it be that God really can deposit joy into our soul? I believe all things are possible with God!