Monday, 4 March 2013
When Sadness Dawns
It has been wonderful being on the outside, but no matter how hard I try, the trauma of cancer and the beginning of the next cycle of treatment looms over me. It is like trying to escape from your own shadow. When I wake up in the morning, the ten boxes of pills tauntingly await me. I look into the mirror as I check the tube coming out of my chest to make sure the surrounding tissue is not infected; the fear of infection is never too far from my thoughts. I walk to the end of the road and I'm out of breath; I can't do what I want to do. I talk to friends, and while I am really glad to see them and find out how they are doing, I feel left behind as it seems that their lives move forward and, at best, my life stands still. I then realise that I am jealous of their lives, as I see the things they have that I want, and then hate myself for not being content. Every so often, out of the blue, sadness dawns and I don't know why.
When sadness dawns, everything seems irrelevant and pointless. I try to remind myself of the goodness that God has done in my life and how He is using this for His work, but it seems so shallow and fake. Maybe I use God's work as a crutch, a way to avoid facing the truth and allowing myself to grieve. Distraction has always been my number one tool for avoiding grief. The distraction would normally take the form of something church related so that I could justify the distraction because I was doing work for God. I am even doing it now through this blog. Well, maybe I am and maybe I'm not. This blog does give me the opportunity to talk about God but at the same time it forces me to pin down my thoughts and feelings coherently. If I didn't write things down I would be left with an aura of feelings which I wouldn't quite know what to do with.
So what do you do when sadness dawns? I'm reticent to say this, but I think the answer is grieve. Grieving is different from wallowing in self pity or entering into a hopeless spiral of depression. Grieving is allowing yourself to hurt and allowing yourself to be healed. Grieving gives you an opportunity to turn to God for healing. It may take some time and you may have to go through the process several times for the same issue, but those who hope in the Lord will never be put to shame. But this is all easier said than done. However, the beauty of putting my trust in the Lord is that I know that He is in control of my grief and my healing. I don't have to force myself to grieve in order to be healed. God knows when and how I will grieve and He will be there every step of the way.
As I come to the end of this post, I am reminded of a particular chapter in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew. The boy, who's name currently escapes me, is looking down at Aslan the Lion's great paws with tears in his eyes over his dying mother. Eventually, the boy gets the courage to look up into the eyes of Aslan. He sees tears in the Great Lions' eyes and knows in an instant that this Great Lion is more upset for the pain of his mother than He could ever be or imagine. My God feels my pain and grieves for me more than I can ever imagine or comprehend. Nothing or no one could ever compete with such love and compassion that He has for me. It is with this knowledge that my grieving and subsequent healing will begin.