Wednesday, March 9, 2016

But Jesus...

This past week end, my two dearest friends, Sandy and Cathy, came to spend the week end in Massachusetts with me. They stayed in a hotel in Gardner, and I spent Saturday night at the hotel with them. It was brilliant. We went to Texas Roadhouse for supper, I got a 1$ pair of Batman pajamas and Sandy and I both bought robes that were so soft, they're like being wrapped in kittens. Alive kittens, of course. Purring, alive kittens. Glorious.

Then we watched a silly movie, laughed a lot and went to sleep. The next day, after a yummy breakfast, I got to take my friends to what has become, in my mind at least, my woods around my pond. 

And of course, in, around, over and under all of these activities, we talked. And laughed, and cried.  Okay, I didn't cry. I'm not sure why, you'd think I'd have reason to, but I haven't yet.  I'm too busy COPING. Although having Sandy and Cathy here just made me so happy, I forgot about coping. I was just really, really happy.  There was such a positive spirit. I think I really needed that. It's not like we don't have troubles. Mutant may be the reason we got together, but we are all dealing with some pretty heavy, painful stuff. And much of our conversation was about what is going on in our lives. We shared our pain, our concerns and losses and feelings about potential losses and fears about moving forward into more potential pain and struggles.  Still, we laughed a lot.

The thing is, Sandy, Cathy and I are all united in one area. We love Jesus and know that if we ever let go of Him, these trials we are in now are going to feel like a frikken picnic compared to life without Him..  Our hearts would break. I love how Cathy calls Him "sweet Jesus." She's so intimate and loving. When Sandy and I share pain that we never could have imagined living through, always one of us, in some way, says some version of, "...but Jesus..."

 For example, when I talk about how radiation might affect my already wounded bladder, how my urologist winced when I said that I might need radiation treatments, when I think that after 15 years of IC pain, Mutant might leave me with an even more damaged bladder, and in even more pain than ever...then I pause.  And look into the faces of my friends. I see their compassion, their frustration and, yes, even anger that this is happening to me. We take deep breaths. Hope nudges us. We nod thoughtfully, and someone inevitably says, "...but Jesus..."

But Jesus will give us strength.  But Jesus knows what we will be going through, and He is preparing us. But remember that time when we went through *insert trial here* and we didn't know how we'd make it and somehow we did? Because of Jesus?

Cathy, who has been through more than I can even imagine and who has a faith and love for God that is an inspiration to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, read this out loud to Sandy and I -

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you will know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anythingJames 1:2–4

 I think our unity comes in our belief that our struggles can be redemptive, that God is making us gentler, kinder, more patient, more selfless, more loving.  Stronger in all the best ways. In the holy ways. There is a fragrant air of peace and hope in our sharing, it is a place of rest and restoration to me.  Even my body was strengthened.  It was what I want to be for the lovelies in my life, my people who mean the world to me. 

I have a feeling this is the calm before the storm.  That's okay, because Jesus...

Just a thought. 

No comments:

My Zimbio