Today I Choose ~Joy~

joy ornament

We have been in the trenches recently.

I am southern and honestly there are times when I am not sure if I am using a southern colloquialism or your regular nation-wide phrase. “In the trenches” is one of those expressions; not sure where it started, but I do know that all of my life, “in the trenches” is not where you want to be for prolonged periods of time.

Today I did a quick Google search to see if there is a refined way of explaining the phrase. Do you know what I saw? I saw a lot of online discussion between people trying to understand what the phrase meant. I also saw words used that jumped off the screen at me because that is where my husband and I have been for the past 5 weeks: hard, dirty, work. And I am not referring to the work that comes with moving into our new home. I am referring to the hard, dirty, yucky, gross work I wrote of last weekend.

And yes, we are tired. My husband is somehow able to look past the ickyness of it all (don’t ask me how, maybe it’s a love thing, maybe it’s a gift God has given to him to somehow see his wife as beautiful despite illness).

For me personally, one of the more challenging parts of the past 5 weeks has been keeping my mind in the present moment.

…considering how badly illness ripped me apart in my 30’s, considering all that I know about being a hospital patient from both a professional and personal aspect, and of course considering the reality that I seem to be walking through some of the very steps that led to a leukemia diagnosis at 34…

considering those factors, I think it is easy to see where I am having a tough time staying in each. present. moment.

Anyone who has been through a health crisis understands just how slowly test results return. That is a lesson I learned (the hard way) back in my 30’s. I will not lie, I want answers and a plan, however I am doing relatively ok on the waiting game. This is an area where I can see that I grew during my 30’s: a decade ago, I was curled up in my favorite sunny spot seat at the oncologist’s office, journaling about how hard the waiting game was.

So while we have no big news or updates, I can tell you that we feel your prayers. I am still having nose bleeds, finding odd bruises that just should not be there, but I have not had another scary horror film episode since the weekend (thank you for praying against those scary scenes). My bones have also stopped hurting (Praise be to God, because nothing stops bone pain).

In addition, my spirit is starting to center (“starting”–I still have a ways to go on this one).

The past 5 weeks have been hard and the past 3 weeks have been SO very hard. Looking back, 3 weeks ago, I cancelled my 3 month oncology check-up because “I was too tired to go to the hospital”. They rescheduled me to see the doctor the following week.

*Note: when you are too exhausted to see your oncologist…you should probably NOT cancel your appointment


With all of the fatigue, bleeding scenes, sad moments, frustrations, I had lost sight of my strength, The very Christ who never dropped me during the trials of my 30’s. So I thank you for your prayers because my spirit is stronger, I am starting to remember that God is involved, somewhere, in all of this.

The other day, when I wrote the graphic post on leukemia, I mentioned how utterly exhausted it leaves a person.

I am not saying that I am having a relapse but something is “off” on my blood counts and I am tired. Praying, when tired, is very hard. I am spacey and it is hard to put long thoughts together because I need the oxygen from those blood cells to get all the way up into my brain, and right now, my blood cells are not as healthy as they are supposed to be.

Years ago a precious friend and sorority sister sent some Christmas tree ornaments to me. Every year I look forward to opening up the box that holds those ornaments of white angels and an ornament that says joy

I might not be able to put a long prayer together right now, but God hears the prayers of our hearts and today, the prayer I choose is joy

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls”

–Mother Teresa

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