#1. I have had opportunity to share my story and I became a published author (you can read about my book on this site – click on the “Book” tab).
#2. I walked in my first Relay for Life event this past spring and Magnificent Hope was my supportive partner ( http://www.facebook.com/MagnificentHope ).
#3. I have been thrown back into the regular duties of life with family and home – schooling and all that goes with running a household of ten.
#4. I have been nominated in Yahoo’s online contest as “A Woman Who Shines” ( you can vote for me at: bit.ly/SherylHolmes — vote now, I think you have to vote by Oct. 26th).
To be honest – I have not been feeling all that “Shiny” lately and I have been struggling with keeping up with my life because I feel like I am in, what I am going to call, a second phase of recovery.
Physically I have lost strength, endurance, and sharpness of mind. My body has been altered from the toxins and poisons that were given to me for killing cancer cells.
These transfer to emotional burdens. I cannot do what I use to do…I cannot keep up the pace or remember the multitude of things I use to keep in my head. I still suffer side effects from chemo drugs – neuropathy keeps my feet numb 24/7; in the morning my feet are so stiff, I shuffle like a 90 year old barely able to move across the floor. I cannot garden, go for long walks, or teach dance like I use to do. Radiation to my lower pelvic area has affected my marriage relationship; the honeymoon life of passionate lovers is long gone.
I realize now, that I have been internalizing these losses. I was downcast. I was weeping in my deepest of hearts and at times paralyzed by the recounting of my losses. I have been trying to figure out who I am again….not quite fitting anywhere…cuz I am not quite the Sheryl I use to be.
Spiritually, I began crying out to God and questioning Him again – WHY ME! What more are you gonna take from me! I needed to go read my own book, Towdah, for encouragement!
Searching scripture and trying to identify Where am I now…..I related to Paul’s declaration in Philippians 3:7 & 8:
“Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”
Really, I have been mourning my losses — what were my “profits” — those accomplishments that made me established and comfortable in my life before cancer.In my weakness and in my losses I have had to rely on God and search deeper into the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.” Like Pilgrim, in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, who slipped into the slough of despond, I needed to call out for Help…..
Help sent me a meditation on the Cross. Chewing on the truth of the Cross is always a turning point for me. Jesus, my Help in all manner of trouble, already did everything I ever need on the Cross for me. Daily I find I have to surrender to that truth and count my losses as my gains in knowing Christ intimately. As I rid me of myself, I accept my losses.
The things I once held up as profits, I held in pride. Letting go of those profits gains me a gifted position. This gifted position allows me the privilege of a deeper knowing of Jesus.
#1 The loss of my strength and endurance means I can access the Lord’s strength.
#2 The loss of my body’s agility and balance means I can wait on God and ask Him to show me what I need to see and what I need to do. I can be open to how He will use me in a new way.
#3 The loss of my old relationship with my husband means I can rely on God’s grace to wash over our marriage bed.
#4 The loss of the old me and what I dreamed for me means I can trust the Lord even more to fill me with the Holy Spirit and show me the new creature He is molding.
#5 The loss of what profited me means I can be found in Christ and I can be in continual relationship with Him. In my relationship with Christ, I fit! I have a place and a purpose.
Where am I? I am found in HIM.
Friends, count your losses…they can be gains for knowing Jesus in a deeper way.
(Tune in to Part 3 of 3: ” Driven to Know” tomorrow!)