Time. Time is a constant. Yet our perception of it seems to change from season to season. Looking back at time already lived condenses it in our minds while looking forward expands it beyond reality. Stretching out before us like a road that will never turn and the directions of which we will never find. We will get there though, because again, time is constant. It does not stop. We may feel stuck in time or feel that it is moving so fast we can’t keep up. No matter how we see it, it is the same. It is moving at the same speed for those who wish it would speed up and pass to the next season of their life and for those that wish it would slow down because they feel the lines are blurring and they can’t see the trees as they pass, but just the cloud of green as you drive by at a speed your eyes can’t focus on.
(Kind of like the speed at which John Mark rides his pony)
My time when looking back over the last 2 years….seemed to have stopped. Stuck. So often I felt as if we weren’t taking any steps forward. In my health. In parenting. Career. Ministry. Financially. I was in quicksand. Sinking deeper as the world around me kept going. The days were long and the nights sometimes longer. The week to week treatments. The months in between awaiting the next tumor-marker lab number of joy or of grief. Never knew I would care so much about numbers and that they would control my life so.
Time moves much slower when each day is not followed by a clear expectation of what tomorrow will hold…. Or if tomorrow even promises another tomorrow.
I had my 3 month check up this week. Every month is a monumental victory when my HCG is <2…which it is! All I could think is “another month bites the dust”. One month at a time, one step at a time. Right now, I don’t assume that I know what next month is going to bring. I have hopes, but I’ve dropped my expectations. I can feel it though. The crank of life is moving again….and it is picking up force…gaining strength…increasing momentum. The wheel cranks easier and faster as it goes…the longer it goes. These past 2 years, we have been pedaling uphill… I guess everyone is in one way…ours has been steep at times for sure, but mostly just unendingly long with deceptive curves that seem like the finish is around the corner, but the corner reveals another climb. The crest forever out of sight. Each month as of late…chemo free…the pedaling gets slightly easier. The legs are getting stronger. The crest may actually be in sight. But we’ve been fooled before.
That’s all I’ve thought I wanted these past 2 years; to get to the crest and begin the descent down. But then I pause. The descent down to what? Many would say “well obviously back to normal life…getting back to what you were meant to do. To finish once and for all this distraction and disruption that cancer has been in your life. “
Now that I can sense the impending descent, the picking up of speed, the wind in my soon to be hair…the taking your feet off the pedals and holding your legs out and coasting because there’s no more hill to climb. Pause. Deep breath. Wait…I don’t want it. I want to put the brakes on.
What is wrong with you?!?
That uphill pedaling…for 2 years…I couldn’t do one push of that on my own. When God makes the ground a bit more level for a season, I don’t want my pace to increase where I speed out in front of Him. I want my legs, that are stronger now because He walked behind and beside my bicycle the entire climb…stabilizing me so that I did not fall over when my pace slowed to a point that my bike would not stay upright. Steadying me so that I did not fall over and my legs did not give out. Pushing my bike forward when there was no strength left. As I crest…when I crest…I want to use those stronger legs that got stronger only through Him, not to now take my foot off the pedal and coast…but to keep my feet on the pedal and use that strength down the hill to put the brakes on.
Brakes. Slowing. I so severely don’t want to ride out in front. The pedaling may be easier now…for a time….but the pace does not have to increase. I want to stay right there, where He is. Right beside me. I don’t need Him less now that my strength is returning. I need Him so much more. I can feel my flesh. It begins to feel renewed. It wants to take off. Wants to shake off the weight of the past 2 years and coast down the hill as long as it will take me.
But then what? What’s at the bottom? There’s the rub…I don’t know. Guess what?! He does!
So I’ll stay with Him. Jesus. I’ll pray daily to remember. I’ll thank Him for the perpetual hearing damage and ringing in my ears that came from chemo as a reminder. A reminder of my dependency. My need. Help me always remember.
For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. –Psalms 36:9–
My bike has no headlight. Outside of His light is utter darkness. I want to stay within His light.
…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.