Monday, March 5, 2018

Putting Up a Fight

My moment is here. It's a moment to sit and write while I wait for a bag of liquid iron to finish infusing into my vein. The IV fluids are cold and my face feels a wee bit tingly.

It's a funny thing. They tell me I run on fumes. I have too little iron, a low red blood cell count with immature cells, an inadequate ability to supply my body with oxygen, and other abnormalities. Oxygen is absolutely critical for life. Compared to what I've known for most of my adult years, I'll gladly take running on fumes. My base of comparison was living life half dead prior to these IV treatments. Running on fumes is pretty awesome in my opinion, because it feels much better than surviving half dead.

A lot can be done with fumes. I ran a half marathon every weekend for the last three weeks. The first was by accident because I got too far from home on my intended 12 mile training run. The second was at a comfortable training pace, and the third, yesterday, was my actual race. I've learned to train my mind just as much as I train my body; perhaps training my mind to fight and push and continue has been most critical.

I'm not there yet. I'm not anywhere, except maybe somewhere between the start and the finish line of this race called life. In one way or another, we all run this race somewhat unprepared, perhaps even disadvantaged. The training of our mind (and heart) to fight is essential if we want to run well.

Bad memories and present implications have been plaguing me again recently. It has been a mental and emotional fight. Sometimes I feel angry and start directing my fighting at the wrong thing. Other times I think I'm losing my fight completely. The crushing weight returns; or it's like a sucker punch to the gut when I least expect it, when my stance is not firm. I am pummeled. Deep rooted insecurities return and I am undone. My ability to fight seems too small, weak, half dead.

A few things struck me this week:

*Reality must be accepted. Acknowledgement is essential, whether that is accepting the reality and limitation of health, or accepting real events of the past that truly did cause lasting harm, or acknowledging pain and weakness. No one can make true progress when reality is denied. In order to heal and recover, or just to plain cope in a constructive way, reality must be affirmed. Otherwise, we stay victim.

*Isolation is harmful. In fact, it is utterly dangerous. Isolation can be an avenue to greater pain and loss. Proverbs 18:1 warns us: "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment." Isolation is where self-pity (or self-indulgence) is a rapid downward spiral. We must let others know our struggle. We are meant to carry each other's burdens, which means there are also times when we permit others to come alongside and carry our burdens while providing wise counsel.

*Scriptural truth and obedience to God applies to all parts of my life. A friend kindly helped me see that I have segregated certain areas of my past to an "untouchable" category. She reminded me that God saw it all, he knows every detail, and his love and compassion reaches back to meet me there whenever my mind brings back haunting memories. Philippians 4:8 is a prescription far better than any pill could offer! It is a training plan for the mind and heart wherein we replace the infection and plague of sin and its effects with spiritual health and wholeness through Christ. It may seem like a simple plan at first glance, but when you put it into practice it is a massive training plan and spiritual fight!

*We are not defined by our past. In Christ, all things are made new. We run with our eyes forward, filled with hope. The race is not ours to run alone, and the fight has actually been won. With the help of my God, I train my heart to stay firmly planted in that knowledge.

Another thing that struck me again this week is that I have a husband who is fighting for me, with me. I am undeserving.


It's the afternoon now. It's another beautiful day, and we're celebrating Jacob's half birthday. Eleven and a half is a pretty fun age in my opinion. I brought his friend home from school and I laughed on the inside the whole way home. They had the back windows down and they played "Sweet and Sour" at every red light. Most people are sour. Know that if a kid smiles and waves at you, they are probably testing your character: please be sweet for your own sake.

At one point on the drive Jacob stuck his head out the window with his tongue hanging out and said, "Let's see why dogs like this so much!"

I let the boys pick out some ice cream to take home in celebration of Jacob's half birthday. They picked double fudge, and I served up six cones from the back deck in the mid-afternoon sun. A little bit later the boys re-enter with their faces smeared with melted chocolate because they wanted to see what they'd look like with beards. Boys crack me up. ❤


Evening now. I've been needed to help out with Algebra recently. Tonight I'm immersing myself in factoring trinomials with mixed signs and I'm a little lost. I haven't been keeping current with the lessons, so jumping in is mental gymnastics. Just sort of remembering how to do the easy problems is not cutting it, which basically answers the question I'm always asked: "Why do I have to know this anyway?" 

If anything, I hope my kids will come away from their years at home knowing that their mom will do everything in her power to help them succeed. And I hope they always know I'm fighting for them.

Good night...


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