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cancer rootwords

Fall

October is here again. That time of year when reminders of breast cancer are everywhere. The month – and my morning – started out with the realization that I am experiencing significant hair loss from the aromatase inhibitors I am taking. My hair is one of the features that I have always felt fairly confident about. No longer.

When I made the connection this morning between my meds and my hair falling out, I was crushed. Cancer has already stolen so much of what made me feel feminine and sometimes beautiful. This change to my hair was unexpected and makes me feel self conscious. I have seven more years on this medication, and it is saving my life. With that in mind, it is hard to face the ways it is aging me in the process.

Nevertheless, the tears came on the way to work this morning. The cancer is over, except I will be dealing with it for the rest of my life in different ways, big and small. Sometimes I am just so tired. As I wept, these words filled the car:

“Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet

For You have never failed me yet

Your promise still stands
Great is your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet

I’ve seen you move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again”

Rootwords. I calm and wipe away the tears.

(Elevation Worship, Do It Again)

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rootwords

Birthday Gift

The number four has always been special to me – my lucky number, maybe. So this birthday – 44 – has felt like a good one. Mostly. And then, there is Relentless Anxiety that lives in my head and scares me with questions about how many more birthdays I might get and what awful things could happen over the course of this next year.

So, it was rather beautiful to wake up from a bad dream on the morning of my birthday. I don’t remember what the dream was about, only that I was terrified and things seemed hopeless, when in the middle of that desperate place, I heard a small voice inside my head repeating over and over again, “I trust you, God. I trust you, God. I trust you, God.” And, inside my dream, I joined that voice, quietly in my thoughts. Then I was chanting it out loud to myself with more and more conviction, until I was focused only on those words and that voice – and suddenly I was flooded with complete peace. And I woke up, taking those rootwords – and that peaceful feeling of surrender and trust –  into this birthday, into this year: I trust you, God. I trust you, God. I trust you, God.

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rootwords

Rootwords

So here it is. My own tiny piece of the internet. A place to practice this life, through writing. So here I am. Finally working up the nerve to put together a post, more than a year after buying the domain. It’s a tad terrifying to see my name displayed so boldly across the address bar at the top of my screen. I thought about choosing a different name for my blog, one that I could hide behind a little more easily. But this is my spot. This is me. Showing up. Just to practice.

Because I think it is the practicing that’s important. Words are powerful for me. Words have anchored me through hard times. Kept me rooted and strong, or at least, strong enough. A gratitude practice that saved the spirit of a struggling stay-at-home mom. The word “fierce” that carried me through my battle with breast cancer. And just this summer, the phrase “take up your bed” to remind me that the battle is over and it’s time to leave the sickness and fear behind, to walk forward toward new things. So that’s what I’m doing here. It’s a practice. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just time to start.