Breast cancer, mastectomy,, death, Prayer, suffering

You take us in your arms

 

You take us in your arms each day,
Though we, Lord, cannot see you;  

And carry us along the way,   
Though we, Lord, disregard you.

You hold our hands when we feel scared, 
Though we, Lord, may not know you;

And comfort us when life is hard,
Though we, Lord, soon forget you.

You bear us to our resting place,
Though we, Lord, still deny you –

Until we see you face to face, 
Then, we cannot ignore you!

 

References

Each day he carries us in his arms (Psalm 68:19; NLT).

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29; NIV).

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1; NIV).

I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God (Isaiah 41:13; NLT).

He comforts us in all our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT).

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7; NIV).

Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; NRSV).

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you (Deuteronomy 33:27; NLT).

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Breast cancer, mastectomy,, depression, healing, Prayer, sin, suffering

When we want to talk about ourselves

 

Lord,
When we want to talk about ourselves,
Remind us others may have problems, too,
So we can ask, and listen,
Just like you.

Lord,
When we feel sorry for ourselves,
Remind us others may be suffering, too,
So we can ask, and comfort them,
Like you.

Lord,
When we crave support just for ourselves,
Remind us others may need cheering too,
So we can ask, and strengthen them,
Like you.

Lord,
When we long for love to come our way,
Remind us others may feel lonely, too,
So we can ask, and love them,
Just like you.

 

References

How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble (Job 14:1; NLT).

They suffer painfully; their life is full of trouble (Job 14:22; NLT).

When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32; NLT).

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2; NLT).

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).

In all their suffering he also suffered (Isaiah 63:9; NLT).

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Breast cancer, mastectomy,, healing, Prayer, suffering

Hot sweats and chills

Today’s prayer is intended for use by those suffering from hot sweats, which often alternate with periods of extreme coldness. This constant temperature cycle is a very unpleasant, wearisome and disruptive symptom of the menopause, some cancer treatments, and a number of major illnesses. The idea is to turn each sweat and chill into a cue for prayer, initially for the self, but perhaps, eventually, for others too. 

 

Lord,

Burn all there is in me
Of pride, superiority, 
Self-pity, lying, anger, fear,
And let me feel your presence here.

Then I will grow more like your Son,
Whose prayer was: May your will be done;
And, when all my trials are past,
I will see your face, at last. 

 

Lord,

When I feel cold and ill, 
Let me feel your presence still.
Wrap me in your perfect love, 
For this will warm my flesh and blood.

Then, may my constant prayer become: 
Father God, your will be done;
And, when all my trials are past,
I will see your face, at last.

 

References

God is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; NIV).

You are close beside me (Psalm 23:4; NLT).

May your will be done (Matthew 6:10; NLT).

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows (John 16:33; NLT).

They will see his face (Revelation 22:4; NLT).

She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth (Luke 2:7; NLT).

Pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; CSB).

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agoraphobia, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, cycling,, anxiety, Breast cancer, mastectomy,, change, Prayer, suffering

A dream 16.10.18.

 

Last night, almost a week after my mother’s death, I had my standard, repetitive, university undergraduate bad dream for the millionth time. It goes like this: I have just returned for the next academic year, but am already missing lectures and falling behind with my assignments. I have far too many conflicting things to do. I’m not coping, and feel acutely stressed and anxious. 

However, last night’s dream had some new features. The first was that I bumped into an acquaintance whilst walking through the crowded campus. We talked briefly about the many people we knew who had dropped out of their courses. In fact, he and I seemed to be the only ones who had returned from the previous year. 

The second fresh detail was that I spontaneously joined in with a children’s game, dancing around the outside of their circle, to increase their pleasure and excitement. At the same time, I was keeping a close eye on how each one was coping, ready to tone down my approach if it seemed to be too stressful for some of them. The children belonged to the university crèche, and were playing out of doors with their carers. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being with them, as this was something I had never experienced before. 

Then came a third new ingredient. I was walking back towards my room with two women students I’d just met in a campus clothes shop. One went a little ahead on her own, whilst I linked arms with the other, chatting in a friendly way. The first woman had seemed cheerful earlier, but now she was silent and looked very tense. As we continued to walk, I found myself wondering whether she might perhaps be feeling anxious, or even panicky. 

Then, suddenly, I saw myself in her – my repeated attempts to get a degree, each ending in failure and breakdown because of suicidal depression, acute anxiety, and severe panic attacks. All these issues went on to become a chronic, ongoing struggle with mental illness and agoraphobia that has dominated my life.

I turned to my new companion, explaining how I thought our friend might be feeling. Then, to my great surprise, I heard myself say that I wished I was working on the campus, perhaps in the clothes shop, or at the crèche, rather than studying. That way, I could still escape from my mother and have something of a university experience, but without the unmanageable demands of academic life on top of so much mental pain.

As I said this, I realised how significant it was, and that I didn’t have to put myself through the impossible stresses of trying to get a degree. For the first time ever during these repetitive university dreams, I saw that I had a choice. Other paths in life were still possible, perhaps even enjoyable, and although I was already part-way through my degree course, it wasn’t too late to make a change. At this thought, my heart leapt with joy, and I was filled with new and unaccustomed hope. Then I woke up.

My university failure dream has never ended like this before, so I decided to catch hold of the experience before it faded, and to share it with you, my online friends.

 

References

Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

The lame will leap like a deer (Isaiah 35:6; NLT).

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11; NLT).

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Breast cancer, mastectomy,, healing, mental illness, Prayer, suffering

My sorry life

 

Lord, 
I lay my sorry life
Before you –

Folly, weakness, 
Ignorance, 
And fear.

Sickness, sin, 
Self-pity, 
Deep resentment –

This is the 
Wretched harvest 
Of each year.

Hear me, Lord, 
As I bow down
Before you;

Save me, 
Though I have betrayed 
Your trust. 

Forgive my sins;
Restore and heal 
My body; 

And lift up 
My poor spirit
From the dust.

 

References

You will always harvest what you plant (Galatians 6:7; NLT). 

Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me (Psalm 30;10; NLT).

Like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust (Hosea 6:7; NLT).

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).  

He lifts the poor from the dust (1 Samuel 2:8; NLT).

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