Yes. Miss Positive. I considered death. Really, I considered not living. (Not suicide, but rather thought it a better option to what so-called living I have been attempting.) And I keep having bouts of not living, they come and go stemming from this TBD illness I have been dealing with since late last summer. Not to mention, I have a serious guilt complex and feel I brought it all upon myself which in turn has affected everything in my life, my outlook, making plans, looking forward to anything, even cooking, reading, photography, has all been put on the back-burner. I go through the motions with my husband and daughter to make the day go by only to not sleep at night because I pass out from exhaustion but later wake up in sleep-depriving pain. It’s been a vicious cycle. There has to be an answer.
I can now understand physical pain. Chronic illness. Losing hope. Questioning God. Even depression. You are consumed and you are supposed to be praising God, dealing with life in your head, choosing to smile and instead you are lonely. No one else can share the burden. Jesus can but why isn’t He helping? Are you in that place? Making your child dinner from a can because you don’t feel like eating or cooking?
My sweet mother-in-law had lung cancer. She never smoked and never did anything to bring such a disease into her life. She was blessed in every way, yet was never conceited, or spoke ill of anyone, a woman of truth and purity. It took 4 years to overtake her life but during that time, she became confined to her house, living day to day because you just never know what you can do in a day. I can’t relate to her physical treatments and longed for her to just come outside, go for a walk, anything. But I often sat with her and learned about family instead. Or watched TV. Only now can I understand why she drew away to seclusion and the relief of TV. I have always thought of TV as a mind-numbing, dulling of the senses, tune out the world waste of time. I get it – because when you are in pain, that is what you want. It’s hard to read, let alone read the Bible when pain is drawing every ounce of physical and mental energy from you.
I went to a Bible study last Friday evening with some women, some I know, some I know now. We talked, laughed, cried, ate food and prayed. They prayed for me. And now I know there is a way out of the hole of death. It is through others. When we can’t lift ourselves up, others can. Unity is power. I’m not saying you have to go to a Bible study. My husband helped me through the worst of times. God was there, but to hear someone’s voice speaking life over death to you cuts to your soul and embeds into your mind and those thoughts will get you through. I am grateful for crawling out of the hole and driving somewhere I did not feeling like going, a new place, new people, unexpected. I’m going to get through this and so will you. This verse was shared with me…
“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14
It’s proof that we can not only be saved, but healed. We can have spiritual and physical benediction.
If you have to watch TV, watch TV. But when you get to a point of no one to talk to, call someone. Talk about it and get out. Or just talk about everything else. We are going through the valley of the shadow of death…but He is with us.
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
–Psalm 23, NKJV (emphasis,mine)
One of my long time favorite people and musicians who passed away over a decade ago is Johnny Cash. I read his autobiography several years ago which my mom gave me for one of my Christmas presents one year (I had different taste for a college student, ok…lol). He wrote about a time in his life when he did want to die. He saw no point in living, his life was full of self-destruction and collapsing relationships. He actually went into a cave. A real cave to die. He said he sat in the quiet darkness, waiting for death. I don’t recall how long he was there, but I remember he mentioned he knew he was not alone. God was there with him in his despair despite Johnny’s wrongdoings, drugs, depression, alcoholism and past. What did he do? He left the cave.
I found this article on Johnny Cash’s cave experience here.
It’s a short time in the grand scheme of life. We HAVE to leave the cave, we’ll pass through the valley, no matter what kind of pain.