Sweet conversations with 2 dear friends this week offered me words of wisdom I had not considered but ought to share:
One said, for those that are "well connected" (like our family, with our church, homeschool, and other acquaintances within the community we serve) it would be easy to think that there are plenty of folks stepping forward and helping us through this difficult time. Oddly enough, it's pretty quiet around here. Very quiet. My heartbroken message that I shared the other day got me ONE phone call. One. And a couple of texts. Ouch! It really made me wonder if that's the kind of friend I am.
Am I?? Am I assuming someone else will step in? Am I mistakenly thinking someone else will heed the call for help? Do I even pray about it?
Another friend asked if prior to my diagnosis was I the one to initiate getting together. Well, yes actually, it seems I'm ALWAYS planning something. The suggestion was that just because my circumstances have changed, it's unlikely that the people will. And that I should call them up and invite them like I've always done. I just can't do that right now...For eight years, I served the homeschool community by planning field trips, classes, and hosted monthly gatherings for moms. I've given numerous rides over the years to kids of single moms, working moms, and plenty of others too, just because I had room for them in my car and didn't want them to be excluded when I could simply help out. I don't share all this to "toot our own horn" but to share how much our lives have changed. We've served on school boards and organized ski school and other events. As a family, we have served within the church and other organizations dear to our hearts. We invite our friends to join us and enjoy having them alongside us. We've hosted bible studies, teen nights, and Christmas caroling parties, genuinely enjoying the fellowship and spreading of the gospel and just being together. Rarely have the invitations come the other way though. Maybe we're not good company. Or maybe they've all just come to expect things to continue as they have been. Maybe. **I truly think my loneliness comes from not being able to do these things anymore.**
I have had several people tell me that they don't consider themselves a part of our inner circle, that they don't know us but they like us, that surely there must be "someone" closer to us to walk alongside us during this trial. These same people have asked how they can help, what they can do, how they can pray. In some cases, these are folks we barely know. Yet they are asking. So it's hard for me to understand then how even friends we've had for YEARS, ones we've called our church family or our closest friends, don't even contact us anymore. Maybe we've asked for too much. I don't really know the answer to that because I've never been in that place before. If all we have belongs to the Lord anyway- our time, our resources, our belongings- who am I to say no? That's the very reason we have given as freely as we have over the years. As God has blessed us, we have passed those blessings on to those around us. In his name. For his glory.
Aside from a short nap yesterday after chemo, I haven't been able to sleep at all. A mega dose of steroids, to prevent an allergic reaction to the new chemo drugs, is keeping me wired. I'm hoping to crash soon. Chemo went well though and I'm not sick to my stomach, just fatigued yet pushing on. My taste buds are dull and I'm craving intense flavors just so I can taste my food. We'll see about that...
Maybe another go round on the trampoline instead.
Friends, my intention is not to hurt or guilt trip you into helping us. I do hope you know that. I just don't know another way to express all that we are going through without giving you the full picture...and honestly, this isn't the half of it.