Silence and Solitude

This life is still so surreal. I’m sitting in a hospital room that I’ve learned to make my home. I know where I want my things and how to organize our stay. It’s now familiar. My soul hates that it’s familiar. Every time a piece of this normalizes my spirit gets so angry. Eventually the anger dissipates into gratitude that one less thing is dysregulating. Overall, I hate this.

I’ve come to sit down and write a few times over the last two weeks, and when I sit I have resistance to it. It’s like my body is holding the depth of all my emotions and I can feel it wanting me to recoil. I can feel the urges in my body to just hide, withdraw, and pull away. And yet I know in my heart that would be against who I am, what I stand for, and how I know God calls us to walk the road of suffering. To walk in suffering is to be reminded of our deep and vulnerable need for a Savior; the opportunity to draw closer to Him in true deep need.

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Even the joy comes with suffering. There are little opportunities we have to enjoy our time through singing, playing, and going to movies they show here at the hospital. I sit and laugh and experience the happiness of those things, all the while my heart is heavy and aches that my points of happiness exist in the throws of cancer. Cancer is all consuming. It absorbs into every fiber of your awareness, act, thought, and perspectives. It is a fight to think of something else. It has to be a deliberate choice of self-care, to set it aside and think of anything else.

We did a conference with Heritage Women in the beginning of the year. Our focus was on Spiritual Disciplines and I chose to practice Silence and Solitude. Little did I know that was my boot camp preparing me for war. There is a war raging in my mind. A war that wants to overcome, invade, and take over my every thought. But I have practices that are getting me through. Practices of mindfulness to help me to fight to be present with my family, friends, and circumstances. Spiritual discipline practices to help remind me of the Lord’s ever-presence and His unfailing comfort. I’ve sat in more silence and solitude in the last 4 weeks than I ever have in my life. I now have comfort in that space that I wouldn’t have had before. I have experienced an intimacy with the Lord in those spaces I have never experienced otherwise. There is always opportunity to be with Him; it’s just us learning how, and practicing.

When I am with the Lord I’m not whole. I don’t want to paint a picture that I’m sitting with Him put together and open-handedly inviting His will. I’m carrying deep anxiety. I walk with my stomach in knots 90% of my day. So when I’m trying to do my skills and spending time with the Lord, it’s in my brokenness. I bring my anxieties with me and just sit with Him in it. Fortunately, God doesn’t need us to have our shit together. Because I certainly don’t.

What I rest in today is that Davis has had minimal side effects of his chemo so far. We are on day 3 of a 5-day medicine. He is tired and nauseous, but nothing like the terrible side effects the doctors prepared us for. Praising God for this and so thankful for the many prayers holding his little body up before the Father.

-Amanda

Kristen Adams