Suffering well

July 18, 2018

Today was another step in the cancer journey.  Preventive shots in case my spleen has to be removed during the surgery.  Splenectomy vaccines just rolls off of the tongue, no?

I don’t mind shots, but the visit to the Infusion lab made them seem more serious.  I expected to walk in, get my shots, and walk out.  Instead, 2 hours later I was still sitting in the lab.

At first I wondered what the big deal was.  Lots of paperwork and computer work.  Double checking and my signature on everything.  Why the big deal?

But then it dawned on me.  This was another divine appointment.  It was a big deal.  It was God’s timing.

Through all of the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s I had a chance to talk with the two nurses who were taking care of me.

My medical history (two rare diseases) peaked their interest and they were curious about the details.  Since I can’t leave God out of the details of my story, they got an ear full.

All work stopped as they listened.  I talked about my hope in the Lord who made me.  I talked about the encouragement of my friends and family.  I talked about how I’m learning to suffer well.

That last part made them blink.

Suffering well.  It’s not a topic that many people talk about, but we know we’ll all have to suffer with something or from something at some point.

Learning to suffer well is not something any of us want to go through.  But when we do, we need help.

Needing help requires me to humble myself.  It requires me to open my life and my home in an uncomfortable way.  Humbling myself requires me to admit I’m not “all that”.  Bummer.

But learning to suffer well also builds relationships.  It lets other people into my life who wouldn’t be there otherwise.  Learning to suffer well strips away the fluff in my life and gets down to what is important.  It gives me perspective.

Learning to suffer well starts with wanting to learn to suffer well.  Being purposeful about my attitude.  Deciding to give when I can and receive when I should.  I still have a lot to learn and I have a feeling there’s going to be a field trip soon.

Lord, I know you are allowing this cancer journey for a reason.  Thank you for divine appointments like today where I can share what you are doing in my life.  Help me to not miss those opportunities.  Help me to be a good student and pay attention when you take me on field trips.  Your timing is perfect but your love for me is even more so.  I know you will help me to suffer well and you will bring something good from it.


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