“To be well now is to learn to accept whatever body and mind I currently have.”Suleika Jaouad, “Between Two Kingdoms”
The day that I am beginning this blog post is the official three-month anniversary of the end of the last cycle of my chemotherapy journey: when I moved from the Kingdom of the sick to the Kingdom of the well. Otherwise known as recovery.
My time since, in the Kingdom of the Well, has been every bit as surprising as the journey that led to it. It has been fluid – it has been ever-changing – it has been mostly beyond my control. It has been a time of letting go over and over and waiting for I-knew-not-what. It’s been evolving into a time of unexpected expectancy. As in “Wow, what’s next? Color me ready!”
It has been a time of learning to go with the flow with a trust that has always been difficult for me. A trust in what lies beyond my control. A quiet but wildly alive hopefulness has settled in and has assured me that what lies ahead is where I am meant to go. And that I do not go alone.
The message is clear: I don’t have to direct the show any more! (As if I really ever did…)
I simply need to keep watch, to know the Spirit moving with endless love to show me the magic of living in an embrace of old age, of opening my clenched hands to receive, of shedding my need to “find” my life. My job, it seems, is not to figure out what I’m supposed to be now. My job is to receive what I am going to be now. I don’t have to see an end…only the next possible rest along the way.
Most of the time, they’re a surprise, these rest stops along the way. They’re seemingly little things that turn out to be big things.
First, there was the improbable discovery at “just the right time” of Suleika Jaouad’s book (which was the basis of my March 11th blog, “Finding Me Again”). Just knowing that recovery is a different kind of process that leads to a new way of living was an assurance that I needed.
Next, there was the improbable discovery at “just the right time” of the Croatian cellist, Stjepan Hauser (on whom I have a slight crush), whose music transports me much of every day. I even signed up for YouTube Premium so that the ads wouldn’t interrupt a moment of the life-saving, soul-saving power and beauty of what he is able to create.
More recently, there has been the delight of discovering that my hair had started to grow in!! It’s white, so it didn’t show up loud and clear right away, but there is enough now that I have started to enlarge my dangling earring collection, brought out some makeup, and put away wigs and scarves.
More than anything, that one little thing – having some hair again – has been setting me free to see a New Me!! Not just on the outside, but inside where it seems a candle has been lighting the way all along. My hands have opened, and so has the fearful spirit that held me for so long.
I’m tempted to say that I can’t wait to see where all this new life is going to lead me. But then I’d very likely be impatient. And impatience gets in the way of recognizing the next place where I’m going to rest a while. Instead, an uncharacteristic patience seems to have taken its place. All of its own accord. Who knew?
Most recently, I was preparing the Sunday evening devotions that I do on Facebook Live for my church. I found myself so deeply happy for the first time in a long time. My subject matter was sensitive and needed a lot of love to put it together well. It was in the writing, the wrestling with what this newly alive Spirit in me would have me say, that I found myself truly realizing that I am in love with life all over again.
I wish that for each of you. To fall into life all over again. To find the freedom that arrives when you can let go and await the Spirit who is oh, so ready to sit with you at the next rest stop.
It’s all grace!
And that’s very okay with me.