The Struggle

The Struggle

Two weeks ago I added ‘studying’ and ‘work placement’ to my already rather full schedule. Since then I have really struggled emotionally. My emotions are screaming at me to give up, that this was a crazy idea. My head is simultaneously reminding me that this is a door that God has opened for me and that I went into this really believing that it’s what I’m meant to be doing. To be fair, it’s only for three months – how hard can that be?

For the past year I’ve worked only three days per week and the other two days have given me space to grieve. Without that space right now I’m struggling – big time. Work isn’t the problem – I love my job, it’s everything else that I’ve added on, albeit temporarily.

Add to that the fact that this time two years ago was when Leah’s illness really took a turn for the worse. The last weekend in September 2013 started off well. Leah was looking forward to a planned meeting on the Monday with our lovely consultant, at which we had been promised that we would be given a date for booking our flights back home to Ireland.

Leah’s boyfriend Nic had flown over to spend the weekend with us. This meant that I had some time to myself – a rare occurrence – I had spent it cleaning and bleaching with another oncology Mummy, getting a house ready for her and her little boy to spend a few hours outside the confines of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. She’s Irish too and we had enjoyed the ‘craic’ together. Devastatingly, her gorgeous son Caiden died in similar circumstances to Leah in October 2014.

Then, on the Sunday night, Leah told me that she was passing blood in her urine. So, on Monday, instead of our consultant giving us the dates for booking our flights home, he readmitted us to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.  Leah went on to develop a new complication every month until the one at Christmas/New Year that finally claimed her life.

I’ve cried a lot today, whilst wishing that I could use the time to focus on the E-learning that I’m supposed to be doing for this training course. I’ve really found that ‘time management‘ is not one of my strengths since Leah became ill and died.

Then on a shelf in my room I spied a book that I bought recently but hadn’t had time to read. It’s called “When the Hurt Runs Deep” by Kay Arthur. I heard Kay Arthur speak live a few years ago and I loved her energetic style of Bible teaching. She devised the Precepts Bible Study method, I was a regular attender at a local Precepts Bible Study until Leah became ill.

I started reading her book today. On page 73 Kay quotes Psalm 139:13:

Psalm 139:13 (AMP)

For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.

Kay says that God knows the exact sperm and the precise egg that comes together to make us who we are. This stopped me in my tracks. Leah was conceived while we were having investigations for secondary infertility. Every month we longed and prayed that I would get pregnant. I went for prayer via the “laying on of hands” from those whom God has gifted in the healing ministry. Yet, God in His sovereignty allowed Leah to be conceived with either an egg or a sperm containing a mutated gene that would one day lead to her receiving a diagnosis of myelodysplasia with monosomy 7 caused by a GATA2 deficiency.

Then on page 77 of Kay’s book, I read a passage of Scripture that Leah and I used to read frequently. It brought us such great comfort. Leah’s illness separated us at times from most of what we held dear in life, so we tried to focus on the one certainty that her illness could never deprive us of – God’s love.  

Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Then Kay Arthur writes “No hurt is so strong that it can separate you from His love. Your hurt is not intended to drive you from God but to God.

Kay Arthur

Kay’s words remind me once again of the true source of my strength, of the only way that I’ve made it through the past two and a half years – by trusting God and leaning on Him. It isn’t easy and it’s not going to be easy but I just have to keep on going.

Just as the Israelites were told in Exodus 16 to gather the manna (heavenly bread) daily, so I also need to meet with God on a daily basis so that my soul receives the nourishment that it needs to survive and hopefully even to thrive.

Or, to once again quote from my favourite worship singer/songwriter Matt Redman, I must abide in Him:

Abide With Me

I have a home
Eternal home
But for now I walk this broken world
You walked it first
You know our pain
But You show hope can rise again up from the grave

CHORUS
Abide with me
Abide with me
Don’t let me fall
And don’t let go
Walk with me
And never leave
Ever close God abide with me

VERSE
There in the night
Gethsemane
Before the cross
Before the nails
Overwhelmed
Alone You prayed
You met us in our suffering and bore our shame

BRIDGE
O love that will not ever let me go
Love that will not ever let me go
You never let me go
Love that will not ever let me go

VERSE
And up ahead
Eternity
We’ll weep no more and sing for joy
Abide with me
We’ll weep no more and sing for joy
Abide with me

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15 thoughts on “The Struggle

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. My son is 17 months post BMT for MDS and Monosomy 7. To keep a sound mind I need to start my day with spiritual manna. Praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for saying hello Jennifer. It sounds very positive that your son is 17 months post BMT, the first 100 days and the first year are such important milestones, yet I understand that once your child has been through so much, fear is always lurking.
      Praying for you both.

      2 Timothy 1:7New King James Version (NKJV)

      “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

      Like

  2. If it weren’t for having studied Precepts for many years prior to our son’s death, I have no doubt I would not have survived. It’s God’s word that rose up in me as I stood looking at my son’s lifeless body that unexpected day in July, 2011. I’ve wrestled with God’s sovereignty throughout this journey, but keep going back to His unending, overwhelming love. He loves us. I, too, read “When the Hurt Runs Deep.” 😀 Another great book is “When Will My Life Not Suck?” by Ramon Presson. ((hugs)), dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keep going Vicky,it’s great that you are even doing your Mental Heath Nursing,don’t expect too.much of yourself.Your best and you are good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your name is Victoria….part of that name is “victor”….take heart in that ….that you are the victor over many things…even death because of Christ. To get through the initial shock of those first days and months of my son’s death the only mantra I had was “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” I wish you well as you tackle all that is before you. Thank you for introducing me to this new song. I like Matt Redman, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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