A cross amidst crisis

Making choices about memory, being mindful about your thoughts. This is a new practice for me, and I wear it like a new outfit, fidgety and not sure how it looks on me. I watched the Passion of the Christ on Holy Saturday, and I was reminded, as Satan floated in and out Jesus' view, always with a half-smile on the face and the temptation to the easy route out, that in this way, also, I must follow my King. See Satan. But let Satan have no place in my thoughts. Flashbacks come, like Satan, flitting through the background of real life. But that's what they are, just flashbacks, just bad memories. The reality is that I am hidden in Christ, and I must see Satan flitting with His eyes, the eyes that looked calmly yet with dread toward His own day of suffering.

I spend a week with friends and see my children only a few times that week. It is the longest we've been separated since my very first cancer treatment, when I was away for 3 weeks. It has been 2 weeks now, away.

The little girls - my friends beautiful twins - and I paint, with acrylics and water colors, draw ethereal scenes in oil pastel and chalk pastel, pencil and charcoal. I paint a cross mosaic with all the words that describe me as a daughter of the Most High King.

I take a few pictures. My fingers are fidgety from Tardive Dyskinesia, a side effect from the psychogenic medication they are pumping through me to feed me through this time of darkness. My fingers twitch, my thumbs jerk, and focusing the camera lens becomes difficult.

I wonder how long - how long - this deep trial will last. And yet his mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).  In the birdsongs, the wind through the firs, the long cold draw of a cigarette after dusk, the friends who comfort and the family that gives space but takes loving care of these children of mine.

But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy this is our new name

This is who we are now...
I Am New, Jason Gray~

I blast Mumford and Sons, and Grace Potter, and Sugarland, and try to still thoughts and unfurrow brow and release my muscles from this never-ending tension that grips me, twitchy and tiring.

Excerpted from my gratitude journal for this week, #548-567:
#548: A new journal I have no idea what to do with
#551: Sara helps me out of a flashback
#554: Sleeping with my husband
#556: Dissertation IRB approved!
#558: Raspberry lambic
#560: A good psychiatrist
#562: Rain
#566: Breakfast at Perkins at 6 a.m. with Aaron