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Lasagna, Volleyball, Breast Cancer and Trusting Jesus

by KimHarms 2 Comments
Photo Courtesy of Raub Photography

Photo Courtesy of Raub Photography

After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, food started landing on my doorstep. Lots of food. Sometimes there was a person at the other end of the casserole and sometimes the meals just magically appeared in the big blue cooler outside the front door. My family appreciated it all. (Even if some of it pushed the boundaries of our boring Harms tastebuds.)

One of the first meals we received came from a group of high school girls from our church. Just a week or so after my diagnosis, these lovely girls came to my door bearing lasagna and cookies and I’m-not-quite-sure-what-to-say-to-someone-with-cancer smiles.

I took the casserole and the cookies and thanked them. Then I said something deeply meaningful like,

“Hey, I’ve got cancer, but at least I don’t have to cook.”

I’m pretty sure that just served to increase the awkwardness of the already uncomfortable moment.

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A Little Farther

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Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed. Matthew 26:39

I’ve been thinking a lot about a little farther.

When Jesus was preparing for his death, he took his close friends with him to Gethsemane to pray. Three of those friends he took with him further into the garden. But even those three couldn’t go as far as Jesus needed to go.

Where he was heading, he had to go alone.

I am definitely not Jesus, and my circumstances are a bit less consequential.

But I am beginning to understand a little farther.

I haven’t slept well for months. Early on because of the fear of the unknowns. More recently because of the physical discomfort that comes with the breast reconstruction process and the anxiousness that comes with not knowing whether or not chemo is in your future.

When it’s 2 a.m. and I’m on my recliner in my dark living room, frustrated about cancer and trying to get comfortable enough to sleep, I am a little farther.

I have some close friends who have walked with me into the garden. We group text on an almost daily basis. We have laughed, cried and prayed together through little blips of conversations on our phones. Some days they have been my lifeline. But they can’t do 2 a.m. with me.

There is a dear soul to whom I can shoot the craziest texts or call at any time knowing she gets me. Even when I’m completely out of my mind she gets me. But she can’t do 2 a.m. with me.

And then there is Corey. Who sees me at my worst and is still crazy enough to love me. Who puts me first always. Who tells me I’m beautiful with my scars when I look in the mirror and see ugly.

But though he would let me stay back and go a little farther for me if he could, he can’t. He would take my fears, my frustrations, my stress, my pain, my sleeplessness upon himself if it was possible. But it’s not.

So here I am. 2 a.m. A little farther.

I try to be like Jesus, who pleaded with the father to take the cup from him, but followed his plea with “Thy will be done.”

I get stuck at “Take this cup.”

I want to say “Thy will be done.” But quite honestly, in this moment, I can’t.

What I do instead is barter for my own will. I promise I will…if you will just…

I know that’s not how it works.

I want to let go and I want to trust. I just can’t.

But I will.

Just not this night. Not at 2 a.m.

My comfort in those middle-of-the-night moments is in knowing that even when I can’t pry my hands from my own will, God doesn’t bow out. He knows how hard this is for me. He knows I don’t want my flesh to defeat my spirit. He sees my battle, and he doesn’t leave me. He waits.

And when eventually the sun comes up, and the world looks different, and I am able to at last say “your will be done,” he doesn’t punish me for my delayed trust.

Instead when I open my Bible he speaks to me with something like this.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he. I am he who will sustain you. I am he who made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

And that makes a little farther beautiful.

(BTW – Though I will be on a drug called Tomoxifen for 10 years, I do not need chemo. Hallelujah!)

 

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Anxious or Trusting

by KimHarms 0 Comments

I just recently noticed that this devo of mine was published online. That was a fun surprise 🙂

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIVIMG_0301

“I’m a little anxious about this trip.” My husband’s words the night before he was to fly to Wyoming for several days of backpacking made me uneasy. Corey doesn’t get anxious. It’s a sign that something is going to go wrong. What if the plane crashes or he gets hurt on the trail? I was now anxious about Corey’s trip in a little four-seat plane.

He arrived in Wyoming the next day in one piece and had a fantastic trip. And I’m certain his anxiousness had more to do with the thought of leaving me alone with our sons in the midst of some significant life transitions than with his own safety. But his comment caused me to be anxious nonetheless.

It’s funny how small things can send our minds reeling. One off-handed comment snowballed in my mind into a disaster that never happened.

God gives us a clear remedy for anxiousness. Do not be anxious about anything. Anything! In everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, we should present our requests to Him. And His peace, which is a peace beyond anything this world can provide, has the ability to protect our hearts and our minds. The next time Corey flies off on a backpacking adventure, I plan to trust the truth of Scripture instead of trusting my untrustworthy imagination.

God asks you to trust him with your circumstances or life issues that are causing you to be anxious. Whether it’s a new job, a move across country, or a child who is having a rough year at school. Maybe like me, you need to let go of your fears and let God show you He’s in control.

 

You can find this and a lot of great devos at Christian Devotions.

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The Secret Place Devotion – The Right Answer

My following devotion was the December 31st reading in The Secret Place devozine winter 2013-2014 issue.

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The Right Answer

Society seems to script certain questions for each new life phase. We ask high school seniors about their college plans. We ask newlyweds when they plan to start a family. We ask stay-at-home moms what they are going to do to fill their time once their youngest children start school.

I have fielded all of those questions; most recently the last one. Each time someone asks, “What are you going to do now that your baby is in school?” I feel a certain amount of pressure to have “the right answer.” I sense an urgency to know exactly what my life is going to look like and how I’m going to reach my goals.

However, God has not promised to show us the blueprint for our entire lifespan in advance. Instead, we need to trust God with our future and rely on God’s wise counsel along the way. So instead of giving in to the pressure of coming up with “the right answer,” let’s place each day of the year ahead in the hands of God.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

(It’s easier said than done, but I so want to be more concerned about what God desires for me than what the world expects of me.)

Head on over to Judson Press to order a subsciption to the quarterly Secret Place devotional magazine.

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