it’s very still at this time of morning… no sound, just the occasional hum and exhale of the radiators combatting the 10 degree air seeping in through invisible cracks. sometimes the old farmhouse walls creak and settle, the sounds of a house that has held fast over time- held careful watch over many families.
the moon is brightly reflecting off the ice-blanketed snow on the lawn. i can see to find my way across the house, turn on the coffee, round up some blankets.
might as well warm my hands on delicious caffeinated bliss- heavily doused with dark chocolate almond milk. it will taste like mud for the next two weeks, and i’m not going to sleep tonight.
getting ready for another day of chemo, another cycle of poisonous, life-saving infusions… it has the anticipation and fear of preparing for childbirth. packing a bag- the familiar and well-loved quilt, the light, refreshing snacks (frozen green grapes- do this for yourself), the distracting books and movies. we fill the waiting-days with washing sheets, stocking the pantry, planning the week to come so everything goes as smoothly as possible.
the simultaneous ‘can i do this?‘ and ‘i must to do this‘ are alike, minus the beautifully enlarged family at the end of the labor struggle. but maybe that, too? if i get to stay here- if all this poison and surgery prevails- isn’t our family larger, too? so yes- i feel like i’m preparing for another day of labor: fighting to be in the room with my babies, to complete our family of four.
the cat is so happy that i’m up. a little confused as to why i’m not filling his food dish, but pleased to be snuggled under blankets with me well before sunrise. the dog is sleeping and i’m struggling with jealousy. i love to sleep, and i’m excellent at it when i’m not filled with steroids in preparation for tomorrow’s drug-fest.
i’ve listened to and read your many prayers, my friends and family from around the world. you send healing, encouragement, grief, and love in your letters, gifts, and e-mails. i am filled by them. filled by Him through you. i’ve tried to explain this before, somewhat unsuccessfully, and i doubt my sleepless, anxious, steroid-addled brain will do better this morning, but my heart will give it a try:
i don’t feel like i need to do something to enter into prayer in this season- no formal ‘dear God, it’s me- rachel,’ no calling out for Him to come near, no A.C.T.S. (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication for those not raised in evangelical-dom).
i’m just lightly, constantly present with God, able to speak to Him, able to hear Truth. it’s not the same prayer as pre-September. it’s not the same place i was when Matt had cancer. and while i’m certainly not the same me, God is unchanged- just showing me His closeness in a new and precious way.
i know that may not make sense. i know some would like to see me doing something more- coming for prayer and anointing? asking for spiritual guidance in some way? boldly proclaiming and claiming healing? i am deeply thankful (on a good day) for this desire- it means love to me and my family. but all this is happening inside me… your prayers surround me and cover me with blessing. decades of your mentoring wisdom come back to me- your words floating before me when i need them most. boldness. is there anything more bold than proclaiming to you that i am in the Lord’s presence? my hands are shaking just knowing that Truth- even in my sick, broken body, i am with God. i don’t know if i will be ultimately healed, though i ask for it. but i know that i am already Healed- He does this (did it- it has happened!) the moment we see our need and trust He alone can fill it.
this is the same as when matt was sick:
i find again that God is enough for my need.
oh coffee. i will miss you. see you in 10 days or so.
10 thoughts on “sleepless things written well before sunrise”
Rachel, you are a gifted writer, praying.
Weak with feelings for you and love for you…and gratefulness…I will start messaging you occasionally at 4 in the morning as I cannot sleep due to a herniated disc and the chronic back pain associated with it as well as the wonders of an aging menopausal body and mind:) Love and prayers Rachel…Love and prayers….
Beautiful…praying for you this morning.
Much love to you today, thanks for sharing this aching beauty. Love you
Rachel, you are blessed with an amazing family and so much talent. Thank you for sharing your inner most thoughts and prayers. My image of you is frozen in time back to our middle school days. You're a beautiful woman with great and strong faith. 🙂 Sending you big hugs and prayers of strength and endurance. You'll beat it! Don't you worry!
thank you for sharing your journey with us, the raw real story. your words are so encouraging and such a beautiful reminder to trust in God in all things. continuing to pray for you.
Dear Rachel, Thank you for your deep sharing…it helps us to inform our prayer for you as we surround you and your family with a “climate of faith” throughout these weary and difficult days…especially the next 10 days! You are continually in our thoughts and prayers…and we love you…Barbara J.
My hand shakes and my eyes fill with compassion for you and your fight. You are brave and beautiful in your words. and all you say so true. we continue in our prayers for you.
Everything people have said is right, and what you write is beautiful. More important: it's true. He's with you, and you're with Him, and there's no required etiquette to that. By now, you're probably feeling like death warmed over. He knows. And He loves you….better than we can. But we do, too.
I loved every word of this, chowed down on the authenticity, low key humor and creative insights — thank you for allowing me to taste your thoughts.
Yes on frozen green grapes, the finest sherbet. “The dog is sleeping and I'm struggling with jealousy.” Meanwhile, the cat is happy you are up. Who would ever have pegged a cat for the more compassionate pet?
The way you describe your choice not to engineer the healing journey makes me believe you have a very comfortable intimacy (dare I say “cozy thing” with the Lord: “i know some would like to see me doing something more- coming for prayer and anointing? asking for spiritual guidance in some way? … i don't feel like i need to do something to enter into prayer in this season…i'm just lightly, constantly present with God, able to speak to Him, able to hear Truth… i know that i am already Healed- He does this (did it- it has happened!) the moment we see our need and trust He alone can fill it.”
Rachel, I earnestly pray that you will enjoy coffee soon and eventually in an uninterrupted fashion for a real long time.