The Efficacy of Gratitude

“So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.”

Psalm 79:13

A year ago, my dear friend T. wrote this on her Facebook timeline, and shared the quoted Facebook post I had posted on my timeline in my morphine delirium. Now, 12 months later, I am just discovering all the beautiful things people wrote that I missed when I had to take a long break from social media due to many proceedure, drugs, and 6 hospital stays in an 8 month period, including 1 nursing home. John read them all to me at the time, but I forgot or was unaware of so much. The generous love and prayers offered me from many friends like T. healed my heart (emotionally) in ways they will never comprehend. Thank you, T., and everyone else who prayed, commented and encouraged John & I through this very frightening time! You fed my soul like nothing else, and all you said and did ministers to me still.

T. wrote: “I’m thankful for so many things this year but I think I am most thankful for my friend and her inspiring words below. She was just diagnosed this past week and begins her second round of battling cancer. She reminds me that my problems and issues are so small compared to hers, but even if they were just as big, she could put them all in perspective with what she has to say. This week has been a blow to all who love her, but we are battling right alongside her in spirit and with prayer. I’m asking all of my prayer warriors to pray for her and allow her words in the face of adversity to be your inspiration, too. You are loved, Kelli Carruth Miller, and you will see victory because of who you are and what you know to be true.”

She shared my post:

Any perceived strength in me can only be Christ. The only thing I am good at is weakness. But knowing the Shepherd of the universe, with all His power, I am His. I can rest in that strength. There is victory in my laugh, in my smile, because it cheats death of robbing me of joys I find in the moments life is made of. I WILL enjoy the view of beautiful, fiery orange sunrise framed by leafless, gnarled trees from the back of the ambulance as it takes me on 90 mile ride to hospital one unexpected morning. I will enjoy the way thick, cool, chocolate pudding tastes in my mouth. I will laugh w my husband at our stupid, improv banter that is all inside jokes few would get. And when {the doctors} look at me and think my smile, my laugh mean I “don’t really get what is happening,” (and tell social worker on me), it is because they see the result, but not the cause. They think I smile & laugh because of “cancer”. I don’t. That would be stupid.

Do I hurt? 9 liters of fluid total pulled out over 4 days, thst collects in a space diminished by a body lift done as part of breast reconstruction, is painful and uncomfortable. Soreness in a rib so riddled with disease that it broke twice from normal, simple movement {like twisting sideways to turn on a lamp}, is constantly there, and makes me hesitate to do the simplest things, like open doors, for fear of further damage. Due to care routines and medicines’ side effects, I sleep in Naps(!) & am always exhausted, disoriented. Naps!! I cannot even get to bathroom w/o help. Constant pain from the many tumors is only touched by morphine, which makes me wonder when I will become a heroin street junkie? There are things scary and uncomfortable.

But I laugh.

Medical-Staff-People think I do not react with enough “appropriate” sadness, but I laugh any way. Because I am weak, so I am clinging, resting in Jesus’ manifest strength within me.

I have to.

If I feast on worry instead of Jesus, it will destroy me. Laughing in face if adversity because I know who I am, who my Shepherd is, is healing. Jesus’ power is more than fancy words & pretty ideas. It is Real.

I smile, and I laugh, because in my weakness, Jesus is strong. I don’t even have to try…which is good, because I feel too weak in my body to muster will power. I don’t have enough energy to pull off a game of fakeness nor inauthenticity.

I have room for weakness & pain, which makes room for Strong Jesus. So because He has me, I have Him. We laugh together in adversity, He & I, without being oblivious to it, or living in denial.

You see, the truth is not scary. The truth is not really “I am riddled with cancer throughout my bones & body & I will be in treatment the remainder of my life”; the Truth is, “I am riddled with cancer throughout my bones & body & I will be in treatment the remainder of my life and, if I am healed or die, Jesus is victorious, and I share in His victory”. The source of these inconveniences I currently endure, and also of all cancer & other adversity is ultimately defeated & doomed.

Jesus paid the price for my sins, and to do away with all that comes against us. I share in His Sonship, in His victory over all sin, illness, even death.

Sometimes there are amazing, supernatural miracles.

Sometimes, despite all faithful prayers, beautiful saints die. But they are not spiritual failures, and their death in no way deminishes God’s love nor trustworthiness.

He is flawless. Trust His plan even when you don’t understand. It is a struggle sheep have, to choose which voice to follow.

I look forward to healing, to hiking more w my children, and learning new recipes. I can’t wait for new lambs this spring, seeing our land bc good land. I look forward to gaining physical strength. I look forward to seeing my older teens flourish and grow. All by my God’s grace.
His Strength.
His Power.
Not mine.
His.
I am look forward also to new heaven & Earth, with no more mourning, death, crying or pain.

It is real.

So my laugh is real.

Because I DO get it.

What do i have to lose?? I know regardless the manifested outcome, I AM victorious!

So, if you ever see in me strength, courage, and things you want to call “heroism”, you see not me, but Jesus in me.

 

Today Jesus in me looks like Xena. Because I am fragile.

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