by Christie Perkins
I woke up the day I was to take my chemo pill with dread. I felt my chemo creepy crawlies coming on the few days before. The anticipation of the unknown was blown up in my mind. The list of possible side effects haunted and taunted me. And I knew that my life was crossing onto new and permanent territory.
I had to cross this bridge.
You see, up until this point the perks of my current life were highlighted and blaring in neon signs in my mind. They were good signs. Which of those signs would burn out when I crossed the bridge?
#1 Live Up To the Goodness of Today
So on chemo pill eve (not quite the excitement of Christmas) I prepped for doomsday. I enjoyed my day to my maximum potential. I jumped on the trampoline with mini olympic bounce house. I snuggled with my cuddle bud, I played ping pong with king funny pawn; I yakked with chat man. And I made wacky videos with the kiddos.
Since I had today I was going to enjoy it. But even though there were good moments I couldn’t help but worry about tomorrow. I felt a little sorrow creep in.
#2 Feel Your Emotions… Then Get Over It
I decided it was okay to cry. Yep, I did. I was mourning my yesterdays and gearing up for the bridge to tomorrow. I wanted to face tomorrow with confidence but I couldn’t quite do that until I overcame my current wave of emotion.
On my way to the Family Dollar store to purchase a quarter machine toy with mini olympic bounce house I was struck with emotion. I realized that it was okay to mourn what I can’t have or what will never be but tomorrow I will pick myself up and I will face the possibilities of the new day.
Yes, it was okay to cry. To say goodbye to what I held dear. To acknowledge what I truly loved and cherish about life. Yes, this was okay. It was okay because it showed that I had much to be grateful for.
It showed that I loved and enjoyed something grand… and possibly lost it too. But, not forever.
I believe in feeling your emotions. I think it’s important. I believe it is necessary so you can move forward. If you constantly shuttle the feelings underground they resurface in strange and unwanted explosions. But I also believe in seeing the positive and moving on. So, feel your emotions today but leave it all behind tomorrow and face what you have for today. See the good.
Embrace the good. Go ahead, give it a good grandma squishy hug. Hug tight to the things that are going right.
Easier said than done. Chemo pill day came and the dread settled back in. I wasn’t ready for this. I didn’t want to do this. Yes, I knew that it would not be the fight I had three years ago. This would be easier in some ways. But in some ways it only solidified the facts I was facing.
But hard times are not always a constant battle. I’ve learned that from the last time. The hard times are always intermixed with some really sweet moments. Moments that indicate that God is there. That He is listening and helping you along.
And that is pretty incredible.
#3 Gain Confidence by Listening To or Reading Uplifting Messages
I said a few prayers and tried to take the pill. Yet I was wimping out. No doubt. A little thought entered my mind. Listen to a General Conference talk. I knew the power of positive messages in my life. Yes. This would be helpful.
Immediately I remembered I had listened to the talks in the beginning of the conference over and over. My thoughts directed me to the last session. Go to the end… my thoughts were directing which talk I should envelop myself in.
Ok. Let’s go to the very end. So I flipped open Elder Hollands talk, Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You. I didn’t think much about it. But it was exactly what I needed. You know how you listen to something and the person sitting next to you gets something completely different from the same message. I believe it’s because Heavenly Father is guiding you and whispering what you need to hear.
It’s what happened to me.
I realized that “tomorrow” was hard for me to face because I was sitting here today in my wonderful life. I wasn’t ready for tomorrow. But, I realized that when I crossed that bridge that Heavenly Father would be right there with me even if there was a mole festering nosed troll underneath. I just knew he would cushion my falls. I just knew there would be angels to bear me up and carry me over the bridge.
I knew that tomorrow could be just as wonderful as today because He would be near me. There would be something more to tomorrow than dread. I trusted in that.
#4 Take Action and Trust
Immediately after listening to that talk I was empowered to face my day. Yes, I could do this. I could do this because I was going to have a host of helpers who would not leave me alone, or destitute, or stranded. Not a chance.
Immediately I took my pill and waited for what was to come. But instead of dread I had hope. A hope of angels, here and heavenward, that would be my strength. I had knowledge that God was going to bear me up and I could not flounder.
To my delight “tomorrow” wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned. I wasn’t sick in bed, losing my hair, or banned from shopping excursions. So, I got a little extra tired. So what? A little less gets done around here. And yet, I feel that He still maximizes my efforts. He somehow turns little efforts into some superhuman feat. (And sometimes he just gives me the power to just let it go).
Cross Your Bridges with Confidence
Everyone has new bridges to cross. All come with a package of rewards. There is something good that we can gain in facing our new days. Of course if you are looking in the shadows you will find the beasts there. But angels will bear you up and you will have power to do all that you can if you will just follow these simple little tips to help you see a few more neon signs on the other side of the bridge.
Embrace and love everything good about today. When you recognize the downsides rolling in- feel your emotions and get it out of your system, then simply move forward. Always seek out positive messages to build you up, let it direct your thought. Take action. Do what you know you need to do and find that heaven is near to bear you up.
God is very aware of us and he will help us cross those bridges with ease. I know. I know because I have felt it.
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