Today before a little storm blew in I was looking out my back door and noticing just how dirty the rug on my back patio was...
It needs a good pressure washing to make it look fresh for spring.
Now why am I telling you about my dirty patio rug?
Well it all ties in to spin class.
(and if you know me then pretty much everything ties into spin class)
So today I'm in my #sundayservice spin class with my bae (otherwise known as HotChocolate2 or Jalapeno's Daddy) and as usual he is serving up some soul searching advice along with tapbacks and climbs during the spin dance party he created.
And he says:
"Use the pressure you are under to become your power..."
And all kinds of light bulbs start going off in my brain.
not because of my dirty patio but because of LIFE
Before class I was feeling the pressure of the week ahead of me...and the pressure of being someone who is ill but still needs and wants to function as a non-ill human.
And sometimes I feel like my life is as messy as my patio.
Underneath all the grime that has collected there is something that just needs cleaning and not throwing out.
So when he said that and all those fireworks started in my head I realized that right now God is pressure (or power) washing me to clean me up.
He's let me get grimy and dirty so that He can wash me clean.
The pressure He is putting me under will ultimately BE MY POWER and my mess will be my message and one day I will be clean and shiny and new again.
God does that with all of us.
He has us experience things we don't ever imagine we can withstand (have you ever felt how stingingly hard water comes out of a pressure wash hose?) and yet once we go through the process the dirt and grime that has gotten in the way is gone and once again we are refreshed.
I've got friends who are going through terrible horrible very hard things...children who they have lost to accidents, parents who are ill or dying or have died, divorces, illnesses, etc...
none of us gets through our days without getting a little dirty from the messes in our lives.
And for some of us, especially those who's children/grandchildren are now in heaven, we will never be the same. You can't experience that without losing part of yourself.
That patio might get clean but it won't be the same...
Losing a child is an unimaginable burden to bear.
But even those precious moms and dads and grandparents will withstand the pressure of the process because in the end God is still with them and love and lessons will be found.
Right now I look at my life and say "Gee thanks God for giving me Stage 4 cancer...and painful neuropathy in my fingers and feet....and that I am alone without a partner in this process....and that my cancer is classified as "incurable" and that I have to suffer with chemo every 3 weeks...chemo that continues to destroy the nerves in my hands and feet and spine and my kidneys and that bonus round of radiation fun and the extra bonus round of a shredded spine. Thanks. Thanks ALOT".
But I do say "thanks"
Because getting dirty with this cancer has led me to appreciate so much else I have been given in this life and how incredibly blessed I am even though I am ill.
I am positively filthy with things to handle and yet I can do it.
Because the pressure is making me into a better human.
Diamonds form under pressure.
Diamonds are shiny.
I want to be shiny.
I want to be clean and shiny and brilliant...
and right now I am but I feel like there is this layer of grime that needs to be blasted off me to get to where I want and need to be.
Diamonds are strong.
I want to be strong.
All the needles and scalpels that have been used on me can't cut into the REAL me.
They may cut away cancerous tissue or shredded pieces of a spinal disk but they don't cut into the me that I truly am.
So I am going to use this pressure to make myself into a diamond...
I'm going to use this pressure to clean myself up and be a better human.
And when others see me they will see someone who has withstood time, pressure, heat, and so many forces to become a stronger better woman.
The last time I saw Dr. Rockstar we discussed me having a knee replacement.
She's reluctant to approve it because she doesn't want to take me off chemo and I will need to be off chemo to heal.
But most of her reluctance comes from not wanting me to suffer more.
To have to go through more pain and pressure and hard times.
She wants to spare me more suffering.
But my knees are killing me and there are things I want to do and see and I can't with knees that cause me so much pain.
I might have months to live or years but in any case I want to do it as a woman who can walk and stand.
She told me "I hate to see you go through all of that..." and her voice trailed off...
I looked her in the eye and said:
"HAVE YOU MET ME? YOU KNOW ME AS WELL AS MY FAMILY AND YOU KNOW I AM NEVER EVER GONNA GIVE UP AND LET THIS DAMN DISEASE TAKE ME"
And she smiled her brilliant smile and moved to my side to hug me and told me "I need you to stay around and hang out with me for a very very long time. So if that's what you want and you are stable in your next scan you can do it."
Because you see I am not ready to throw in the towel and just say "well I'm gonna die soon so I'll just suffer".
I'm going to beat this damn El Diablo and I'm going to do it with a bionic knee...
Just call me Jamie Summers
(some of you will get that reference...for the rest of you I suggest Google)
I can handle the pressure of the knee replacement because I have handled worse.
Dr. Nugent agreed I handled my hysterectomy, treatments and spinal surgery LIKE A BOSS and so this will just be one more thing I have to get through.
And it will relieve the pressure I feel in my knees when I am standing or walking.
You see...it all comes back to pressure.
I can perform brilliantly under pressure (just ask GOTT because my costumes are always "on point" and sometimes I am literally sliding into home on tech week finishing them).
I can handle pressure.
And my patio is gonna get clean and so am I...
Inspiration Song: "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie...because pressure comes down and me and you and no man asks for it...but it can change us and make us clean and strong. I particularly love the last stanza:
'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love (people on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves under pressure
Bye darlings...when the pressure comes down on you use that pressure as your POWER and let it make you stronger. And thank you my darling HotChocolate2 for finding words that zip into my soul and settle there. I love you.