42. Worthless Part 3
Updated: Aug 7, 2022
The meaning of weakness in my mind was anything pale, feeble, frail, or thin. At this point, I was all of these things. I weighed 94 pounds and had acute anemia. I didn’t want to admit that I was weak. After being introduced to my shame, blame, and guilt over cancer, I had to confront the thing I feared most: being weak. I had muscled my way through life covering up my insecurities and being “strong.” But what I was really doing was pushing down my fears and “weaknesses” and pretending like they were not there. I thought I was dealing with it. And winning. But fear is smarter than that. It came out in other areas of my character. It would try to control me by anger, being in conflict with everything, being sensitive or hurt. It came out in evil ways that compromised my physical body, by making bad choices in moral areas, addictions, and generally making poor health choices. I also hated weak people yet I had an emotional connection to them I couldn’t shake. I was surprisingly filled with compassion, but it was really sympathy (or sometimes but rarely empathy). Sympathy is feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. But also means not being in a place to help them with empathy. I would completely commiserate with someone but be of no use to them in it.
I used to call it a “concrete marshmallow” hard on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. It was a protective shell that my immature self constructed for the purpose of protection. I didn’t want to hurt anymore! Therefore, I became strong, in my mind anyway. From the first times of needing to self-protect and survive conflicts, it turned into this: "I am stronger than them."
Worthlessness came to visit me as I lay there completely helpless. I was weak with acute anemia. Waiting for a blood transfusion. It said, “you are worthless! What value do you have if you can’t do anything?” My thoughts drifted to my family, my husband, and the roles that I have that I will not be able to fulfill. “What’s the point of living, if I can’t be of value to anyone?” I thought.
I even started wondering why people were even fussing with me at the clinic. I wrestled with wanting to be left alone to die and being extremely needy. I had to have help with just about everything. I thought, “I’m taking up so much space, time, and attention.” It was then that I felt the presence of God. He exchanged some thoughts with me as he took my thoughts in.
“I value you because I made you. I value you because my breath is in you. I value you because I made you in my image. Look at your husband.”
At that same moment, Zack bent down to get closer to my face and said to me, “It doesn’t matter if you ever get better, or cannot get up or do anything for yourself, I will always love you, and be here for you.”
What a confirmation! Zack was so tender and gentle with me, somehow knowing I was not being so tender or gentle with myself. God spoke through Zack that day. I wrestled "worthlessness" to the ground. I pinned her there in my mind and made her suffer by telling her the truth. And I had to keep telling her the truth until she finally gave up and left me. After that I could still hear her every now and again, I just told her to shut up and leave in Jesus’ name.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
Psalm 139:14 I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
Do you feel like you have value? What gives you value in your mind? What takes your value away? Does anything take your value away? or do you give it away?
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Psalms 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, praise ye the Lord.
Acts 17:25 …seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things…
I knew that every breath I was breathing, no matter how shallow at that point, testified that I had value.
Very soon after that, another attack from the enemy came in the form of purposelessness. She asked, “So you have value, but what’s your purpose? What can you do while you can’t move much? You can’t even stand for very long! What are you doing while you are here at Hope4Cancer?” And she kept up her barrage of questions that made my brain want to think about it all and make up answers.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary says Purpose: That which a person sets before himself as an object to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure, or exertion. We believe the Supreme Being created intelligent beings for some benevolent and glorious purpose, and if so, how glorious and benevolent must be His purpose in the plan of redemption!
I didn’t see anything benevolent or glorious in what I was doing! I asked God, “What is my purpose in all of this? I seem to not have one.” He said to me, “Your purpose on this earth right now is to heal.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 especially verse 3a: … a time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up…”
There is a time to heal according to scripture. A time to kill…Let us kill shame, guilt, blame, and the feeling of valuelessness and worthlessness. I find it amazing that scripture immediately says: a time to break down and a time to build up, because that is what I was learning, and that is what Hope4Cancer was all about. Break down cancer, weaken it, and kill it by starving it. And at the same time build up the body, mind, soul, and spirit to fight this battle daily.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Let me let Christ’s power have its way in me, whether I get better and recover, or die. This was my time to heal. That was my purpose. Once I knew this, I purposed to heal. I had new vigor to fight in a better way. It was a daunting task. It was the most difficult one of my life so far. It involved all of me. And I was determined to give it my all. Being all in, helped me be willing to change my thinking, and my words. I had to have bigger stronger faith. So, I had to exercise faith every day. And some days/weeks were so hard! I did cry and shout a few times. I was humbled. I had to be more vulnerable than I wanted, and it was a good thing! I had to be kind and not critical of this body that was struggling with cancer and the treatments. I had to speak life to myself and my husband! He had to do the same for me! When he found it hard to do, I had to encourage him just as when I was down, he encouraged me.
Sometimes it was awkward because we’d both be down at the same time. And one of us had to be the adult and say we can’t stay here. It’s not a good place to be. That person prayed or recalled God’s goodness and restored hope for both of us. Sometimes it was Zack and sometimes I had to do this.
According to the Word of God, my purpose is to: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil, it shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:5-8
Romans 8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Being willing to learn, and having a teachable spirit is also my purpose. As I learn through the trials God brings my/our way, I grow and learn more about the One Who made me. I can then see my pain and suffering in a different light. It didn’t diminish the pain but helped me through it.
Then I was usable in other people’s lives. We had to stay at Hope4Cancer for 6 more weeks than planned. We then had opportunities to encourage the new people coming into the clinic. Zack was so good at encouraging others, especially husbands that came with their wives who were suffering from cancer. He was praying with people while I was in treatment. He met so many people. I met many at meal times, and in treatments. We were used so often by God that it made our time there worth it in so many ways.
Do you see how the enemy wanted to hold both Zack and me back from helping others? Do you see his plan to keep me focused on myself, my pain, my suffering? What would happen to me if I did this? What would happen to the other cancer patients if Zack and I did not greet them when they came in? We have made so many good friends from our time there that we would have never met otherwise. They are championing us as we do the same for them. Prayers fly back and forth all over the USA and Canada for these very precious people who are struggling to heal as I am.
After I read and reflect on all that God did in this time, I think, "Who is worthless? Not me! I’m valuable! I have a purpose! This time was not wasted but valuable!"
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.
You have read this scripture throughout these posts. It has been a staple for me. An anchor to hold onto and to hold onto me. A sound mind is so important!
Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
Trusting in God, when things don’t seem like they are going well is hard. But letting go of Him seems more difficult to me. He has seen me through so many other huge events, why would I not trust Him in this one? It only made me lean in harder to Him as the pain and unknown outcome pressed into me. I had called out to Him so much in my life, it was a habit to me. He was always a reliable source. When it came down to it, I trusted God.
Psalm 31:1 In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed: deliver me in Thy righteousness.
There it is, shame. This scripture is clear when shame came, I had to trust God with it. I had to repent for not leaning on Him and head straight back into His arms.
Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary has so many meaningful definitions. “Hope: A desire of some good, accompanied with at least light expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied by pain and anxiety. Hope is necessary for this journey.”
Psalm 42:11 Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, Who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
by Monica DuBois