Friday, September 21, 2012

Blind Love and Blessings: Excerpts From My Journal

The author's private journal
Victorian Journals
Brownlow Publishing Co., Inc.

Before I blogged, I kept a journal. Like my blogging, my journaling was sporadic because I wrote only when the mood struck, which wasn't on a regular basis.

I am going to share appropriate excerpts from the above journal that detail a personal comparison I made concerning my own situation and that of someone I love. Her name has been changed to Jane (as in "Jane Doe") in order to protect privacy, but her identity will be recognizable to many.

November 15, 1997
. . . After being wigless for 13 months, it has been an adjustment these last 2 days. Actually my hair loss is not as bad this time as it was during my previous episode, but I could tell my wig-free days were numbered. At least I'm getting used to this by degrees.
I'm ashamed of my own vanity when I think about Jane's cancer surgery in 2 days. She has already lost her nose. Now she will lose her left eye, half her palate and teeth. . .
Lord, spare Jane. And thanks for the wig.
Fast forward a couple of years:

August 30, 1999
I'm still wearing a wig even though I have run the gamut from losing almost all of my hair to gaining back as much as I had. . . I've learned to compensate for activities I enjoy.
As for Jane, she is still fighting cancer with prayers, radiation, chemotherapy, and a great attitude. . . It has been a hard year for Jane.
The next entry that I'll share has this verse inscribed at the top of the page: The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. PSALM 126:3.

Beneath it I wrote the following:

August 18, 2000
It is with tears in my eyes and in my heart that I read the verse above (blog note: I had underlined the word "joy" in the verse at the top of the page). Jane went to be with the Lord last night and I am trying desperately to feel the joy. I know she has joy, and here at the end I've prayed for God to take her quickly so that she wouldn't have to suffer any more.
The entry goes on to say that August had always had it's share of joy but especially it's share of sorrow as my family had buried my maternal grandma, my uncle, and now Jane in various years. Having been just a year older than I, in childhood Jane was my playmate and companion. In adulthood she was my friend and confident. As adults, Jane and I lived many miles apart but we corresponded regularly. We remained close enough friends that in early 1999 Pastor Dad drove The Bear and me the 8 hours that it took to reach her bedside after one of her surgeries. I was concerned about how the preschool-aged Bear would react to her irregular appearance but she was so joyful that he was quickly sitting on her lap!

Here is another part of that same l-o-n-g August 18, 2000 entry, 6 pages actually, where I poured out my heart:

. . . I have several emails from Jane, the last one sent on July 4th wishing us all a great day. I got to see her at Christmas and encourage her. We even sent emails back and forth where I shared my "hair secrets" with her since she was feeling rotten about wearing a wig [after losing] her hair to chemo.
Did you catch that? My dear cousin, who had lost an eye, her nose, and part of her palate to cancer had been mortified when her hair fell out! Even more astonishing was that I was able to encourage her! It was then that I began to realize just how devastating hair loss is for all women, even those who have had their appearance altered in other ways or were fighting life-threatening illnesses.

In years to come the Lord would put me in contact with several women suffering hair loss who needed encouragement. All, including Jane, responded with the words, "I had no idea you have this problem, too!" when I empathized with them by sharing details of my own illness, one that paled in comparison to what some of them faced.

It is interesting how the Lord placed these ladies in my path and what He used to get the conversations started. I was never the one to broach the subject but at various times and in odd places (at the craft store, for example) an acquaintance would reveal that she had just left the wig shop, or shopping for a hat, or the beauty salon, and her story would erupt like the sodium bicarbonate - vinegar mixture that explodes out of elementary science experiments. As private as each woman wished to remain, each needed to release the emotion by talking to someone and the Lord somehow arranged a meeting between us.

I will not share their stories, but like Jane, some of them now experience great joy because their journeys have ended. Others are still on their pilgrimage but with the knowledge that they are not alone. Not only does the Lord share their sorrow but I and others like me are blessed to help bear their burdens.

Part of the bearing of each other's burdens has been sharing information and tips. In the future I hope to tell what I do to help compensate each day or in special circumstance as per the above referenced journal entry. For now, I will close with the quote that is at the bottom of that six-page entry, one that complements well the verse that began it.

Be a life long or short, its completeness
depends on what it was lived for.


  1. Great post! Thanks for the reminder that we should have joy no matter our circumstances

  2. I'm so glad joy is deeper than happiness and that we can have true joy even when our circumstances kinda stink! Great post!


Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)