By: Erica Berres
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
I have read these words numerous times, however it is now that these words become life to my soul. I wonder how many of us take the time to look at our life and ask where am I, why am I in this season, what am I going to do with the time that I am given, and am I going to resist this season or move with grace through this season. Yesterday was the day God chose to show me that I could resist or move within the grace of this season. Those who know me personally know, I am a very self-determined woman. I am strong in my identity and I enjoy laughter, life, and fun. Life to me is an adventure. I look forward to each day. Internally, I ache and cry when I see others hurting or being hurt because I enjoy each and every person that crosses my path. I believe each person has a story to share and I want to hear it. I will respect you as an individual, love you unconditionally and allow you to be self-determined to choose. I try to positively affect people so they can see their identity and the personal power they possess to become everything that God has created them for.
Yesterday was a difficult day. I was planning to visit Wisconsin for a few days in the upcoming week. I was there recently, however, I was unable to visit with some friends and I was planning on visiting with them during a short visit next week. My friend from Wisconsin who is staying with me was willing to drive me up to Wisconsin on her return drive and I was planning a return air flight home. As my plans were being arranged, the angst of flying and traveling after brain surgery did not become resolved within my soul. I did the research and knew that I needed to discuss this with my neurosurgeon. I shared my plans with his nurse and she said she would call me to let me know if he would clear the travel. I waited all day to hear what the decision was….no answer from the doctor office to clear the travel.
Along with the travel, the angst of knowing down deep inside traveling with a dog, visiting friends, still having nights struggling with sleep (Currently, writing this at 2:30 a.m.), not in the comfort of my home is adjustments my body and brain has to endure. Honestly, I can appreciate my brain, the work it must do daily to function while putting up with my crazy life and plans because unless you experience brain surgery, we take it for granted how active and how hard our brain works to keep us moving, thinking and alive. Every step we take when we walk our brain is functioning to make sure that the step is taken with grace. Every creative idea, every thought, every landscape we look at, our brain functions the input and places creative descriptive words so we can communicate our feelings and thoughts. It truly is amazing and I have been given the experience to actually feel the awareness of my brain working to make sure I can continue to do this. My brain is working hard and healing. Truly, we are intricately, fearfully and wonderfully created.
Together with the angst of whether I was ready to travel, I received the appointment phone call to go see the radiation oncologist to discuss if radiation was going to be necessary. The words sank into me when I heard “Carti Cancer Center.” The tumor is benign, the reality that this is even a possibility had not really settled in me until those words hit my hard working brain. I had to accept that preventive radiation may be necessary and the best option for me.
I met with my advisor at the University to discuss what the plan for returning to classes this fall would look like. I was taking the quick track to complete my dual degree in Law and Masters in Social Work. I found out the quick track would no longer be quick and by not attending this 10 summer week session lengthened my degree by one complete additional year. Again, the words sinking in and the reality that plans were going to be different.
Last night, I had plans to work on some reading and studying but my brain was too busy with all the new details and changes. I sat alone, just breathing, thinking, praying, and being surrounded in quietness. I needed to quiet my angst and disappointment to find out what God was teaching me through all this.
I learned that in each day, I need to find something to laugh about. Yesterday, there was no laughter. It was a serious day, full of future plans, full of changed plans and I felt sadness about these changes and possible radiation. I tend to be more introspective and serious therefore I keep myself accountable to laugh and dance crazy. Laughter has become more natural to me, however I keep myself from slipping back to being too serious each and every moment of the day. However, I needed a good dose of medicine and I was reminded a merry heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) I realized looking back at my day, I did not laugh during the day, I did not break out in dance, and I did not do one silly thing. Yes, that is me, my kids would attest I will act crazy to make someone else smile because we do not take time to laugh and play enough. Some of us are just too serious. I am one of them. So I promised myself, I was going to dance and laugh each day, even in the difficult days. A good dose of laughter is healing to my brain and lightens the work my brain must do each and every day. So I watched a Wanda Sykes video and laughed my little socks off. Tomorrow I may need to jam to Beyonce or Pitbull. My son, Spencer would say, “Mom, time for a little Kendrick Lamar.”
Mostly, I learned that to everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. When I read the list that is included above…a time to mourn, a time to laugh…I am reminded that each moment of time is part of a season and in that season mourning and laughter can occur within the same minute. There is also a balance that is created throughout that list to remind us that where you are positioned in your season, there is a counter force, which is activated to maintain the balance that God has created for each of us to live in. I am comforted by that.
Therefore, the time for me currently is to rest and heal, not to travel. The time for me is to go to the cancer center and take care of my body and do what is the best course so I never have to go through this again. The time for me is to enjoy the journey and gift of receiving an education no matter how long it takes. I have wanted to receive my degree since graduating from High School and my season for that has arrived. Who cares how long it takes? It is about enjoying the journey and reaching the goals and desires God places in my heart.
By: Erica Berres