The late Margaret Thatcher was first called the Iron Lady in 1976 by a Soviet journalist due to her staunch opposition to the Soviet Union’s socialism. She was a woman of strong held beliefs, an iron will and great self discipline.
I was first called the Iron Lady on Tuesday by Al, after I had half a liter of blood red iron pumped intravenously into my arm because my iron counts were so low. I too, am a woman of strong held beliefs but with a weak will and very little self discipline!
There is so much I admire about “Maggie’s” character. I grew up in her constituency and my sister Claire was introduced to her and shook her hand! I remember a woman of great inner strength, vision and fortitude who didn’t suffer fools lightly. I wish I had half her motivation and drive she had, and even a sprinkle of her inner fortitude!
Having the iron infusion was a lot more challenging that I thought it would be. Practically it was all very simple (once the nurse had found my ever elusive vein!). I sat in the infusion unit in one of their new chairs, that’s more like a first class airline chair, and listened to my ipod, read my book and had a nap. This is what I’d been expecting to do and had had a little “me time” etched in my mind as a dozed and and listened to my favorite tunes.
I guess I was naive. Innocent maybe. Or perhaps I just had a higher opinion of my own emotional togetherness than was reality. Just driving to the Levine Cancer Center got my mind in a tangle despite the fact that I’ve been going there regularly for check ups. This time it was different. I was going to turn left out of the lift not right. I was going to go to the infusion unit not the doctors clinic. The anticipation of that change in direction had me jittery from the beginning.
When I walked in I was greeted like a returning hero! It was wonderful. The nurses there are true angels. I was quickly plugged in, hooked up and left alone to snooze (ably assisted by a Benedryl!). But as I lay there my emotions went spinning back to my infusions of chemo. To being plugged in via my port and having treatment and all that went with it. It span even further back to infusions I had sat through with Jo and Mum in other infusion centers in other hospitals in other countries. When you think you are done with grieving or processing your junk, there always seems to be another layer doesn’t there?!!
Then there were the challenges of what iron can do to your system!! And with out going into too much graphic detail, once I got home I was once again confined to barracks. You know it’s bad when whether the men in your life have left the seat up or down can make all the difference at the end of a 20yrd dash!!
As I sat there, once again crying out to God, WHY?? WHERE ARE YOU?? THIS STINKS (literally!!)!!! I once again felt His presence.
He didn’t make it all go away, He didn’t even tell me this would be the last time, He certainly didn’t make me a nice cup of tea which we all know cures almost anything! But He did sit with me. And He didn’t leave me.
I heard someone say that we often ask “Where is God in this?” But that what we should really be asking is “Where am I?”. God is here and is waiting for me to let Him in to my mess. I think He’s too much of a gentleman to muscle in with out us asking. He’s here but we need to say yes to His help, His peace, His grace, His love and His provision.
Sometimes letting Him in is just plain hard. Sometimes letting Him in is the only option. But that’s where God loves loves to meet us!!
When I’m more like Maggie and have an iron will and self discipline of my own I don’t need God. Thankfully He made me a weak willed child who needs Him at every turn. I just need to let my Maggie Thatcher mask fall off and stop pretending.
I told you all I was going to turn this into another blog and that is still my plan. I also told you all that I would be speaking on Oct 8th. That’s now postponed for the moment. God spoke loud and clear that that wasn’t right, and I’ll let you know when it’s on.
Hopefully the blog wont be too long!!
Love to you all and hopefully in a couple of weeks my new iron levels will be kicking in and I’ll get some of this writing done!!
PS. I’ve been listening to Matt Redman sing “Never Once” a lot. It’s about how God never leaves us and “Never once did we ever walk alone”. He wrote that song as a response to God’s faithfulness. Here’s his story…….. I can see my story in the words and I hope you can too.