No longer the warrior

When chronic illness becomes a reality, a mourning process begins. The loss of the old self, the illusion of strength and being certain of ones abilities is suddenly taken away without warning. Something you didn’t know you once had is now gone. To cope with an ongoing affliction is a full-time job, one completely separate from the burden of mourning the loss of the old self. In order to cope daily one must learn new skills, along with pacing and the balance of energy. An enormous task to do while mourning. But in order to move forward and have any quality of life one must grieve and then let go. I must let go of the old me to make room for the new me to thrive. The identity I once put stock in is no longer how I define myself. I am still fighting but the battlefield is different. I am not in a court house fighting to keep my son safe all the time. I am in my apartment fighting to find the energy to put the groceries away before the ice cream melts. Where I focus and use my energy is different, but it is a fight just the same. I am coming to realize now is that if I can let go of the dreams I had for my old self it will be one less burden to carry. After all the bible tells us to “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22 ESV). The effort and strength I have to fight is not mine, it comes from God. I accepted Jesus’ invitation “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 NKJV). God does my heavy lifting, but I must make every effort to let go of what I can. The Poem below, entitled “No longer the warrior” came to me when I discovered this. I pray that you are blessed by it. Tracy

No Longer the Warrior Written July 10, 2018

No longer the Warrior
The fight is over
I have done all I can

I am broken from battle
From every angle there is a sharp edge

I take off my armor
It falls heavily at my feet
I look in the mirror and don’t recognize who I see

I’m not who I was
I am no longer the warrior
My identity is not in my strength

I must learn to carry my dignity while weak.
Who is this person I see looking back at me?
Where will she go and what will she be?

I am no longer the warrior
fighting fear on the battlefield

The scars are left waiting to heal
The fear in my head is very real

The fight is over
I am no longer the warrior
The war is on-going
But I don’t carry a sword

To win now I must give up the illusion of strength
And surrender to change

I trade in my armor for rags
Try to hold my head high
And wear them with grace

I am no longer the warrior
Grateful for change
Rags or no rags I must begin again

The war is not over
But the victory is coming
Letting go of the armor is just step one

…soon I will have a new name.

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