Reaching Orbit

One of my favorite things about being ill over a stretch of time (believe it or not it has it’s perks), is frequenting the movie theater. In the morning though, it’s gotta be in the morning.  Just because I can, and because tickets are $7.50.   In my “daytime” pajamas, as May likes to call them. The only difference is my daytime pajamas have pockets in them. I think I will miss that when this is all over, as I’ve always prided myself on being a lady of leisure.  I think this whole chemo bit has been a warm up lap for retirement, and I can confidently say I will do an incredible job when I enter my golden years, as I’ll be way ahead of the pack.  Crossword puzzles, gardening, chair yoga, elastic waistbands 24/7, soup for dinner @ 4:30 and bedtime at 7pm.  It’s really something we shouldn’t be embarrassed about looking forward to.

A few weeks ago I went and saw First Man,  a film about the life & career of Neil Armstrong, culminating in his history making trip to the moon.  Damien Chazelle puts you right into the cockpit, so you literally feel like you’re an astronaut being blast into outer space.

As I watched this film, I couldn’t help but clench my arm rests and hold my breath, because as far as I was concerned, I was terrified.  I was being violently shaken, surrounded by all the things my worst nightmares include:  no exit door, no light, scary sounds, going higher & faster, and of course, the feeling of being totally out of control.

But then….after several agonizing minutes of ascent, a cacophony of sounds, smoke, earthquake-like shaking & ripping…you reach orbit and everything changes.

You break out of the earth’s atmosphere, defying gravity.  The seat belt harnesses stop their cutting.  The shuttle decelerates from 3 G’s to motionless, in a split second.  Everything stops, including Houston’s counting.

But then everything else begins.  The sun, the moon.  The stillness. Dazzling stars.  Infinite, beautiful space.

This moment of ascent & leaving atmosphere struck an emotional cord with me, as I felt as though this mirrors my own struggle.  I’ve spent the last 4-5 weeks in a state of extreme agitation & anxiety.  Resisting, fighting, crying out to God, counting minutes to hours to days, to get to the end of this treatment.  Fumbling around for the lever that might jettison me out of this awful cockpit.

And then, just like in the movie, at a white knuckled moment, I reached orbit. And everything changed.   Not circumstantially, but in my mind and in my heart.    I realized, really grasped deep down in my soul that this beautiful promise from Isaiah (43) applies to me:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you…”

When you.  Not if you, but when you.  The Lord knows we are a broken people, living in a broken world, and we need more “when you’s” like this one.  This verse has been an incredible comfort to me, and setting my mind on the God who spoke it, has allowed me to find a new stillness, one that passes all understanding, even in the hard parts.

Thank you to all my friends who’ve been praying for me.  I can’t thank you enough!  I’m getting so close!

I have treatment #7/8 this Friday.  And don’t worry, the infusion lab has wifi so there will be no black Friday deals that escape me.

Love you all!


11 thoughts on “Reaching Orbit

  1. Oh Sis, what an encouragement this post is to me, and at just the right time too! How is it that you are encouraging me? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? But I guess that is how the Holy Spirit works.
    I am rejoicing with you “in orbit” and continue to pray that you rest in the peace that passes all understanding as you daily take that manna that He gives you just for today. Trusting Him. Seeking Him. Allowing His Spirit to minister to yours. Laying your anxieties & burdens down at His throne whenever they threaten to creep in and take over your thoughts. Keep your eyes on Him. I am praying for you to have exponential peace and courage and assurance and even joy this Friday as you sit in your Barka and marinate in the thousands of blessings He has given, to be thankful for. I miss you so much. Let’s have a phone catch up time soon . Love, Sissi


  2. So thankful for the Word of God and how He is using it to bring you renewed comfort and strength in this trial. Praying for you ❣️🙏🙏🙏🙏


  3. Attaining orbit is truly amazing. Euphoria, relaxation,and utter quietness. My feelings exactly, but in a sub-orbit at 3000 feet in my noisy, uncomfortable little plane. So proud of you, Heid. Stay in orbit – no need to ” re enter .
    Will miss you mucho Thursday. Still praying – – – – – popi – ILY


    1. Popi, my memories of curling up in the fetal position in the “luggage compartment” of your cessna are nothing similar to “orbit” – let’s get that one thing straight. I’m still seeing a therapist for that.
      But I’m glad you found a shared life experience to empathize with me. ILY!


  4. Isn’t it a lovely coincidence that God’s Word that was written so long ago still has a message for us today. His Word is the same for us today as It was then. Truly God’s Word has stood the test of time. And how blessed you are to know Him and draw your strength from Him. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7. That’’s you, Heidi!


  5. Dear Heid,
    Oh what a comfort His word is and isn’t it amazing when he gives you exactly what you need exactly when you need it? His love and care for His children is so wide, deep, long, personal – immeasurable really!! Hard to really wrap your brain around sometimes, yet freely ours. Glad you are experiencing His love and care and I will pray for a continued “orbit” and against agitation and anxiety. #7 down, 1 more to go!!
    Hope you got some good deals yesterday 😉
    Love you Heid


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