Monday, April 03, 2006

Peace, No Stress

I asked a good friend to pray for us and she said her bible study group would pray too. Specifically, I asked for good health because my family has been so sick for the past 10+ months. I also talked about the stress in my life and the possible connection between stress and our health (OK, for just a few minutes, don't think of the recent news articles about how studies show prayer does not help heart patients).

On Sunday, I got a few hours to shop by myself - this does not happen very often. The rain was pouring down. We really needed groceries. I love the rain. As I drove from one store to the next, a very interesting radio program came on KQED, called Humankind. I was able to soak up the wisdom without the children distracting me. The title of the program (Part 1 of 8 - aired on Sundays at 6:30pm) is "Walking Through the Storm -- Rather than regard their diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence, the patients featured on today's program practice self-care techniques that help them withstand the stresses of serious illness and stimulate their body's natural defenses."

This is so biblical! A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Prov 17:22)

The ladies on the program were encouraging. One woman relies on prayer and stress-reduction techniques as a matter of life or death. Stress is death! Peace is life! The women going through cancer treatments don't have much control. They are given toxic chemicals. They are put under a lot of physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes financial stress. It is a matter of life or death to control their stress. They cannot control the drugs or the side effects, but they can control the stress. I deeply relate to what cancer patients go through because David will be going through almost the same thing. I constantly struggle with my feelings. Sometimes I feel angry at the doctors. Sometimes sad, depressed, anxious, or deeply hurt with myself.

A few coping tips I gleened from the program:
  • re-examine your thoughts. Are the thoughts true? Are they positive? Are they beneficial? (I would take that a step further and ask, are they true, lovely, pure, noble or of good report?)
  • have a few peace-evoking vocabulary words to repeat and/or meditate on. Words like "Peace."
  • pray. Prayer has helped a countless number of people. God is listening.

I know the prayers of my friends and family were answered when this radio program came on. It was God's perfect timing. It was a blessing to sit in the car, under pouring rain, alone, listening to the coping mechanisms of people living a stressful life with cancer.

To be continued next week...

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