Cancer Survivor

Night Watches

Paul’s song begins at 1:30 on the video.

Pain speaks volumes, if we’ll just listen. I’d like to think that I’m an active listener, both to God and others. Yet, there are times His still small voice must be dialed up to ten. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Anyone who has had abdominal surgery will attest that the pain has a voice. Day three after my surgery, the O.R. nurses came for a visit and said, “We always like to visit our big belly patience on day three.” I didn’t know whether to be thankful for the care or insulted by the term. What they meant was that surgery that invades the bowels rises to a special level of concern. They’re right! I had three surgeries in 1998, the final culminating into a full hysterectomy. But this procedure was the grand-daddy of them all!

Those in my special club also know that a key piece of advice is to stay ahead of the pain. Once you let it get a good grip…it takes some management to put it back into place. So far, I’ve been managing the pain like a champ during the day. Oh, but, the night watches. They sneak up on you. I take my last medication on my bed. And then about 6 hour s later, about 2 hours too late…I get the wake-up call.

Each night, what awakens me is not the discomfort, but my own voice. I’m stirred by the sound of my own prayers. They are sweet and strong. I hear me calling out to Jesus or asking the Lord for help. Last night Skip asked, “Honey, what are you saying?” In a semi-conscious state I replied, “I think I was praying.” Then my sweetheart reminded me that my pain management was past due.

As I reached for my pills, God spoke. Seriously, I heard an audible harmonious voice. Somehow I’d brushed my iPhone with my wrist and had unwittingly engaged the iPod. Singing sweetly out the darkness, came the melodious tune of my dear friend, Paul Clark. And wouldn’t you know it, my favorite song, “Abide.” The lyrics promised… “The more I go on with the Lord, I find that I cannot afford, to stay away from His side, It’s in the vine I’ll abide…”

I asked Skip, “What is that?” He told me he thought it was my alarm. I assured him that I don’t use the alarm or 90% of the other apps on my gadget. He asked me to pass the device. “Hmmm,” he said, “It turned itself onto shuffle.” Those who are close to me know that I have never downloaded a song or know how to shuffle. But God did! He sang sweetly to me in the night watches.

David said, “When I remember Yo u on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice” (Psalm 63:6-7).

Love,
Lenya

The Heitzig family, Paul Clark, and friends

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10 thoughts on “Night Watches

  1. That was so sweet Lenya……..Stories like that make me want to cling to our Father……He has spoken to me also through song….very quickly, I was coming apart and had even asked Him, don't you hear me??? Can't you feel me and my pain (a little dramatic, I know!!!) And then out of the BLUE, I turned on my radio and the words that came out of that radio to me was, "Don't you know I hear you, don't you know I feel your pain……(By Chuck Girard)Needless to say, I pulled over and cried and rejoiced that my Abba heard me and let me know….Oh how I love Him…..Blessings to you Lenya…..keep sharing these wonderful treats to us. Helen Berry

  2. Lenya, My prayers have been with you and your family. My verse that has helped me through my pain which has been a mental pain is Psalm 57:1 Have Mercy on me oh Lord, have mercy on me, for my soul trusts in You, and in the shadow of Your wing I shall make my refuge until these calamities have passed by. Even though I have had pain, my Lord and Savior has protected me and given me strength. You draw nearer to Him in times like these. I can see that in you. Bless you for the pain you are going through. Love as sisters in Christ Tammy Booher : )

  3. Lenya, thank you for sharing. I love those God moments when He so clearly speaks that I wonder why I ever doubted him and vow to never do so again. I'm praying for your complete healing and know that He hears and cares. your sis in Christ, Teresa

  4. Dear, dear Lenya! You are always such a bright and shining example of how to have joy in our Lord… even in the hard times! God bless you! We are praying and rejoice with you that the tumor was encapsulated! We will pray specifically for your night times. All our love to you~ Maellen

  5. Lenya-May,Thank you for sharing with the rest of us our Father's incredible treasures He's sending specifically to you as you go through your pain/healing trial. Isn't that just like Him! During this time as I'm sure so many everywhere are expressing, you've been on my heart & in my prayers for the past couple of weeks off and on in the day and during the night…now I know why…you've needed the extra prayer at night! Just know that you are loved and thought of, and hope to see you up and about soon! Peg

  6. Hi Lenya, Still praying for you. You know my daughter went through abdominal surgery a while back. Not for the same reason as you, but for other reasons. One thing that worked for her very well,was she always had an alarm clock to wake her up in the middle of the night to take her pain med. so she would not be waken by the pain.

  7. Thank you for sharing your heart in this entry. Paul's song "Abide" really does capture the entire secret of living in peace (even in the darkest of times) as we abide in our surrender to Jesus. I just downloaded the song onto my Ipod. I will pray especially for your nights.

  8. Lenya-With 3 c-sections and another abdominal surgery under my belt (so to speak) – I can emphathize with your pain. Everyone has different things that work for them – mine was taking the pain meds and then 20 minutes later moving around as much as I could in order to get the blood flowing and speed the healing. How marvelous it is you call on Jesus even when you are not fully conscious! It really speaks to what our soul longs for! Thinking of you and praying for your speedy recovery. Barb Loeppke

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