Struggling Well

We have another guest blogger with us this week–Amy Bowman, a new friend I met in our Knees to the Earth class. I know you will be blessed by what she has to share.

I love the title Shereen and Kathy chose for the elective they are teaching this year:

Knees to the Earth: Prayer that Empowers a Woman’s Life.

Knees to the Earth.

That is just such a beautiful visual to me. It is a humbled posture. Submitted. Acknowledgement that we are but dust, as knees touch dust. Often when we think of one on her knees, we think of eyes closed & head bowed. A reverence. One bowed in worship.

Expand our elective description and this is what it says:

“Knees to the Earth: Prayer that Empowers a Woman’s Life–learn how calling on God can help you struggle well.”

As I read the rest of the description of this elective, another picture enters my mind. This one seems to fits my reality. I see one with knees touching dust, touching earth. But her head is not bowed. It is up. Eyes raised, a bit desperate. A face turned in expectation. A calling out. A “calling on God in order to struggle well.”

Just yesterday I had this calling out. It was not a complicated calling out. Prayer does not have to be. It was one desperate word: “Lord!”

I sit in my Oncologist office, vulnerable and weary from fighting flu for a week. Being in this place at this time of year is almost eery, the memories of fighting stage 3b breast cancer, two fall’s before, come flooding back.

My Oncologist–her hands, so soft, capable, sure & confident–feels for lumps and bumps. She pauses on my clavicle (I call it a collar bone). The space between her brows narrows as she stays in that spot, one that I realize is tender now it is being manipulated. “Could it be just a lymph node? I’ve been sick…” I ask with hope. Her answer sends my heart racing. “No, this is bone. But this is abnormal.” She informs me that I will be having an X-ray right away, and depending on what shows up, a bone scan.

She leaves the room, and I study myself in the mirror. I stare at my clavicle. A pea-sized bump stares back at me. I start to talk inwardly to myself: “We’ve had these scares before. Don’t jump to conclusions.” Yes, we have had these scares. It seems to be a way of life for a cancer survivor. The “What if’s” and “What’s that’s?” But this feels different, and I know it is because it is bone we are dealing with. If cancer comes back in the bone, it is an automatic stage 4. Not curable.

An x-ray tech comes to get me. I am thankful for the interruption of thoughts. She places a small sticker where the lump is and positions me just right. It is dark and cold, always, in these rooms. She says “Let me take a quick look at this one. I am looking for disease. I may need to take more pictures without the sticker depending on what it shows.”

When she comes back to take three more pictures, I have my ‘Knees to the Earth’ moment. Actually, more a heart to the earth moment, as I stood frozen, all but my heart which had dropped. A wave called “fear” came over me, and in my brain I cried out that one desperate word, “Lord!”

Knees to the Earth: Prayer that Empowers a Woman’s Life–Learn how calling on God can help you struggle well.

Immediately, the minute my cry became thought, another thought comes even louder than my one word cry. A Holy Spirit whisper.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 42:3

 A whisper verse that took on the form of a song I am very familiar with, one that God sang to me more than once when I was sick.

These thoughts all took place in a matter of seconds, and in seconds I felt enveloped. Never alone. Never forsaken.

It was still a struggle. I waited for two hours for results and had a cry-fest to my sister in the Oncology office parking lot, blubbering all over my phone. I felt scared and angry and told my sister so. But, I know that I struggled well. I know that one word calling out “Lord!” was answered and is allowing me to struggle well.

Our Equip Her verse:

“May the God of peace … equip you with everything good  for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 13:20-21

We call out. He answers. He equips. His word comforts and brings peace. He works in us what pleases Him, and promises to work it all for our good! Oh how I love that verse!

Nothing showed up on the X-ray. We are doing a “wait and see.” That means I get to watch this crazy lump for growth and doc will feel it come next appointment in January. And I feel at peace about that, for I have been equipped! I will struggle, but I will keep my Knees to the Earth. I will keep calling out, and I will keep learning to struggle well.


Amy Bowman is a blogger, mother of 3 girls, wife, 2-time cancer survivor, & lover of LIFE! She is the author of New Nostalgia for the past 5 years, a place where she writes about living a simple but full life, with topics on health, organization, beauty, homemaking, parenting & more.

13 Replies to “Struggling Well”

    1. Hello, again, Kathleen, and Amy – Amy, who is one of my special blogging friends.
      Amy – your words inspire me so much, and gives me courage for my own battles.
      I was not even looking for this post, so I was definitely led here by The Spirit.
      I think I need to get my “Knees to the Earth” – soon – now.
      Be Blessed, Amy.

  1. I continue to be amazed by your story. You find such strength in God. It makes all of us stronger just reading and hearing your Faith.

  2. So real, Amy. Been there with others, not as yet for myself. So I know something of this kind of struggle – and yes, you are struggling well. May this time of wait-and-see lead to a clear ‘no-worries-here’ in January. Love and prayers sent your way…

  3. As a breast cancer survivor, too, I will keep you in prayers. I enjoy you emails and all the god info. Thanks and God Bless.

  4. Amy, I’ve been following you on PInterest, but did not know of your cancer struggles. I just read a few of your posts and am crying for the pain and anxiety you are going through. My sister died last November, 2013 from brain cancer – glioblastoma – and I still cry every day for her, even though I feel peace knowing she is no longer in pain. I know Heavenly Father knows and LOVES you. “Knees to the Earth” is WONDERFUL! I’ll always remember that phrase. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family! You have touched my heart!

  5. Amy, you are an inspiration to all. Your faith will get you through all. I am a survivor of five years for stage 4 ovarian cancer and I know that my faith and the love, prayers, and support of family and friends is what got me to this point. My prayers are with you, stay strong in HIM!

  6. Thank you for this. I’m so very sorry you once again had to contemplate cancer. Thank you so much for taking us through your thought process and your plea to The Lord for help. In moments like these it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not go to Him when He should be our first thought. It’s a good lessen for us all to remember.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: