People often use this phrase when comparing things that are totally different. This would describe our lives before my diagnosis of stage 4, pancreatic cancer in December and our lives now. If you are dealing with a life-changing situation you know what I mean.
Even my looks have changed like night and day! I went from having long dark hair to having no hair to wearing a wig. Now my hair has started to grow back, and it is short and white. People don’t always recognize me!
I love the sun and being outside. This improves my outlook on any day, yet we’ve had some pretty cool storms and clouds lately too. There is beauty in each. I have always marveled at God’s handiwork in the skies, from beautiful sunrises and sunsets, to looking at cloud formations and the moon and stars. However, either one can be overshadowed by that little black cloud I referred to in a previous blog.
Whether day or night, now, there are more questions and fears to deal with and challenges to keeping our eyes focused on Jesus. The enemy wants us to feel defeated, fearful and overwhelmed. It has been particularly hard for Don lately as there is so much going on at the church and plans for the future. He worries about me, and how much longer we will have together, along with all of the questions and lonely thoughts that brings. When my cancer markers went up (not the right direction) 2 weeks ago, this brought more fears. He’s been lying awake a lot at night, and when he is sleeping, he is troubled by nightmares. This changes things from a restful night to just longing for the day. We have been praying for restful nights. We were more encouraged yesterday when the cancer marker went down! Thank you, Lord!
Days are usually filled with more activity and distractions, but are never free from what we are facing. Sitting on our deck outside some evenings is a relaxing time and is usually a good time to communicate. We did this last summer also and found it to be a more relaxing and beneficial time of the day. If you don’t practice something like this with those close to you, we highly recommend it. You won’t find this in front of the TV! It also gives me time to look at the evening sky and focus on God. Being thankful and appreciating all the Lord does for us keeps our minds in a better place. It’s like night and day!
Don and I have been taking more walks in the early mornings, which is good for both of us physically, and gives us more time to appreciate being together. However, Don has had multiple ankle and heel injuries to his feet over the years and this week seems to have developed Achilles tendonitis, which is very painful. He has a call out to the Doctor for recommendations, while icing it and getting better support for his walking shoes. He went from walking 5 miles at the beginning of the week to having pain just walking across the room. It’s like night and day!
We’ve met a couple more people during our chemotherapy treatments that are dealing with similar diagnoses. We are trying to offer support – it can make the difference between night and day! Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging to us! We have had many helpful nurses and have formed a close relationship with one of the home nurses who set up my chemotherapy that stays connected by a pump through the weekend. It makes all the difference - like night and day!
We have also quickly realized the big difference in the hope people have going through very difficult times when they have a relationship with the Lord, versus those who have not found Him yet. This is not a surprise, yet very evident. Having a deep relationship with Jesus makes all the difference – like night and day!
Don’t underestimate the difference you can make in many people’s lives by offering a supportive word or even a smile. I’m sure you have experienced it yourself. We can also make a night and day difference for people in a big way, such as the way we are making a significant impact to support young women leaders in Southern Asia with Gail’s Girls. Thank you to all who are getting involved with building a legacy in this difficult part of the world. You will be hearing of more opportunities to help shortly. (Check out www.gailsgirls.org if you haven’t already).
I love this Scripture and it refers to day and night:
Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
The differences in night and day will continue. Our trust is still in our creator!