Healing, the job hunt and Glorious Ruin.

Breathing has gotten much better. There are still times I have to catch my breath and stop for a moment. It’s particularly difficult to breathe in the car, but overall, things are improving. I’m hoping my body is just still recovering from the last few months of surgery/treatment/meds, and it’ll just take a little time. The good news is, it hasn’t stopped me from going to the gym daily and while it’s not making much of a difference on the scale, my muscles feel great, and it has given me a little more energy for the front half of the day!  It has also made me feel somewhat productive. 🙂

The past few days have been difficult. I’ve been interacting with a lot of strangers and answering the questions:

“So, why did you move to Chicago?”
“What do you do?”
“What are your plans?”

There is no easy way to answer those questions. I obviously don’t want to offer up the answer, “Well, you see, I moved across the country to start law school because I am passionate about international human rights, but four days before school started, I was diagnosed with cancer, so, now I am do nothing. I am not healthy, I am not in school and I do not have a job.” Something tells me that’s not a quick way to make friends or to continue conversation.

Few things have been more difficult for me than reliving the chain of events of the past few months and having to offer up the brief answer, “Well, I moved to start school, but I had to defer a year, so I am currently looking for a job.” It over-simplifies the past few months; it minimizes the struggle. Sharing the bullet points, without the context of my story, is almost more painful than my story itself.

I am such a passionate, driven person, and I’m having a really difficult time not being able to channel this energy into school or a job. I have been job hunting since I started radiation, praying for an opportunity to be able to support myself (especially now that marching band season is over and teaching is done) and to be able to learn and challenge myself in some way. If anyone has any connections in the Chicago area for jobs, especially in writing/editing/marketing, please let me know.

I just finished the book Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian. I could have finished it in a day, but I have been pacing myself through it since I started treatment, savoring each chapter. During my senior year at Biola University, I wrote an in-depth capstone project on why suffering exists in the world. I researched articles, books, verses, etc. and wrote this paper. However, when life threw cancer my way, this knowledge and understanding was not what I wanted to hear or review. This book met me where I am and gave such a different look at suffering than any other publication I had read. I could go on and on about how it has shaped my mentality on approaching suffering, but instead, I just want to encourage you to read it.

This is the inside cover introduction:

In this world, one thing is certain: everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real), like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots as we try to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves–or others. This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering–it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.

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