On Saturday afternoon, we were walking back home from the shopping centre with a new pair of jeans and T-shirts in my bag. Suddenly I stopped and started crying. Tobias was worried and we sat on a bench at the sidewalk, he hugged me close.
Me: I feel sad because I cannot wear my old pretty clothes anymore, too small. I am sick, my appearance has changed. I can’t make you proud of my beauty anymore.
Tobi: I am proud of you. You’re beautiful inside and outside. I am the happiest man and husband.
::: WHEN THE PHYSICAL BEAUTY FADES
In my old days,
it was my identity,
everyone says how great, how sexy, how stunning,
how beautiful I was.
Physical beauty and social position
has been part of my sense of self.
I was trapped in the surface dimension,
equated who I am with my external appearance.
It became my obsession.
I never left the house – or was to be seen –
without looking as if I have it all together.
When that starts to fade,
then who am I?
I lost my fundamental possession,
I felt there’s nothing left of me.
my vision is impaired,
my walk is limping,
my speech is mumbled.
With the medicine,
I am experiencing side effects,
like cushing syndrome,
my face is getting round like a balloon,
my abdomen is storing fat,
my body weight is rocketing.
When I see myself in the mirror,
I look different.
My appearance has changed.
::: COPING WITH THE TRANSITION
Every morning in the Maiers nest.
Tobias: You look beautiful. I love you.
Me: You are made from sugar!
The LORD met me with His grace.
Through immersing in His words,
who God is, and
my true identity in Him.
Oh I know for sure who I am.
This helps me transitioning
from the beauty of my youth,
to be living with a face and body
that is affected by late stage brainstem cancer.
To identify and be aware of my self-value,
to accept and realize the changes,
to see it is the path I have to experience,
the gradual decline of the physical form.
Though my external appearance withers,
but my inner aliveness is blooming.
Of course there are moments
when I feel sad and I complain,
how it’s all collapsing,
how I suffer.
But then the inner-shift happened,
I came to the acceptance
of what happened,
of the present moment,
of the unconditional love
from my God and my husband.
::: BEAUTIFUL AS A PERSON NOT A BODY
My hyacinth flowers
withered after one week,
It’s the destiny of all form
to eventually dissolve.
For more than a decade,
I was wasting my life,
investing my money, time and energy,
focusing on sexy clothes and shoes,
on schicki-micki accessories and bags,
on fancy-shmancy make up, nails and hairstyle,
decorating my figure.
Now, I live an unadorned lifestyle.
Because I realize
I am beautiful as a person,
not a body to be decorated.
From Tobias I learned,
it’s not my outer appearance that matters,
but it’s my inner disposition.
It’s how I make him feel good
and brighten his days,
how I exhibit kindness and faithfulness,
understanding and forgiving,
honesty and humbleness,
serenity and gentleness,
love and care for others,
peace and patience,
trustworthiness and accountability.
It’s my witty jokes and laughter,
my perspective on life and courage.
My inner-beauty that has his heart captivated.
::: BEAUTY OF THE SOUL
Yesterday I had a WhatsApp conversation with our friend’s teenage daughter who is just home from months of rehabilitation for anorexia.
My heart breaks for this beautiful young girl.
She: It’s hard. I will try to keep on fighting. I exercise like crazy and barely eat. I keep thinking I’ll be happier if I lose weight, but end up desperate. If my weight plunged under minimum weight again, they’ll send me back to hospital. I feel lonely.
Her struggles reminds me of my old days.
It was a double trouble,
me being beautiful
but without character,
without knowing the purpose of life.
emphasizing on skinny body and fancy style.
This didn’t make me a world-changer,
didn’t make me a trailblazer,
didn’t mean I make something profound and excellent.
The honest truth is
everyone is growing older,
our bodies are aging.
Charms are deceptive,
and outer beauty is fading.
The real us is inside our body.
It is our soul.
It is who we are.
It is where true beauty comes from.
If I could turn back time,
to a young, beautiful, energetic and healthy me,
I would choose
not to invest my life in vainly things,
but to invest in love,
to the poor and the needy,
to the orphans and the elderly.
Not to idolize beautiful images,
but to live a meaningful life,
to be significant and excellent.
Not to please men,
but to bring glory to the Almighty.
::: THE WOMAN OF VALOR
The law of love and kindness,
is written in her heart,
and shows itself
in her words and action.
She works and rests not idle,
making things profitable for others.
She is intentional,
in giving as in getting,
and does it freely and cheerfully.
She governs herself
by the rules of wisdom.
She sets an example for others.
She is a great blessing to her relations,
in marriage, in family, and in community.
She reflects with comfort,
lives with strength,
hopes with joy.
She is truly beloved and respected,
useful and honourable.
A woman of noble character.
the fear of God reigning in her heart.
No matter her lot in life,
or current circumstances,
she seeks God’s will in her life.
Her confidence and hope
is in Jesus Christ.
This is her imperishable beauty.
::: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
there’s nothing wrong with beauty,
it’s a good thing taking care of ourselves
to look good and stunning.
Unless it becomes an idol,
that we worship and invest our life into.
If you’d like to dig deeper about a woman’s worth, check my previous posts – A Woman’s Worth Trilogy –
Do you believe,
we are the woman of valor,
virtuous and excellent?
We are beautiful.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
1 Peter 3:3-4 NIVUK
“”Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Proverbs 31:29-30 ESV
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 NLT
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
1 Year 11 Months Post Biopsy
Midline Pontine Glioblastoma/DIPG Grade IV
There are no changes regarding my symptoms.
I will receive the 5th round of avastin chemo on Wednesday, April 10th.
I think what I miss the most now is my independence.
Currently I am unable to go out the house by myself.
My aunt from Indonesia will come to visit me this month.
I am excited to show her beautiful spring in Germany.
This Friday, April 5th, is my 2 years wedding anniversary 💕
On one hand, it feels like just yesterday I met Tobias.
On the other hand, we walked through a lot of trials, and our love grows stronger.
I’m truly blessed with this wonderful marriage.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers 🙏
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