My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, April 21, 2011

what's good about Good Friday?

One week until the Royal wedding and one week until my birthday! I still love birthdays... no matter how many I have, they're all still awesome. No birthday could ever top my bed and breakfast weekend with Purple Michael... my parents got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers... Michael made me the most amazing carrot cake with cream cheese icing... with too much icing which we ate until we went into sugar comas... we had a beautiful picnic lunch together... fabulous breakfast in our spacious suite... just a really awesome time of loving, laughing, singing and making memories together...

Speaking of fabulous memories... show of hands: how many of you watched every minute of Charles and Diana's wedding back in 1981? I was 13. It was July which meant it was hot... even at night. We would have had the attic fan running which made a horribly loud noise but sucked in the cool night air... I was encouraged by the fact that Charles was the oldest... which meant there was hope for me with Andrew or Edward. Obviously... my Princess Plan didn't pan out.

And... how many of you got up in the wee hours to watch Diana's funeral? I was babysitting Brock... my friend Scott's son... who was 11... and dozing on my couch while I sat on the floor in the middle of the living room in front of the tv... you know, that position you assume when you are focused on the tv and nothing else? That was me... a sobbing, brokenhearted mess... 29 years old and feeling like my very own princess had died. And I'm not even British... although I am White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant, so I guess I qualify. Brock woke up and asked, "did you know her?" No. Of course not. "then why are you so upset?"

It's hard to explain. Why did I care about that first wedding? Was it the fairy tale aspect? Why did I care about the funeral? And this wedding? Why does it matter? I don't know... but maybe it's a sign that i still believe in happily ever after... maybe it's some sad fascination with royalty since we don't really have that here...

Are you watching American Idol? My favorites are... Lauren, James, Scotty...

Yesterday I crashed and burned in a big way. I was asleep before 8pm. If you can imagine having someone stick needles into your muscles and then have you contract those muscles. Small needles... he kept telling me how much smaller these needles were than the ones used to draw blood... somehow that didn't make it hurt less. It wore me out but fortunately... I didn't wake up in pain today. I was afraid that I would.

I went to sleep and then Austin woke me up around 9:30 to tell me that a friend of his was in trouble... could he come here if he needed a place to stay? What do you think I said?

Well... before I answer that... I'll tell you that God had placed this child and his mother so heavily on my heart yesterday morning that before I started pleaded for mercy with my tests, I was praying very specific and unusual things for this family and... I had no idea why. No idea. I even told God that I had no idea what was going on but that He knew the need. I really, honestly, completely at that moment thought the burden I had for them was because Austin and I have struggled so much lately.

When I heard what the crisis was... I answered, "yes, of course he can stay with us". I saw nearly every hour on the clock after that and prayed for this child and his situation every time I woke up.

Look... I know this may have all been completely coincidental. I choose to believe that it was purely intentional. I believe God works that way... even though He could do anything He wants in any situation He wants without any of us having anything to do with it... He tells us that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful. Obviously, for reasons I don't entirely understand, He hears our prayers and answers them. How could God need my help? I mean, He already knows the need... He already loves these people... He will do what He will do... but for some reason, intercession makes a difference. And so I will continue to pray.

I believe that it was prayer that helped me accept what I was told yesterday. (and I just realized I was sitting indian style again which I am not supposed to do). When this started three months ago, I thought I had a kidney infection, I'd get an antibiotic and be fine. Then I thought... I've got a kidney stone... it will pass and I'll be fine. Then I thought... I've got some problems with my back but I was fine before, this will heal and I'll be fine. Then... the longer it went on I thought... I'll end up needing surgery and it will be a struggle but I'll be fine. Now... to know that a surgical fix isn't available... that the degenerative issues are just that... to know that I'll have to depend on pain management and lifestyle changes to adapt to a back that will never be as good as new again... and... I was fine.

I drove home thinking, "I should be more emotional than I am"... especially considering the pain of driving after all the poking and prodding and shocking my legs had gone through... and I wasn't emotional. I kept repeating to myself what the neurologist had said... the things he told me to try... the physical therapist that specializes in the specific problems I have -a physical therapist that is a 45 minute drive away, that he wants me to see three times a week for an indefinite time period with gas nearing $4 a gallon, meaning I would miss work, spend a fortune in gas... and then the suggestion that I not sit at a desk 8 hours a day. I mean... honestly... basically what I heard was that the pain isn't going to go away because what I need to do to make it better is beyond my ability to do. I couldn't wrap my mind around it.

And today is Good Friday... so as I began to think about how this day is a memorial day of sorts, to remember a good man who suffered beyond what our minds can comprehend to accomplish something that couldn't have been accomplished without His willingness to submit Himself to God's will... and i thought about how I grieve for what He suffered but how glad I am that He did because of the ultimate outcome and it brought my situation into focus...

Does He watch me suffer and grieve for what I'm going through but... knowing that what it's going to accomplish in my life and through my life is worth the price I pay? Didn't He say to take up our crosses and follow Him? Is this my cross? Isn't my heart so much more tender to the suffering of others because of this? And isn't my faith growing stronger by the day? And haven't I seen answered prayers continually... down to minute details that I ask for that He answers?

Last week I prayed, "Lord make me able to put food on the table..." and my daddy came and bought groceries.

Yesterday I prayed, "Lord let me find compassion for my limitations today at work" and I had a pleasant conversation with the boss before I left... a rare moment of having his undivided attention, which let me express my concern about the process and the pain... and let him express his concern and compassion for the situation.

And when I got home and had some time alone and could have really fallen apart... there were seven cards in my mailbox yesterday. Seven.

Next Friday I'll celebrate my birthday by going back to the pain clinic to find out what the long term plan will be, now that we know what looks to be the full extent of the problem. And I will start walking this weekend, now that I'm cleared to do that. And I will start yoga. And I will refocus my weight loss efforts because that's so important. And I will wake up every day and be grateful for everything that I am able to do and I will not grieve what I am not able to do... because this situation doesn't close doors for me so much as it opens doors... the path looks different from what I expected at this stage of the journey but that doesn't make it the wrong path... actually, it feel more right than it's ever felt before.

It really is a GOOD Friday. Love and hugs, y'all.