Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Notes from the desert

I feel like I've been wandering for 40 years. Or maybe about 52. I've been in a place that I thought I'd never be...or, at least stay for any length of time. I thought stuff would roll off of me easier as I got older, but fear just seems to be my nasty friend lately...or was. I feel like I've been up to my neck in sand...or, rather, quicksand.

I thought God had left me, then I realized He was always here, I just was listening to the wrong voice; the voice that lies to us and tries to steal our joy. I seem to battle this battle a lot, and I'm darned tired of it. Talk about repeating lessons.

Joshua 1:9 (New International Version) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

And, yet...walking away from the hospital experience left me fearful again. My fears of disability rise and fall frequently. For some stupid reason, I don't pay attention to all the good results I got from all the poking and prodding they did. In the end, it was nothing, and if it wasn't, there isn't a lot more I can do about anything. My diet and such is as good as it gets. Only He knows the number of our days.

My experience there was positive. It wasn't til I got home that the anxiety stuff started up. I guess when you have a ministry that involves prayer, you get hit with all the sadness and illness that is out there, and that breeds empathy, which can breed fear. I had a thought that the reason I was there when I was, wasn't for ME, it was for all of them there. Connie came up and we ministered to one nurse. I had nurses and techs come in, and I resolved to greet them all as if they were royalty...and they, in turn, treated me the same. I heard a lot of stories from them; stories about their own pain and sadness. I encouraged as much as I could. I got to share faith with them, too. It was an amazing experience. Until I got some of the bills, of course. ;-)

When my dad was in the hospital, I felt very much alone. My brother can't help, but when my husband could get some time from work, he came up and helped. He helped toward the end of the stint when I was just about out of patience. Dad had surgery on a Sunday, and I walked into the waiting room. There was one other family there. I headed for the coffee pot and one of the men came over and warned me about the ickiness of said java. I thanked him and went for some tea. By the time I sat down, they were called to go see their loved one. That left me all alone in the huge waiting room. I busied myself with crosswords, books, internet, etc., in hopes of not thinking about my dad not surviving. Had I known the extent of his gallbladder problem, I'd have been worse off, but I did suspect. I was also concerned about his age and having to have platelets administered because of his taking Plavix. By the grace of God, it had ruptured up against his liver, which kept the contents smooshed and encapsulated by the other side of the intact gallbladder wall.

I felt very alone as I sat there, and said, "Lord, I know you're here and all, but I'm feeling pretty lonely and worried. I need some help." I mean, have you EVER seen an empty surgery waiting room??

In a minute or two, in walks a woman around my age. We look at each other, and she heads for the coffee machine. I told her to avoid it if possible. She thanks me. I look back at my book and she starts to sit down. I ask her, "How are you?" She stands up and looks at me and responds, "I'm doing good with the strength of the Lord! How are you?" I responded that I was, too, now! She said, "You know, I came in here asking the Lord that I knew He was here, but to please not leave me all alone without another soul. " I said, "Me, too. Now, we're not alone." We' praised God.

Isn't that amazing? We still keep in touch. We talked and both of us work with Special Ed kids. She is planning a ministry. Pretty awesome work by our Papa God.

So, you'd think that I'd just chill and shut up with the whining and fear and get over it, and trust, right?? Well, the disciples doubted and they had Him right there with them in the flesh.

The other day I was dealing with this stuff again; fear about health, the future, etc. I got exasperated and yelled out in the car (sure that looked good to others) " I need something from You! Please!"

Then the plumber came to the house. Our commode was making a leaking noise and my engineer hubby thought it best not to try to fix it. Probably a wise move. Anyway, I tidied up the toilet area, and took the copy of The Shack from there out of his way. (yeah, we read there, too) I almost put it on the bookshelf in the bedroom, but instead felt compelled to leave it in the bathroom in full view. When the plumber (Jerry) came in, that was the first thing he saw and from there ensued an incredible conversation of testimony about how the book helped him; his recovery from alcoholism, his personal relationship with Jesus, etc. It was amazing, too.

So, I'm better. Still battling, but I realize the battle is with nothing more than the enemy...and sometimes I am my own enemy. I have an auto-immune disease, which means that my body fights against itself.

Time to stop that. The sword is out to fight the right battles, not for self-inflicted wounds.