I have never struggled with high blood pressure before. In fact, I don’t even understand how it reads. It is like a fraction, but every time is different…I don’t even know what a normal range is supposed to be. The arm gets squeezed: the pressure put on tighter, tighter, tighter…then in a few seconds, everything releases back to normal. The nurse says my number out loud. “Is that good?” It’s all I can ask, utterly clueless. Usually I get a nod of approval, but today I got a shocking remark from my Occupational Therapist, “Wow! Your numbers are high!” After a few more “just in case” squeezes, it was decided that I get rechecked after my test.
This was no ordinary test–it was a driver’s evaluation test. At my last doctors appointment on August 27th, there was concern by one team of doctors about the way I was walking. Due to the concern and just the wholeness of my body, they had me stop driving until I had this driver’s evaluation. I have had one before after my first DVT, but this time I agreed to the test rather than the last time where I felt forced. However, when I got home, my brain starts thinking. Like LeFou tells Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, “A dangerous pastime…” to which Gaston replies, “I know.”
I get to thinking how unfair this predicament is…even though I understand the concern presented as there is a concern for other people’s safety in my driving…not just me, I deem it unfair and I let my thoughts turn angry. Yes, I admit it. I was angry. I felt singled out. And after today, I just don’t understand.
Last night I let part of the pressure go. My parents just listened as I cried, talking with my mouth full of food how about it all…the unfairness, the thoughts I still battle in self-esteem, and I even said, “My handwriting is like a five-year old.” (Of course I probably looked like one the way I was eating). I bring up Denver days: “They were my glory days.” Perhaps that has been part of this week’s inner battle–I am trying to relive my past when I felt free.
Maybe that is why I love driving. I am in control. Sweet sixteen and you are on top of the world as you feel ultimate freedom. How is it that driving can have this big of an effect on one’s life? Freedom: To be told otherwise is like being grounded. And that is how I left my driver’s evaluation, except I had done nothing wrong. In fact, I passed everything. There was just concern about the numbness in my hands, but I still do not see why it causes me to have to still not drive until I take an actual test in a car on October 7th.
But life is not about the fullness of understanding–it is about the fullness of faith. It is not about the comfort in freedom or the glory days of the past–it is about enduring in hardships and pressing on towards the goal. Life is not about control–but complete surrender. And I am only beginning to grasp what these mean in my own life..in what I deem unfair, what I cannot control.
And so I pray for sweet surrender, because only then will this body find peace.
When [Jesus] calmed people’s situations, it wasn’t simply an end to their painful circumstances; he didn’t just help them out of their problems. He made them whole again. These people who Jesus impacted experienced a fullness they had never begun to imagine possible. That’s what the peace of Jesus is about–filling up the taker and making them whole.
*Matthew Paul Turner. Beatitude: Relearning Jesus through truth,contradiction, and a folded dollar bill. Grand Rapids, MI: (Revell, 2006. pg. 34)