A few days before we were going to celebrate my nephew’s one-year birthday, a friend came in to chat before dinner. She asked, “How are you doing . . . honestly?”, as she wrote on my arm. I asked if she wanted the physical or the mental. She said both. She knew from my other blog post, most of what was going on physically, so I didn’t focus much on the physical, but told her I was having a spiritual low.
All my family was coming, even my sister, Megan, from Colorado. And while the house would be full with everyone, I wouldn’t be there. My family did take turns coming to visit. My nephew’s birthday party at the nursing home was a big success. Although I was not physically feeling well on that day. I did enjoy some good laughs when my family would write on my arm of what Landon was up to. It was not until a few days later that the “low” really set in.
I knew it was a nice day and that my family was out enjoying it by showing my brother-in-law places he had never been. They came in really late that night and I found myself really grumpy! Because my brother-in-law was leaving, I was sad to see him go. I enjoyed the rest of the week with Megan, my sister, but that is also when a lot of changes were about to begin.
There are a lot of people who contribute to making my room a cheerful room! My mom and sister, Marcia, keep it decorated and just recently, Marcia added a picture frame of my favorite photos. She and mom found old pictures. When they told me what they were, I could see them in my mind. They even found one with me as an upcoming senior in high school with my cat, Muffy! They also included one with me standing in front of ruins in Philippi, Greece. It was about that same time when I was grumpy, my family was out doing things together.
That morning after breakfast, I thought of my time in Greece. In my mind, it was like a “coffee date” and I was telling someone about my trip from Philadelphia to Athens and all the details of the days between. We were starting with Paul’s journey with the early Church, but we saw just about everything else from islands to museums, monasteries to Mycenaean ruins, places where Persians fought battles with the Greeks, tombs and finally the Acropolis. Our professor read from Acts 19 on Mars Hill. It was a trip of a lifetime . . . then I thought about other trips I have been on. All the places and people over the years . . . I have seen a lot!
So, my jealousy and grumpiness suddenly seemed rather silly. It is not so much that I wasn’t out doing things. It is just I wasn’t there with my family. I know our life journeys are different, but as I continue on in my hardships, I am finding my dependency is starting to shift to my family, instead of God.
It was right around when Megan was leaving, that mom came in and said we needed to talk. Whenever this happens, I know change is about to start. It is getting harder for aides to transfer me when I use the bathroom. Although it hasn’t happened yet, for my safety and theirs, a new way of transferring me is about to begin. At first, I was so upset about this . . . and I guess I still am. I do not blog much about this subject, but using the bathroom is a nightmare as it is! I guess I can’t see how this new way will be helpful? I guess what is upsetting too is that everything physical therapy helped me work on is “down the drain”. (No pun intended.) It is not just my right ankle, now it is my whole right side of my body. My right arm feels like dead weight and when I sleep in my chair, my neck always shifts to the right as the neck muscles cannot hold my head upright anymore. We seem to have fixed a few of those problems by using a variety of pillows, but still, things are changing. Sometimes, when I’s praying, I ask for more of God’s peace because there are some days that are just long. All I want to do is get back in bed. In Colossians 3:15, Paul writes, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
When I do pray, I find myself saying “thank you” for different people before I say the needs. It was also over Landon’s birthday weekend, my sister, Melissa, told me birthday cards were coming in. Even in the midst of all the changes and days of not feeling well, I’ve been overwhelmed with thankfulness because of all the cards and letters I have already received, as well as the love, support and prayers. All the fun memories help me to remember that even though my journey is different, and my family cannot always be with me . . . even in my dark-spinning times . . . I can feel God’s presence, because of your daily thoughts and prayers. That alone brings me peace.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.