Saturday, December 14, 2013

The place just right . . . in a valley of love and light

I'm sitting in our living room with the flicker of candle light watching the snow falling outside.  Dan and Danica are out playing in the fresh powder and Delaney is off with a friend to the Canton Ballet's Nutcracker matinee.  Despite this heavy storm I am completely clear headed and without any pressure or pain in my head or behind my right eye.  I could say it a thousand times and still you wouldn't be able to really know how every single minute I'm without that suffering I am healing.

My cousin posted this beautiful quote from Chesterton yesterday, and I gobbled it up because it so perfectly described how I have been feeling of late.

" . . . The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE"

I have been like a child.  Everything is new and exciting.  Even the most mundane task is a privilege.  I am reborn.  My life is turning and turning with so much sameness, but it is all brilliant to me.  I was dead to so much before.  My family watched me dying to almost everything.  Now, they watch and laugh and cry as I grab the tiny and seemingly insignificant to the huge and oh so meaningful and shout, "Look at me.  Did you ever think I would be able to do it again?"

The snow today is one of these encores.  It is common enough in Ohio, and I had come to loathe it because even the forecast of a system would crush me.  I would hide in my bed crying and praying. I would swallow dilaudid and plead with God for release.  Today it looks like the miracle it is. Every flake as unique as you and I.  Our God, who cares infinitely about the details of nature surely cares that much more about the details of our lives.  Am I trusting Him now because He has taken this pain from me for a time?  Did His love change?  Did I do something good enough to earn this?  No.  I can say with all honesty the joy I feel now and change of heart and mind is exactly what I was pleading for.  His timing was right.  His provision was right.  If even one thing had gone differently or more quickly or with different people I would have missed out on some of the greatest gifts He was preparing to give me.

For those of us with chronic pain and "invisible illness" (although I'm not sure mine qualifies as unseen any more with all the scars I bear) we live on a razor sharp wire.  We rejoice in good days. There are no great days anymore.  I'm walking the tight rope now.  I'm out of bed and on my feet more which inflames other painful conditions.  I am bleeding again and my prolapse is as bad as it has ever been.  The cold and snow still cause every joint and every fiber of my entire body to hurt. Today my shoulder has "popped out" at least two dozen times trying to accomplish basic tasks like making beds and lunch and helping Danica get her snow clothes on.  The tubing in my back along my spinal cord is poking out and very sore.  I have been bending over to put the dog out or pick up or wrap a gift, and these mundane things do hurt.  They will always hurt.  Turning and turning I choose to grab the good.  Surrender is a daily task for me.  It grows up around a discipline of gratitude.  Focus on the gifts.  Don't take a minute for granted.  He will give you strength for the other because He says He will.  He always has.  He cannot lie.

This beautiful Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma song, Simple Gifts, is on repeat and says it all.

Where I want to be.
The place just right.
In a valley of love and light.
Turning and turning til' we come round right.

Thank you God.

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