photo by William from his tent fighting fires in northern California
You are constantly given proof,
You are always invited to believe,
You are eternally being supported.
“Is any among you in trouble? Let them pray.” James 5:13
As you live your life, bad things will happen…to you! What else will coax you from your carefully maintained comfort zone of limiting possibilities?
So what’s really happening when the baaaaad things intrude?
Upon reflection, personally, I would have to admit that I was pretty high on myself. I felt sure of and satisfied with my life and rather proud of my accomplishments; creative, active, big thinking problem solver, go to person, answer lady, whatever it takes (so said my ex) big time doer, never sick, etc., there was always something going on, something that I needed to do. I always wore the most intriguing outfits and was fairly certain that I was personally responsible for a few trends. “You’re where you should be all the time and when you’re not you’re with…..”
Well, then I became ill.
For the next two months I lived in my office scouring the internet and printing out pages of reports and findings on suspecting causes.
Doctor after doctor and no one could tell me why or give a cause for “my condition” other than anxiety. So of course I was prescribed medication. Once on impulse I thanked a doctor for his insight because I could feel his growing frustration and impatience with me, and because I so needed at least a feeling of something constructive to come of this latest consultation. He seemed pleased with himself and very condescendingly sent me on my way, sure of his victory over my presentation. Just Imagine, feeling the worst you’ve ever felt and the only action available to you was to alleviate the stress in the person you rely upon to help you! It was clear to me that I would have to find my way to the answers through my own efforts.
What you need is always there for you
On a day that I shall never forget, with one particular specialist, I answered yes to a question all doctors ask during consultation. Up until then, each time, with each doctor, I’d answered no. The question was, “Do you have a headache?”
Driving home from yet another perplexed doctor, I wondered, after 3 months into my investigation of my illness, and so many visits to doctors and emergency rooms, what was different this time? Why had I answered yes?
I started going backward with all of the details of that day. Everything was unremarkable except for how, uncharacteristically, I had closed the windows of my car leaving only the sunroof open because it was chilly from the night before when it rained. No air, all windows open is my usual. Was there anything else about the car? Yes there was. The engine has recently been replaced. Slowly coming forward to conscientiousness, an ethereal suggestion hinted, “Could carbon monoxide be involved?”
Once at home I immediately I called my general practitioner’s office. I spoke to the nurse and told her I needed the doctor to know about my suspicions regarding my car and carbon monoxide. She called back minutes later to ask if I meant to say carbon dioxide. Really? I started to cry. I had never been so completely frustrated or felt so entirely lost, alone, and desperate. I fell to the floor and prayed, “God in heaven, please help me. Down here no one seems to know anything!” Then, I sensed a clear, authoritative directive, to take the carbon monoxide detector from the wall and to place it in the car. I was stunned for a moment. Then I followed through placing the meter in the driver’s seat, I closed the windows, started the engine, got out of the car, and closed the door. After 10 minutes waiting on my porch, I returned to the car to get the meter reading which registered a very high level of carbon monoxide. I was being poisoned by my car’s exhaust fumes!
Stress slipped away and I felt a warm comforting Presence all around me. I didn’t want to stray from it so I continued to lie there enjoying the most amazing sense of security and love and acceptance. I could have been taken away on a breeze. My prayer was answered and I felt safe for the first time in months.
Recovery from this kind injury takes a long time and patient, consistent self-care. What a challenge it is for a previously impatient me!
I am different now. I can’t do it all these days but with Grace, I’ve learned in exchange, that when I allow others to do for me I get to experience the beautiful gift of connection existing between us all. I was surprised to find that people seem to gravitate to the opportunity to experience that connection, to express the Love!
For a take-charge personality the biggest challenge has been a simple one; to allow others. Though it continues to be my first response, I just don’t need to take charge anymore. My good fortune has been that I’ve established some incredible bonds as well as rid myself of a couple of fair-weather-friends (after so many years, who knew, though they have always been rather difficult.) Because of my illness I know some of what’s been missing. And each day I discover more, i.e. my love of writing!
So could it be that the bad things that happen are just an invitation to experience your life from a different perspective, to see what becomes of you? And perhaps it’s all part of the grand design anyway, in revealing the wonder of you, your self, your most precious and amazing gift!
We tend to forget many of the experiences that we’ve had, and easily so as some are truly forgettable, others regrettable, and still others simply because we must get on with our lives. Some events, though we may not think of them when they occur as pertinent or relevant, remain with us somewhere deep inside.
For months I’d been struggling with a perplexing issue which seemed to defy resolution. I was bound on all sides with thinking about it, when suddenly a forgotten memory emerged. Shapes, colors, and details became part of the air around me, dancing in concert to form a story that I would tell in a little book that I would write.
This extraordinary experience of my childhood took place in 1957 in Virginia. As I wrote the words, I felt warm and comforting support for a time that I spent with my grandparents, so very dear to me now. Until the time of writing, I was unaware of how much meaning the summer had brought to my life. How impossible that it was safe in my heart all along It is a story of love and an ever-growing appreciation for my family. It might well have been entitled , “The Gift”.
Here is an excerpt from my novelette:
Two Little Girls
As far as I was concerned, summer began with the day my father installed the screens in the windows. Early that morning, Mother would have taken the summer sheers from storage to the clothesline in our backyard. By the afternoon, she swooped up the freshened bundle and brought them back indoors to hang on the rods at the tops of the windows. When the transformation was complete, I’d run from room to room to see the curtains flying on the breeze that raced in through the windows of our big old house. Like a magical invitation to adventures possible only with summer, when one day melted into the next and no one asked about the time, I felt that I could fly too and that anything could happen.
There were 5 children in my family. My brother Lionel was the oldest; my sister Cecilia was next, followed by my sister Rose, then my brother Isaac, and me. We spent summertime totally absorbed in keeping pace with our friends as was our Mother in keeping up with us. She mended our scraped knees, our bruised egos, and the holes in my brothers’ dungarees. I remember lemonade and tuna sandwiches, cotton sun dresses and hair ribbons; the pennies I collected for the corner candy store, and my ankle socks that never stayed up. Summers seemed much longer then when hopscotch and jump rope, hide-and-seek and tag, dress-up and make-believe, with my bicycle, my dolls and friends filled the days until suppertime. When August finally came around, among the five of us someone would be chosen to vacation with our grandparents in the country. It was in the year 1957 that I was to spend my first summer there.
I’d thought so often about my first trip to the farm. But like the landing of a cascading boulder, my mother’s cheerful delivery of this summer’s plan completely shattered my vision of it. Leaving little room for the way that reality alters things but similar to most events concerning “the children”, I was quite certain of my unvarying reverie. It was always the same. My brothers and sisters are running through a country field with me, very happily and as usual, following close behind. But everything had been arranged and I alone would spend two weeks on the farm that year.
My family had gathered in the living room when Mother made the announcement. But my frustrating lack of enthusiasm was like a call to dinner in emptying the room of everyone and I found myself alone, save for the dog. While I struggled with the concept of being on my own, Spiky jumped onto the couch next to me. Placing his head upon my foot he kept a concerned and watchful eye over my disposition until we both fell asleep.
Later that day, I listened to Dad’s recollections of farm life adventures while Mother prepared supper. As she filled in with the finer points and particulars she’d taken note of my mixed feelings with her knowing smile that always took the sharp edges off of things. “Don’t forget that your cousin Joanna is just about your age and lives close to Grandpa‘s”, she nearly whispered. Then I thought of the pocket inside the little green suitcase as the place where my Jacks would find a perfect fit.
~~~~~~~ Truth is Beauty is Love ~~~~~~
You are amazing. Create something beautiful today!
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