When Healing Doesn’t Come

I pulled out an older CD of mine today while running errands.  (Yes, I still use CD’s.)  I quickly came to realize that the CD choice was not random, not of my doing….it truly was the hand of God.  I don’t use that phrase often, so if I am using it….I am as certain of it as I am the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

Here are the words that He began to sing to me today:

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, I trust in You

I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe

And I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus You’re all I need (credit: Kari Jobe)

He sang to me the words that I am to sing back to Him.  This “God” moment led me to begin to really think about “When Healing Doesn’t Come.”  When healing doesn’t come in the way we think of, what do we do?  What do we think?  Do we still really believe that God is our healer, that Jesus is all we need….when the prayer for healing doesn’t come?

I’ve reached an age where loss is a well known, unwelcome guest into my life.  I’ve lost people that I loved dearly.  Some to the natural aging process, where it was so much easier to sing with joy as they entered life with Christ in Heaven.  Others to tragic accidents, where you pray for God to show you how He makes something so tragic good.  Then there are those losses where you have prayed so fervently for healing…..and the healing as we want here on Earth doesn’t come.  Your heart aches.  You trust God in his Holiness, His omnipresence.  You trust God….but in your human-nature, you ask the question, “Why?”  Then the prayers for healing in those, like myself, with a chronic condition.  The prayers that you pray nightly, for years…..and the disease is still there.  When the healing doesn’t come, do we stop praying for it?  Do we assume God just didn’t hear our prayers?  Do we lean ever more closely to His love or do we pull away in disappointment?

So, I am back to the song being played as I drive around running errands today.  Is it that sometimes healing comes when we are sitting next to Christ in Heaven…and He shows us how He used that circumstance to fulfill His plan?  I have to believe this is true.  I have to trust that He is using every piece of our pain that comes when healing doesn’t come….using it for something so glorious, that my mind cannot even comprehend it or even imagine it.  This is not to say that on some days, the sadness over loss that took place when healing didn’t come for a loved one doesn’t cement my feet into one spot.  It is certainly not to say that I wake up every day singing praises for an illness…..I am human.  There are days I do ask why the healing hasn’t come or didn’t come.  Then, just like today, He sends me His words….to become my words.

I find God uses music to talk to me most often….He knows that music opens my heart the widest…..so He uses it.  I’m thankful for His infinite wisdom in the matters of each one of us…..He knows me so intimately, that He knows what to send when He needs to speak to me the clearest, the loudest….in an urgent manner.

No mountain, no valley
No gain or loss we know
Could keep us from Your love

No sickness, no secret
No chain is strong enough
To keep us from Your love
To keep us from Your love

How high? How wide?
No matter where I am
Healing is in Your hands (Credit: Christy Nockels)

And this is today.  In all of my weakness, in all of my uncertainty….in my sorrow, in my pain, in my joy, in my anxiousness….He is singing to me.  Giving me the words to sing back to Him.  What songs has He sang to you in your time of wondering?  In your time of sorrow, when the healing didn’t come?

Fifteen days and counting….

“What you fear is what you must conquer.”  Akita

What I fear, is what I must conquer.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

In my fear, I am not alone.

 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

I my fear, I will not grow weary.  I will soar.

Today, I have been able to just stop from a whirlwind of this and that and let reality of fifteen days and counting sink in.  In fifteen days, I will go into the Mayo hospital and have general surgery to address several issues.  Issues that I have known about and ignored, issues that I have learned about and addressed, and issues that are yet to be fully known.  It’s surgery number 250+….I don’t even know at this season what that real number is past the baseline.  It’s no longer that drill of “routine surgery for RRP”….I passed that street years ago.  I’m on the cusp of forty-nine years of life and I am admitting my fear.  Fifteen days and counting….and then three days until we know if I am in the 1%.

I fear anesthesia.

I fear rare complications. (Once you have had one happen, it forever alters your approach and confidence.)

I fear the plan not working as hoped while in the OR.

I fear recovery-knowing what it will feel like when I do wake up and the side effects I have from anesthesia.

I fear knowing that my Leebo is sitting on the other side.

I fear not making it to 50, 55, 60.

I fear hearing that it has converted.

I fear the unknown.

I fear the known.

So, in my fear, I am going over and over my messages at the top of this posting.

I miss the days where I didn’t know…….the days I just viewed it as another “routine” event.  My anatomy, disease progression and complications robbed me of “routine.”  CT scans and PET scans have removed the word “routine” from any part of the process. So, today, I am fearful.  Thankful that my God knows that and is walking hand in hand with me….giving me strength has mine fails.

― 

Mimi Adventures October Style

“What’s the longest you have been in Chicagoland since your move?”  That’s a real question from a real friend while eating breakfast on my latest Mimi Adventure.  I replied, “A month, I think.”  Given my adventures have become a vital part of my season, it’s time to catch folks up on the latest!

Fall break for our musical son was a few days ago.  After performing at a Saturday AM concert, it was time for him to board the plane to Chicagoland.  One thing we are trying to do is create new traditions in our new home.  This means, if you land in Chicagoland, the first stop is going to be Portillo’s!  I love the look on our musician’s face when he takes that first bite into the long-missed Chicago dog.  As most college kiddos, he was exhausted from the nonstop action from move-in day until now.  He had not had a break of any sorts since early June before he left for the Aspen Music Festival.  So, a trip to the house so he could begin the “vegging” process.  I love having him home.  There’s just something about the nest having one of its chicks back.  We really didn’t do much on his trip to Chicagoland….the musician had graduate applications to complete, essays to write and rest to be had (Seven applications/prescreens….the life of a music performance major.)….we did manage to take him for his first Top Golf experience at the new Naperville flagship location.  I believe he is a fan!  He took it to “The Trench!”  Before you could blink, his visit was over and it was time to head back to school.  It was great him being here to be part of the “Chicagoland” excitement over the CUBS!!!!!  He even got to hang out in the airport with a huge crowd as they watched the Tuesday night game win!!!

FullSizeRender-3 IMG_1588The kid being our Joshman!

It was a neat thing this break as I was scheduled to fly out the same afternoon our Joshman headed back to school!  It was Mimi time in Arkansas!!!

I landed, I took care of the rental car and I headed straight to the Embassy Suites for a night of rest. (PS-Rental cars at XNA are redonkulous!) I knew the next three days would be nonstop fun!  We did SO much! From just hanging out at the house, to an on-site field trip at E’s school, to lunches/dinners, Amazeum, shopping, parks, hide and go seek, teaching the finer points of tic-tac-toe, coloring, duck-duck-goose, cuddling on the couch, bathroom adventures…..seriously…best days!!!  They are growing so quickly and each have developed such unique, individual personalities.  I love how the two oldest call me Mimi, but Ella has decided she prefers the name from a book they read where the “Grandmother” wears glasses….cutest thing ever.  The giggles from all three are stored in my treasure box forever.  Kisses, hugs, hands being held….fighting over Mimi’s lap…aahhhh….as they saying goes, “my cup runneth over.”

IMG_1625 IMG_1672 IMG_1660 IMG_1679These kiddos are just so perfect.  Dancing in the store, modeling with the mannequin, amazement of a straw, and giggles for days at the dry ice exhibit.

I was so thankful that I was able to sneak in a little “friend” time in the middle of my Mimi Adventures.  Shelley, Kylee, Robin, Karilea, Carole, Anna, Marla, Chelsea/Mia….thank you for still treating me like family even though I went and moved away!  Technology  has been so wonderful during this transition.  I still feel connected to those peeps that I truly call family.  Bentonville is a special place for friendships….it truly is.

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I was also thankful that I was able to visit my Mom while in Arkansas.  I have felt guilty on occasion for “leaving her,” but God has been so faithful to remind me she is not in the grave!  I still cannot believe it’s been two years.  Seems to be such a raw emotion, maybe it always will be.  She loved mums, so I just love how bright and “fall” this mum is by  her earthly memorial.

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Finally back to Chicagoland after nonstop action.  My Leebo went with me yesterday to run a few errands after church.  I was playing in the Pandora store with their rings.  I quickly realized how much I loved the stacking of various rings.  Soon, I was asking for the tray in my size.  I played with SEVERAL combinations and this one was one I just couldn’t stop staring at.  I looked at my Leebo and said, “Early Happy Birthday?” Y’all can guess the rest of the story.  I LOVE IT five times (As the legendary Susan Goss would say.)

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So, back to life in this season.  It’s super windy today and there’s much to be done before I begin the latest rounds of doctor appointments, testing, surgery.  Mimi Adventures are the best…and Arkansas will always hold a giant piece of my heart…or should I say me peeps in Arkansas….yes, that’s exactly what I will say!  Love you all to the moon and back!!!

Peace out…drink more coffee!

Seasons Change

I cannot believe it’s October.  Winter, Spring, Summer….gone.  The air has that crispness to it now, there’s a still quietness,  and the dark falls a little earlier each day….another season is upon us.  Seasons change.

Fall is honestly that time of year that brings up memories of so many season changes.  When I think back to pivotal moments, most have taken place in the fall.  Especially in this season of my life. It’s a season that brings me joy and sadness….exuberant joy and the deepest of sorrow.  Fall has brought us that miracle of life in this season as we became Boppy and Mimi-three times.  Fall has also brought us sorrow as it is the season that is  now the season I became a daughter without her mother.

September, October, November-celebratory months.  Ella, Blane and Elizabeth all entering this world as Fall babies. Never realizing that you could possible love someone as much as you do the kiddos of our children.  It truly is the most magical relationship you will ever experience.  As I drove past beautiful mums today, I noticed that the colors of mums match so perfectly with their unique personalities.  Elizabeth is yellow-full of life and shining bright.  Blane, he is as boy as the maroon color that makes that perfect dark accent among the brightness of yellow.  Ella, she is pink-that pink, purple color that just exudes giggles and smiles and little girl.

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I am grateful for the celebrations we have to look forward to each year as they grow older.  That celebration, especially Blane’s, will help keep the darkness of sorrow from taking the joy from Fall from us all.  Especially Blane’s.  In the midst of the sorrow on the date we will remember my Mother on this earth, we will also celebrate that joyful boy that was born one year earlier, on the same date.  A day we would like to forget is a day we love celebrating.  God knew and I am confident he orchestrated the dates to be identical for that purpose.  He knew my Mother loved a great party…a great cake…and she is likely wearing the biggest party hat of all on that date. Fall ushered in my season as a Mimi…and Fall brought the change of season that made me a daughter without an earthly Mother…changing seasons.

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Just as the seasons of weather change, so do our seasons of life. Choosing to find the joy in those seasons is up to us….the seasons changing…well…just as the colder air ushers in the changing of the leaves, the seasons that change in our lives are most often out of our control.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: