Thursday, September 24, 2009

High Places

I frequently find myself apologizing for my long rambling rants. I want you (dear reader) to know that the following words are specifically for my benefit and I write them because it makes me feel better. Ranting and raving is somewhat therapeutic. It might not make much sense and tomorrow when I re-read this post I most assuredly will cringe at all my grammatical errors. But for now....
I have never had the inclination to be a drama queen. And I am always slightly surprised to find myself in situations that might appear in some tacky made-for-tv movie. I also recognize that my experiences aren't the wowiest (is that even a word?) out there. Nor would I even wish them to be. Truth is God dealt with me a long time ago not to keep what He's done for me all to myself. It might be uncomfortable for some. I didn't ask to get sick, have a major car accident or suffer years of infertility and loss. Nor was I prepared for what came because of those things...depression, financial loss, guilt, despair. Our society only bends a sympathetic ear for a moment. Especially in the Christian world. We get tired of people talking about their problems. If trouble seems to follow somebody we label that person as having hidden sin or just plain whiney and faithless. Forgetting that we would have no idea what we would do if it happened to us. I can't tell you how much I fight that feeling of self-worthlessness and guilt. I will tell you this much. (I can't tell you and now I will..I just can't seem to make up my mind! :<))The first few years were easier to handle. In the years after my car wreck I wwas just so grateful that God had spared me and vowed to be better for it. I had been so badly broken. I still carry scars...two very long reminders on either side of my hips and legs. My head is permanently tilted in a questioning glance because of damage to the left side of my body, my shoulders don't match...one drops. I have tissue damage all over my torso. But I can walk. I can't run or skip or dance . But every step I take is a gift. I have more metal on either side of my body than a small aircraft hanger, but that metal makes it possible for me to have somewhat of a normal existence. When you see me walk down the hall I am measuring every step. Beating in my chest is another miracle. Congestive Heart Failure isn't supposed to be a problem with someone my age. And I have experienced two major episodes twice. I currently sit with the blessed knowledge that my heart is functioning normally after a 3 year battle. The time before that it only took a year to recover. I try not to think of what might happen if I start having trouble again. I hate taking all of this medication, but I am thankful that it has kept me alive.

A few days ago while organizing some of my books in our homeschool cabinet I came across a notebook I had used for journaling during the first episode I had of congestive heart failure. I had used it for quite some time and must have stuck it with my regular office supplies. I have journaled quite a bit over the years and it was interesting to revisit that particular time in my life. Troy and I were youth pastors and I was about to finish an Associates Degree and begin work on my Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education. In this journal I talked a lot about my worries and fears. I journaled while I was in hospital and throughout the series of tests I took within the next days and weeks and months to find out why my heart function had weakened so drastically. I talked about realizing how I might not ever be able to carry a baby and what it felt like to understand what would happen to me if my heart function didn't improve. I also talked about going back to my classes. Tests, papers, visits with professors, lunch with friends, activities at church. Work, household chores, dinners with my husband. All normal, everyday things that I continued to do despite the hardships I was facing. I was physically exhausted. A weak heart will do that to you. But I just adjusted.
Everyday I wage a battle with myself. It usually involves what I feel is expected of me and how others view me. Reading that journal reminded me that despite what my natural inclinations have been through these years is that I didn't give up...I didn't let despair keep me from truly moving forward. I will be the first to admit that it was God that did most of the inspiring. I can in my own self do nothing. I think stumbling across that journal was a "God Thing." I recently have been feeling discouraged about my usefulness. I have been reminding myself of all I have lost and have cost my family. God reminded me that He was the same God who touched that scared girl 11 years ago. I don't know that I would wish that girl to know what was still yet to come. Later on in the journal I discover I am pregnant. Still later I lose the baby. It was a short time after that that we adopted our little boy. Which still has to be the most exciting thing ever! God did all that. And He has greater things in store for us. I am thankful He reminds me of His goodness and faithfulness. He also reminds me that I am His beloved child.
There is a verse in Habakkuk (3:19) that is beautifully poetic. It talks about how He will make my feet like deer's feet and how I will walk on high hills (or high places). I'm not sure if scholars would tell me it means something completely different than what I think it means, but I am looking forward to the promise of walking on those 'high hills" or experiencing more of those victories He has for me. I hope that I will be able to keep my toenail polish/flipflop option, instead of deer's feet. But I will take what I can get. His strength is perfect. ..
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