The first thing I have to share is a bad night I had one night this past week and the positive outcome of that night.
I woke up about 3 in the morning with severe neck pain (even though I brought my own pillow, my body did not like sleeping in a different bed) that reminded me of the head pain that had sent me to the chiropractor just over 3 years ago. I prayed and rehearsed Bible verses about peace and fear over and over in my mind and debated about waking my husband or not, but keep having flash backs to my strokes, then falling asleep and reliving all the vivid details and imagining new stroke scenarios now. I don't think I stayed asleep for longer than 20 minutes in a stretch for at least three more hours. By then the physical pain was slightly resolved but the mental anguish had exulted higher than it has been in months.
Around 6:30 in the morning, in that dream-state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, I wrestled with God over the belief I was having another stroke, only this time my "reality" was to be "awake" through the entire thing, aware of every detail, yet unable to communicate what I knew to be happening within my own body to anyone around me.
For the first time since my own real strokes back in 2011, I found myself asking the Lord to let me survive, let me live to see all my children grown, not allow me to leave my husband without me.
Perhaps this sounds like a startling "first," but when you consider that early on I was angry that I had lived, then considered hastening my own journey to Heaven, then grappled with seeking purpose and understanding and contentment with God's call to keep me here for this season, that I am actually embracing, clinging to the NOW where God has me, is startling and hopeful and encouraging. This marks a dramatic shift from a heart seeking to be content in biding my time here and a longing to more fully strive to be excited by some of the reasons I was created, placed here, kept here.
A recap of recent days:
A week ago Friday I had a 2-hour interview with three sweet ladies from my hospital's publicity group, an hour of that on film with two big light and two cameras just a couple feet away from my face. That night I went out to hubby work Christmas party. I love playing dress up, though it does take a lot out of me.
|God can take the most ugly and transform it into a thing of beauty.|
Last Monday, two of those ladies met me at my new gym to film my water exercise class (had been on a two week trial membership there, with last Monday being the first day of the official new membership my in laws blessed me with for Christmas - what a way to make an entry, showing up with a film crew on my first day as a member! LOL). That afternoon my parents took us across town for an emergency orthodontic repair for our daughter.
Sunday was our 15-year-old's birthday. After dinner that night, I went out into the cold and learned about muscle "spasticity" on a whole new level, when my left leg suddenly locked up and refused to take another step when it hit cold air after coming out from a warmer building. My hubby steadied me and helped me hobble to the car, thankfully avoiding the piggy-back-ride we actually considered.
The weekend through Wednesday morning found me madly cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, wrapping gifts (quite a trick with clumsy hands that can only master gift bagging but not tape scissors or wrap, or a long-enough term memory to even know what is in the bag I just packed before I get it half way from our bedroom to the tree - I only made one major blunder in forgetting my brother-in-laws gift at all, but I got to be as surprised as our kids were on Christmas morning as they unwrapped their gifts) and packing.
Tuesday night we attended a Christmas Eve-Eve service and I wore ear plugs (to help me be able to tolerate the neuro stimulation of the music. Even though I already have much hearing loss, what I do hear, I do not process correctly, thus cannot tolerate loud sounds without nausea and confusion and physical pain.) and Signed (because I could not hear myself sing) all the Christmas carols.
Thursday, we spent with 11 family members and two bathrooms, later in the day, joined by an adopted sister and her friend as well. I was in bed around 8pm, both Wednesday and Thursday nights! Christmas Day had been a month-a-versary, and it took me until Saturday evening to even realize this landmark had passed without notice!
Friday was a rest and family games day. The 27th marked exactly 20 years since I learned my body not only disliked the idea of GETTING pregnant but that CARRYING a baby was to be equally as challenging. I'm still trying to unwrap all the emotions of miscarriage when mixed with a mother's earthly grief, longing and loneliness and the wonder my own near death experience and transformed understanding of Noel's Heavenly reality.
This past week, we did confirm my decision that I am going to cut a few inches off my hair. Not that I don't love the length it has finally reached, but because I cannot manage this length alone now. I want it to still brush my shoulders or come a little bit past, but I've got to be able to get a brush through it myself, something that I haven't been able to do in at least 6 or 8 weeks now since the length has become unmanageable.