When photographing this art piece, kaleidoscope colors of September 2007 memories rushed through my mind of relentless, agonizing pain and discomfort. My second port a cath had become infected and poison was running rampant through my blood stream.
Laying on the ER bed as extremely strong antibiotics whirled, blending the mixture of medicine to help my weakened body fight the severe infection, the medicine and overhead lights made my vision blurry. During the course of daily treatments, I recall one moment when I saw a glimpse of my “heavenly” father by the foot of my hospital bed protecting me. It was a calming reassurance. He is always working in me … no matter what I may feel or how the situation may look … I have to remember God is in control of my life and carrying me.
It is now several years later, I have gone through another major health crisis. I have been bed ridden now for 182 days. I am thankful to be making slow progress. Thankful to be alive. I still have moments where I think things are going a little too slow in all areas of my life. This especially happens to me during sleepless nights, I then become impatient. One night thinking of what the outside world must be doing, I became miserable. I was pondering how wonderful it would be to fly or drive somewhere to meet my friends, go window shopping, go to an event, take a long walk to view nature, anything but be in this bed. It was a moment of being human.
We all have some kind of personal issue, health and financial issues, moments where we think, “How can I go on, why is this happening, what is the future going to bring?” We want things to happen in “our” time but need to realize all good things happen only in God’s timing.
I can choose to have positive thoughts over negative ones. I also can choose to be hopeful. I believe that hope is the anchor of my positive soul. I recommend to never stop hoping and being positive. Above all keep your faith. Together they are powerful tools of our spirit pushing forward. Never allowing us to give up.
Recently a dear friend used my story for her devotional. I share with you what she wrote.
On Being Thankful
I have a dear friend named Rose that I’ve known for 30 years. She is the definition of determination. Over 20 years ago, she was diagnosed with several intestinal diseases, and eventually she had a feeding tube surgically placed in her intestine. For the last 21 years, Rose has had nothing to eat or drink by mouth. Since then, she has had many surgeries, some to help repair or replace tubes, and then repair the damage on her insides. What amazes me perhaps even more is that after any surgery, and every day since, she cannot have any pain medication. She has lived with pain, sometimes constant and often severe pain since this diagnosis began. Each day she suffers without relief.
Rose has had physical therapy, but recently even that needed to be reexamined. The rough therapy has been causing her to vomit, and her neck and shoulders are frozen, both rotary cuffs have tears, and she suffers complex inflammation all due to her last major surgery in October. She is now on day 178 of complete bed rest. Recently, she talked of the indescribable feeling of warm water.
“Warm water on my shoulders and back after 116 days is too incredible for words!”
(I was able to stand without the safety harness for a few minutes in the shower! My aid still had to wash my hair by having me sit etc. for that, but the moments of freedom to feel ALIVE were electrifying! )
Yet, throughout this entire ordeal, Rose has been a believer in God. Her faith puts mine to shame. Her Facebook posts contain updates written with honesty and without gloss. But they also contain words of hope, of perseverance, and of determination. She shines even throughout a life filled with pain, without the joy of eating and drinking, and with no assurance that her earthly body will ever fully heal. She has had many “heaven” moments, and some people might wonder why she chooses to keep on trying to live.
I share with you her story to remind all of us that we have much to be thankful for! Hearing about her daily struggles puts life into perspective. I shudder when thinking how contrite and trivial frustrations and annoyances can be. I am reminded to really thank God at each meal not only for the food but for the fact I can eat it.
Here’s one more recent post from Rose:
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
Let us pray. Dear God remind us to keep our lives in perspective. Help us to not take the simple pleasures we enjoy for granted, but in all things give you thanks and praise. Teach us to be more grateful. In your name we pray, Amen.
Amen and thank you Juli for sharing your beautiful words and years of friendship.
I anticipate a miracle in my life … join me in that prayer for your own miracle to happen!