question about how soon I’d be walking normally again. I was ready to throw my spiffy walker out the door!
This seemed like the final straw: first, the months of back pain prior to surgery, not being able to stand upright; next, weeks of pain following complex back surgery; then, successful baby steps of healing: showering and dressing myself, preparing my own meals, sitting for an hour at a time, getting in and out of bed; then, steps backward: infection requiring twice-daily rebandaging, precious friend and dear husband to drive me to weekly doctor visits; finally, feeling better after six weeks of antibiotics. Just when I thought that light at the end of the tunnel was bright, “You’ll need the walker for awhile yet.” Oh, nuts!!! My frustration was at a peak!
The face peering back from the mirror was of an old lady, defeated by life. Wasn’t it just a few years ago when I walked a mile or two before work? Haven’t I always been able to take care of myself and be independent? How can someone age so fast? I was overwhelmed by my vision of the future; it looked bleak like it never had before.
And, then, I looked around at how many people have it so much worse than I do: chronic illness, physical ailments, terminal illness, loss of a spouse. I’m just being a wimpy baby! Suck it up! Learn to deal with it! But, I just wanted to mourn my condition: how in the world had I aged so fast? Will my mobility ever get better than this?
A voice inside was screaming at me: be grateful instead! My caring, considerate husband bought me a nice walker, one I thought was a waste of money, as I’d only be needing it for a few weeks. Ha! (Funny, I can’t even tell you how many times over the years that I’ve had to say, I need to trust Tom’s instincts more!) People have been so kind and generous to me these past few months! I’m back to being able to do so many things around the house. I’ve even driven myself a couple of times! I’m even finally able to sleep in my own bed! And, I’m finally going back to work after a couple months on the mend.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll be grudgingly grateful, even if I don’t fully feel like it yet. “People” say it so often works to put a smile on your face, even when you’re not feeling happy inside. Probably the same principle applies here. “How are you feeling?” “Fine.” Ha! We put on that happy face anyway, don’t we?
I guess I’m mourning my loss of independence, mourning turning old overnight, mourning not being able to do things that were automatic before. (Argh! Then my husband corrected me that I’m turning one year older than I thought I was! Shake it off! Accept it and move on.)
Probably the Bible has words of wisdom for even Sad Sacks like me! So, I went searching in that useful tool.
Psalm 103:8 reminded me, Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. [Deep breath, several deep breaths…okay, that’s a good reminder] Joshua 1:9 shared, This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. [I must admit to not praying as much as I usually do…hm…if I reach out to Him more, I’ll feel His love buoying me.] Psalm 34:18 says, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. [Yes, I suppose that IS how my spirit feels…deep breath]
The Bible is such a wonderful source of strength and encouragement, but for some reason I’ve been lax in turning to it recently. These final words from 1 Peter 5:10 seem to be setting me on the path back to wholeness. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. The Lord is my strength and my redeemer. For that, I am truly grateful. So, I need to keep my eye on Him and move forward in the love and support He gives me. Ah, yes, the Bible is such a useful tool!
P.S. And just when I thought my blog was finished, this is the Bible verse which came in this morning’s email: 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I’m pretty sure that I need to be listening more carefully to the Bible’s messages for me to pull me out of this funk. It’s already beginning to work.
Your friend in Christ,
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.