Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rock on...

10-2 is a very significant day for me. In my former life as a cycling enthusiast, I celebrated this day as the day Lance Armstrong was diagnosed and began his crusade to conquer cancer.  Ugh, Lance - it just seems so insignificant now. 

One year ago today I was thrust into a new significance for the date 10-2. I awoke to my cell phone ringing. It was the PICU nurse and she needed consent to give Parson platelets. She also said the surgery fellow was at the bedside to get consent to take Parson in for a lung biopsy later in the morning. I snatched on my clothes and rushed back to parson. On 10-2, we received the diagnosis that would ROCK our world. We learned that Parson had a genetic mutation (Filamin A deficiency) confirmed by a brain MRI that showed she had Periventricular Nodular Heterotopia. "I'm sorry, Can you repeat that? Better yet, can you write that down for us?"  I remember it just like it was yesterday. Then they wheeled her out to surgery. 

My mind has never spun out of control faster and my thumbs have never Googled faster.  We waited & searched. Searched & waited. Nothing.  There WAS nothing. It was rare. Parson was only the fifth little girl diagnosed at Texas Children's Hospital.  As Par returned from surgery, with more questions than answers, we began our 10-2 crusade. 

Lemme tell you friends. Nothing can absolutely ROCK your world like a major healthcare crisis. Everything changes. You think different. Your relationships are different. You pray different. You are never the same. 

Thank the good Lord I am not the same. The "10-2's" and "bruises" bring us closer to one another. Like the song says... They give us a common spirit. They break the vow that separates us. They make for better conversation.  They remind us that we are not alone in how we've been. We learn how it feels to grieve what "could have been". We learn how it feels to hurt deeper than we have ever hurt before. We learn how it feels to leave everything at that feet of Jesus. 

Whew. I could write on & on about this experience, but as I sit here thinking back over the last year (with my eyes leaking) I can say with confidence...

Sometimes you gotta walk the ROCKS to see the mountain view.  

"He alone is my ROCK and my salvation, my fortress where I cannot be shaken." - Psalm 62:6. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground in sinking sand. Looking back, I can see him leading with love through everything. He loves us way too much to let us be less than what we were destined to become. 

All because of a savior  All because of a donor. All because of a doctor. All because of a nurse. All because of people like YOU - 10-2 gives me hope to ROCK ON!!! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tis the Season

We ran to Lufkin yesterday to get flu shots and I did some thinkin' on the way home. Well really, the love bugs got me thinking. 

I really hate love bugs. I hate the smell. I hate how they linger & tickle you with no regards for your personal space. I hate the mess they leave on your car. Just no real redeeming quality of those bugs if you ask me. Did I mention that I hate the smell? Except, today they reminded me that in a small way, it signals that the seasons are about to change. Ahhhh -  Fall is coming soon. 

There is a dear, sweet lady in my church that refers to the seasons a lot. You know-- the seasons of life. Mrs. Winnie is great in her wisdom of scripture and life in general. Many years ago she encouraged me by talking about the "seasons of life" and I have gone back to it so many times since. 

Honestly, in thinking back over the past year, there are many many days I would love to forget. It was a tough one. Dare I say, the toughest one yet. But I keep reminding myself that this is only for a season. If we are honest with ourselves, we each have a preference of "sweatshirts & blue jeans" or "flip flops & tank tops". (Here in deep east Texas we only get to experience two seasons - sweatshirt season and flip flop season.)  Some of us are summer people and some of us are winter/fall folks. But if we really admit it- most of us are just glad to finally get a change every now and then. 

Those pesky love bugs had me all misty eyed looking back over the last year. 

The one season that scares the heck outta me is flu season.  I am completely consumed in my new job as the "keeper" of an immunocompromised transplant patient. I am living in a constant fear of "what if".  I go to bed  thinking about germs and I wake up in the night multiple times thinking about the flu. That really isn't like me. I am a "live & let live" kinda gal. You know, que sera. But lately I have been paralyzed by the fear of a sniffle, a cough, a fever or the flu. Ugh. 

One thing I have realized about being home is I quickly fell back into the same old bad habit of my controlling nature. Ordering every move, every decision, every step. How quickly I forgot that surrendering my control placed me in a much better place. A peaceful easy feeling.  He made much better decisions for me. He knows that He created me to not understand and plan for the future. He knows I am not capable of figuring out this thing called life. He even knows I am a hopeless control freak. For goodness sakes, He knows I worry about flu season. 

That's why he gave me love bugs.
That is why He have me seasons. 
That's why he gave me Ecclesiastes 3.

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

I especially like the "time to search & time to give up" part in verse 6. 
OK, I hear ya. You are coming thru loud and clear. That sick feeling in my stomach is my own doing. I can't control the flu and I cannot add a single minute to this life by worrying. 

1 Peter 5:7 reminds me that God cares for me. He wants to carry my burdens and worries. 

Boy, am I hard headed. It hit me square between the eyes as I sang an old hymn to Parson last night at bedtime... "Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear- All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

(Insert Clue phone ringing here...  it's for me.) 


Fall is coming. 
There is a season for everything. It is time to give up.
Because I am redeemed, I can't let the love bugs get me down. 
Because I am redeemed, the seasons matter. 
Because I am redeemed, I CANNOT forfeit peace.