Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Reflection to Remember

 I started this blog because I wanted a record of things going on in my life.  I love to write and don't get to do an ounce of it at work. Not to mention, who thinks professional writing is exciting and creative anyway? Not me. Anyway, I digress. I've been doing that a lot these days. I've had a case of ADD that has not shown up in my life before. It's as if my world is spinning in a completely different direction and I am just trying to keep up! I can't tell you the number of things I have neglected to do. Actually, I can. I remember that I need to buy my friends' wedding presents, make a photo book of my family's trip to Thailand, write some thank you notes, organize my kitchen, buy a few more items for my bathroom, write a blog post about Memorial Day (yeah....) Then I never follow through with any of those things.  At least, not yet.

Early on in this year, I wrote about how I felt God was telling me my theme of 2012 was going to be faith and patience. Well, now that could not be more true! God really does know best, doesn't He? Initially, I thought He meant I was to have faith and patience with my situation in life. The last three months have proven that life goes off script. Sometimes WAY off script! I've come to learn that I am not only supposed to have patience with my situation, but patience with myself.

Since October 2011, my world has been rocked. It all started with the major surgery on my foot. I am used to major surgery. It is something I "do well", if I can even say that. It's just that I am used to it and am used to quickly recovering. But, after I survived being chained to a chair for 8 weeks (not literally, but it sure did feel like it!), I expected to skyrocket through the rest of the recovery. The truth is that is not the case. It has been 8 months and I still have occasional swelling and can't yet maneuver my feet into all of my cute shoes. The most disappointing aspect of this recovery is that I cannot walk the blocks in Old Town without my canes like I used to do. I have a new trainer and I desperately want show her how I can motor on those uneven bricks sans canes, but it's not happening just yet. I am not strong and confident enough to do it right now. The goal is for me to be able to scoot around 4 blocks by August. Jen believes I can. I have to believe it and have patience with myself. The trainers remark at how much taller I am walking. I hear what they are saying, but I am listening to the voices in my head that say, "You aren't where you were last summer. You are not going to make your August goal!" But, I can. I know I can. The trainers believe I can. I can.

I must also remember that within the last three months, I have suffered a devastating blow. It's still hard to believe and while it doesn't feel like half of my heart is gone anymore, I can feel a literal hole in it that, no matter what, will never be filled on this earth. Just a few minutes ago, I picked up my phone to call Mike. I should know by now that he won't pick up. All I have been reading (more on that in another post because the resources have been so helpful) says it will take a great deal of time to learn to live with this. Some people have mistakenly advised me to "get over it". Well, just stab me in the heart all over again!  I won't ever "get over" losing someone I loved so deeply, so tragically. It won't be as bad, though. I will one day be able to laugh at memories immeasurably more than I cry. However, it is important for me to remember that I need to have patience with myself through this grieving process. 

This blog isn't just a reminder of my happenings. Sometimes I need to write posts to remind myself of important lessons God is trying to teach me along the way. Over the last 8 months and those that follow, faith and patience resounds like blaring trumpets in my head and heart. I'm hopeful that God will refine me through this process. --- and that my friends will forgive me for their late presents!

James 1:2-6

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I would consider myself navigationally challenged. My sense of direction is terrible. It's so bad you may find me using a GPS in my hometown! I learned to read a map in 5th grade, but with the invention of the GPS, that skill went right out the window! I've been blessed (and cursed) with knowing where I wanted to go in life and what I wanted to do, but the route to get there is sometimes hazy.

Nine weeks ago, my world as I've known it for nearly half my life changed forever. My very best friend, Mike, made the decision to leave the world forever. His absence has now completely altered my world. I live in a new reality. One I never, ever expected to live in. I miss absolutely everything about Mike. His smile. His wink. His laugh. The way he loved. Him devouring his food and then longingly looking at your plate as if to say, "Are you going to eat that?". His terrible fashion sense. Cookie cakes. My Italian lessons. Those who knew Mike, even in passing, know how amazing he was.  But, I knew him in a way many did not, and am so thankful for the blessing God allowed us to be to each other and to our families. Now he is gone. A huge part of me is missing. Sometimes I feel lost.

At times during these last two months, I have been so angry at God. Why did He not stop this from happening? He could have. He had before. This time, He didn't. I will never understand that. It is not a consolation to hear, "God needed another angel in heaven" or "This was all a part of God's plan". I cringe at those responses because I do not believe that to be the case. What I do believe is amidst the most difficult time in my life God is there. God ensured I was surrounded by my small group on that horrific night. A fellow UR classmate who I hadn't spoken to in eight years immediately reached out to me to share her experience with a similar situation. My friends from college have proven to be more loyal and comforting than I knew them to be before. Mike's family and I, together, mourn the loss of someone so special. God is there even when everything around seems strange and meaningless.

I can and will still realize many of the hopes and dreams that Mike and I shared with each other. Now, not by my side, he watches over me. I just don't know how to navigate this new reality. Thankfully, God is in control and He will be the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path. He is the best GPS. I will (impatiently) wait for Him to show me the way to the happiness He has for me -- God, Please. Soon.

I love you and will miss you forever, Dude.

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