Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In everything give thanks

The results are in: the MRIs are normal.  My doc and I looked at each other in wonder!  The enlarging lump on my salivary gland is still there, still enlarging, with no answer as to why.  My right eye has ceased responding to movement and has hitched itself to my nose, resulting in double vision.  The opthomologist says "I dunno" and the neurologist comes up with all kinds of scary reasons, all of which are not evident from the Mris.  And while several alleluias are still rising in gratitude that nothing of urgent or life-threatening caliber is occurring, it is surely life changing.

Seeing with one eye results in no depth perception.  Stumbling becomes frequent, bumping into someone on the covered side is commonplace, I can't sense when someone is near.  And the eye patch has me thinking of saying "ARRGH!", buying a parrot, and sitting tin-cupped in the heart of Vegas to earn money to pay for all the MRIs!  The neurologist wants to do another one to see if there are any changes that might explain why the right eye would suddenly give up its muscles and nerves and lie there, not responding.  Both eyes perfectly focus and work, they just don't work together.

It's hard to give thanks for.  I would much rather have something they could see, diagnose, and fix.

But I don't .  What I have is something that throws me upon my Papa's breast daily, whining for a bit, crying for a bit, and then asking Him to do whatever He chooses for me, because His choices are the best.  And then, at this stage through mostly gritted teeth, thanking Him in this.  I wish I could say that I'm perfectly at ease and coping well, thanking Him with each breath, but that would be a lie.  I'm struggling a bit.

I love to read.  It has been my solace and joy through 20 years + of CI, and without it in those first few years I would have perished.  I discovered Amy Carmichael, Annie Johnson Flint and others whose marks I now bear in my spirit.  I escaped into the books of Jan Karon, visiting Mitford, North Carolina and meeting friends there, learning to pray with a loving heart by the example of Father Tim.

And now it's difficult to read.  I am more afraid of losing this ability than of anything else the Lord could allow into my life.  I am a calligrapher.  I know the rudiments of American Sign Language, though I am far from proficient.  I can sign better than I can read sign because I can practice signing alone, but not practice reading alone.  I need headache-free eyes to do that as well as finding someone to practice with.  I knit and crochet, and while I have done so for so long I rarely look at the stitches while knitting, I do need to see mistakes.

Amazing how important some take-for-granted ability becomes when its existence is threatened, isn't it?  So many days I had the chance to praise and thank Him for eyesight and never did, and now I must praise Him for allowing me to lose some of it.

My solace is His presence, His reassurance that He does indeed have a plan for my life, and yes, as hard as it is to swallow sometimes, this is part of that plan.  It has repercussions for my life, my spiritual walk, and the attitude of my soul.  He either is my Lord and my King, or I am.

This is where the rubber meets the road, and it has surely met me!  I have already learned to thank Him with a humble joy that I can still hear, I can still speak, my earthly tent is still intact and those I love are safe and sound for the moment.  I have a roof over my head that is warm and safe, and am able to pray and be instantly face to face with the Creator of the heavens and the earth and Who, I am constantly amazed to realize, wants nothing more than for me to come and talk to Him, alone and with my heart in my eyes.

Soooooo, balancing things out a bit, I've come to realize I am still quite wealthy in gifts He has dropped into my lap, and praising comes a bit easier to my heart - the same One Who showered all these riches upon me is the One Who has decided, for the time being, to remove some of the awesome capabilities of the tent I inhabit and asked me to have trust enough to thank and praise Him for this stretch in my life.

And I have committed to do it.

I invite you to join me, thanking Him for the things you normally take for granted, for the ones you love that you trust will be there when you wake up of a morning, and to praise Him for each time you do just that - wake up!  The gift of one more day on this earth should not be taken lightly.  We are more fragile than we think, and tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone

So, I thank You, my King, for these circumstances and praise your wisdom in choosing these blips in life's road for me.  Make me strong enough to delight in Your choices and praise You in everything those choices entail.  I ask this in Jesus' name.

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