Lord, You sure have given me a very off day. You know what I mean.
I think of that line from the John Wayne movie McLintock:
Camille to George McLintock: “Day off?”
George McLintock to Camille: “Off day!”
That’s the way everything felt about this day… OFF!
In the beginning that was the problem, by the end that is the wonder.
I had awakened after an hour or so of sleep with the feeling of oversleeping. I looked at the clock to see I had EXACTLY the amount of time needed to put on my shoes, grab my purse and keys, and race to the first of two appointments today.
The first one I so desperately needed answers and healing to pain. My doctors too were so hopeful, and I knew this doctor was the best in his field. You had blessed me with him twice before, three counting the time he came out in the middle of surgery to let me know that he and his colleague had seen my son definitely had bone cancer, but my son’s doctor was determined to wait for all pathology before a second surgery to determine just how much to cut out. His wait proved to be essential as the pathology showed no cancer, but instead a very unusual fracture.
My son and I were so fond of this doctor, and he had once been so fond of my son because he wrote the doctor a note of thanks for saving his hand. The doctor had mentioned how it touched him and his wife, so they kept it at home where they could see it for daily inspiration. I felt so hopeful about this appointment.
First my stomach would not let me leave without visiting the bathroom.
Then I had issues with my sock, then with the keys, then with a cat was right under the tire moving… s.l.o.w.l.y.! Then as I drove over the local bridge, I saw the Interstate was backed up! Oh no! I started praying taking the back road to the other Interstate would be OK. An industrial truck took a very s.l.o.w pace in front of me before I could find out, so I called the doctor’s office to let them know.
Praise Your name it was moving, but just as I got to my exit it was backed up again.
I made it to the parking lot only to realize it had been so many years that I went to the wrong building. I found it up the hill. I was just about to park when a car backed out of his space right in front of me without looking, causing me to make a very sharp brake. I slid forward toward the steering wheel, as I had just unlatched the seat belt to save me time when getting out of the car. Whew!
I was 10 minutes late, but they were so wonderful.
They were getting a lot of calls about the backups.
I did my paperwork, gave the insurance cards, and took the brief moment between to take a deep breath. My body was reacting to the stress, so I was trying to relax a little to relive some pain. My wait was not long at all. I followed my nurse into the room, answered questions, and waited for my doctor, who was also a dear friend.
The delightful greetings were at least as I thought it would be, but I was so shocked… disappointed… devastated! Not in the doctor… but the answer… or lack thereof. There was nothing he could do. He saw the problem is real… it may get worse… but there was nothing he could do. I was in such disbelief. He could see I was upset. I told him it wasn’t him, but that it had been so painful, and that if he couldn’t help me then no one could. I knew he was the best in his field. He appreciated that and felt bad, but literally didn’t even suggest a brace, a bandage, therapy, ice, heat… NOTHING.
I mentioned to him that the urgent care doctor had said when she saw no break on the x-rays they took that he could read them better, and would want to do a MRI or better imaging if it wasn’t just bone. She was concerned about Osteoarthritis being the problem (which I confirmed to her I have) and strongly urged me to see him. He said if they saw nothing then it just wasn’t there, and that he could tell I had OA, but didn’t believe this was the problem. “But I need to be able to use my hand!” “I’m sorry.”
This was so devastating it was all I could do not to cry. Part of me started to, but anytime I cry at a doctor’s appointment or anything medical I get the “anxiety” label and treatment. You know… where all of a sudden I’m treated like I’m either having a nervous breakdown, acting childish, overreacting, paranoid, just don’t understand, and am being irrational all because I allow my fear, my tear, or my concern being out in the open. This helped me hold off till I got to the car. Even then I could feel my body wanting to express this moment out loud, but my brain wasn’t having it.
I stopped at the post office box afterwards, and found a jury summons. Federal court this time. So I drove to a local chick-fil-A to put something on my stomach while doing my devotions. Uh oh. Tablet and phone need a charge. I get inside and realize I left my writing compo in car. So many little things could make one scream, but I said a prayer on the way to CFA.
“Ok., Lord. What do YOU want to do with this day? This is YOUR day. I am where YOU want me. What do YOU want from me?”
Joy starts coming over me as everywhere I look and see little smiles and waves keep coming at me. They keep coming from the playground, the table in front me, behind me, beside me, and walking by. They’re all too little to have been influenced by someone to raise their hand, or fake a smile. Everyone is noticing, and are tickled by it.
This would be my joy for the day!
The stress from the first appointment was adding to the stress of the later appointment before even arriving to the second one. An appointment that I dreaded. Not because I was dreading my doctor or the visit, but because he had discussed what to expect. I knew it would involve being extremely uncomfortable. The pressure was necessary to work through things. I was dreading dealing with that pressure so much that I was stressing myself with fear of frustrating or aggravating my doctor.
I still had a couple of hours in between, so I THOUGHT I would catch my breath. I get in the car and realize a bird has “hit” my window. It is over 80 degrees out, but I know NOT to roll down that window as I see there are two spots side by side, and streaked down the window to just inside the door. I need to get gas as well, so I go to the local grocery store that has a gas station and car wash. I waited in line behind the other cars for over an hour, but I finally get the wash.
Pulling out, I notice it has not touched the stain! So I pull over to the gas pump to grab the window squeegee. I am trying to scrub, but the stain isn’t budging and my hand is not working. It hurts! But it’s not wasting its time on something that seems to have no hope. I suddenly have a feeling this stain might be on the inside! Don’t roll the window down! I drive on to the pharmacy to get my meds and pick up a bottle of Lysol Wipes with the scrubber one side and wiper on the other. Sure enough it was on the inside!! How did that bird hit inside a closed window, leaving a double stain that started in the MIDDLE of the window?!?
I realize by this time, I might as well go on over to this dreaded appointment before anything else happens to keep me from it. I make it with a little time to at least catch my breath. Now You are ready to allow me to attempt that! 😉 I pray, and gain the motivation to go on in!
Pleasant greetings are exchanged. Some joking about a chair in the lobby. And before long we are discussing my homework, how I am doing, and where to begin. I am offered, even encouraged, to make a decision. I am afraid to do so because I am afraid of making the wrong choice. I am afraid of frustrating my doctor. I attempt to follow his direction. Then as I expected it was time to avoid the very subject which needed addressing. I try to at least be honest that I am doing so, with the conveyance that I DO want to do what needs to be done. Reluctant trust shows up, but at least it some form of trust, enough to keep moving in the needed direction.
The very uncomfortable process keeps moving forward. I am soon so focused on the surprising result not being as I expected that my focus shifts to enduring even more to convince my brain… “Yes. I am doing this. I don’t know why it is not as I expected, but isn’t it more important that there is accomplishment in some manner? Isn’t it more important that I do what helps my doctor help me? Isn’t it a load off to know there is no point in carrying that load? I know your fear that the process isn’t over and the meat of the discomfort will show up. But can’t we just save our energy for dealing with it when… IF it comes? Maybe we’re wrong in thinking it HAS to be the result we expect. Maybe when the doctor says it’s OK and that we are doing well, shouldn’t we trust him to know what he’s talking about? Shouldn’t we at least focus on what is happening versus what is not happening? I could really use a break from all of this stress!”
The appointment comes to an end and I am in complete disbelief again. This time I am too afraid to believe how well things seem to have went compared to how I had feared. The dread had been replaced by comfort. The process had led to trust. The trust had brought an unexpected result. We still have much to work on, but the dreaded unknown had been put to light. The light had exposed the shadow of fear. Letting the doctor guide my treatment allowed at least a hopeful start in healing.
And isn’t that what makes it all more bearable… hope.
Isn’t that what made this day so off?
Where hope was expected to heal… it failed to even show up.
Where hope wasn’t even seen to be possible…
it was the very thing that made anything possible.
If hope is the evidence of things unseen, how did this happen?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 KJV
I’m still trying to figure all of this out because it just seems so off that where I had faith, hope was taken from me,
and where I was too focused on fear to trust, hope was given birth.
Is it possible that being I was given no counsel on possibilities for healing that my faith was not given the chance to be exercised?
Yet because I was given the chance, even encouraged, to trust… that my faith was exercised and hope given birth?
One thing I know for sure.
You my Creator, my Great Physician, Counselor, Almighty God, gave me a very off day… at least from my feeble human mind.
Lesson learned…. give You the chance to offer me to trust… have faith that You know best… and that whatever You lead me to, You will lead me through.
All my hope is in You!