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It would be difficult to describe how busy and stressful the last year of our lives have been in a blog post short enough people would read. So, briefly, a recap would look like this:

  • Continued healing and nurturing from my iatrogenic illness
  • House hunting and purchase of the West Virginia home
  • Moved 1/2 our belongings to WV in December
  • Oversaw renovation of that home from Maryland
  • Renovated Maryland house A LOT
  • Tossed, donated and packed up 20 years of belongings
  • Found an apartment and moved oldest son
  • Listed and sold family home in 5 days
  • UN-BE-LIEVABLE stress from buyers and settlement company
  • More of that last bullet point, grrrrrr
  • Moved rest of belongings and me to WV
  • Doran returned to live with son and work for another month

Part of my mantra after dealing with my debilitating illness during 2013-14 was to appreciate everything and enjoy the journey.  For the most part that has been true, but the last few months, I will admit, were hard to enjoy.  The stress was beyond my coping ability and my compromised central nervous system just said ‘no more.’  By the time I pulled away from our Maryland home, following Doran in the rental car, I felt little.  I certainly felt no joy.  Perhaps that would be normal for anyone, but I was disappointed that the most important lesson of health – to be IN the now, had failed me.

I was also melancholy. Because of buyer demand, we settled earlier than we wanted to which meant driving separately so that Doran could return because retirement date did not align with house selling date.  And by this time games were being played on the real estate end, and the process was not going well.  Rather than he and I driving off into the sunset together free of that home and life, each of us was alone and had concerns about how the house sale would pan out.   I was decidedly un-Christian in my thoughts about real estate, buyers, and even the house made me angry.

And then a funny thing happened on the way to my new life…..God sat next to me on that drive which I thought I was making alone.  He filled my head with decades worth of memories of a van packed with kids and dog and cargo as we headed together to vacation in Canaan Valley.  I smiled and remembered.  And with each mile away from the Maryland location where I felt so much trauma over all I endured when sick…..all the loss I felt from that community….the life which truly ended when I had to hibernate with the brain/cns injury….I felt peace.  twitter

The expression ‘I felt 10 pounds lighter’ was true for me.  I found my smile as I climbed the mountain.  And, God, who we know has a sense of humor, sent me a verbal gift to go with that sense of peace I discovered in the car.  As I made my way up our dirt and gravel road away from civilization the GPS simply said: You have arrived.

Indeed.  I have.

 

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Living a housebound life for 10 months while my brain continues to recover from the medicine, Ativan, bloghas led me to seek out companionship and connection through Facebook.  This social network is literally a life saver when you are cut off from the world.  I have friends around the globe going through their own healing from these prescription drugs, and we take turns having moments of despair and lifting each other up as we fall.  That has been one of the joys which has come from this journey.

Closer to home, I have also been able to maintain friendships with those who I knew before getting sick.  I am apart from them physically, but can still be a part of them through messages, notes, pokes, viewing and sharing.

Although it may not appear so to others, I try to keep most of my negative moments from my public persona.  I don’t want to be the person others hide from their Facebook wall because she complains constantly and paints the world black.  However, I also don’t want to pretend I am not being challenged.  This is the hardest experience I have lived through.  Yes, prior to Ativan wd I had bad things happen, but when you compare physical, mental, continual, exhaustive, seemingly never ending healing to a blip, this is a hard one.

As a Christian, it is impossible to go through the fire without questioning the point of it all.  God can and does heal, so in my moments of greatest weakness I have become angry at Him for not giving me my miracle.  Thankfully, those moments are short-lived and infrequent, but they always cause me to ask for forgiveness.

Would I CHOOSE to live this journey exactly this way again?  No.  Who among us would volunteer for a year or two of physical and emotional pain, loneliness, isolation, despair, fatigue…..???

But, I can also say with boldness that I am GRATEFUL for how he has blessed me during this time.  Even as I am writing this, tears flow and my heart is full.  While I can say someone hit the pause button and my life has been sidelined, I also know completely that my soul has grown during this same time.  My heart is fuller.  My relationship with Christ is deeper.  I believe I am living life according to His purpose, and making the most of the suffering to help those I meet along the way.

I hope despite my moments of selfish desire to be healed now, that God continues to use me.  I value the people I have met, and pray that when I share Christ either in words or action, that it positively affects their lives.  Living in the fire isn’t the most pleasant place to be, but if I have to be here now, I’m going to make s’mores, sing campfire songs and enjoy the warmth.

 

 

If you notice the length of time between blog posts, you’ll see it has been awhile.  I wasn’t sure I had anything left to say or words to encourage.  Today on Facebook two of my friends who I consider to be my Titus Women, shared with me and inspired me to start talking again.  Molly, thank you for the reminder of Isaiah http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+6 and Jan, thanks for sharing with me a song I have never heard.

If you are struggling in your life right now, listen to the words in Laura Story’s song, “Blessings”:  What if your blessings come through raindrops…….

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