IMG_190131 Days Walking Through Chronic Illness

day three

“To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace. “

Brennan Manning~The Ragamuffin Gospel

What now?

Sunday morning I woke up right as rain. Another, “did that really happen?” tucked away in my memory bank.

A lingering walk along the battery, packed up my bag. Headed home to my man.

With my sweet Mama’s grit, nothing to do, but go out and try again.

I did. I failed.

Half carried, pulled, and dragged along, whatever it took from my running friends to get me back. Laid out on the cold, hard cement of the sidewalk in January, pride slipped away.

God had been building community  around me through running. Those precious friends were able to get the right doors open. I was whisked through the door of a friend’s husband, a cardiologist. Sent from there to a neurologist. The hospital for tests.

The fog around me thick. Simple answers to questions I should have known, lost.

We moved from place to place, test to test, office to office that day. I comforted myself by saying the ABC’s frontwards and backwards. Surely, I thought, if I can do this simple thing, grasping the names of my loved ones should come easy.

The days and weeks and months to follow moved achingly slow.

What was once the normal, everyday ordinary of life, became a tattered remnant of who I was.

I was living on the edge of what was, greedily reaching for anything familiar.

Jello jigglers brought their brass band, took up residence in my head. My brain was muddled.

I crawled through the my days from January ’till June.

Still, I had not thrown in the towel, admitted defeat, or given up. I fought. Fought with all I had. Every. Single. Day.

I felt betrayed. Betrayed my body. I watched the strength and stamina I had, melt away like butter in hot sun.

I had given up any semblance of doing more than necessary. Completing only the things that had to be done. To~do lists floated away.

I was in survival mode.

I lay curled up in my chair under a blanket one afternoon, our sweet little Pomeranian tucked in close by my side. Glancing over to the ever present stack of books. Reading, my favorite pastime, had become laborious.

I picked up a book that had been there for months. Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are. It was calling out to me, begging to be read.

I opened the book, begin to read. The Balm of Gilead lay right there in the words.

“To live either fully alive … or in empty nothingness.”  One Thousand Gifts~Ann Voskamp

I was fading away. Everything of me, slipping through my fingers.

It was in the fading, I chose to fully live.

“We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. … Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to His grace.” One Thousand Gifts~Ann Voskamp

There in the fading lay His Grace. 

I chose to count them. Number them. Name them. Thank Him.

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The nest in a wreath hanging there by the door

A Mama and Daddy Wren sitting on the nest

Four sweet blue eggs, speckled with black

Daddy Wren bringing food

The first feathers

Flapping their wings

Flying away

And so it went. I gave thanks. Counted the gifts.

When the days were long. In the fear of the unknown. Counted the gifts.

Gave thanks.

Walked the hard.

Stumbled upon the mountaintop.

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn

Coming tomorrow~Day Four~The Diagnosis

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