Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life Post-Hospital

I hardly know what to say, except that God's workings are profound and inexplicable. One day I was in the Full-Time Training, enjoying the changes, challenges, and mercies of my second term, then there was a blur of sleepless nights, days running into each other, feeling and acting stranger and stranger and leaning more and more on my Savior. Then I was in the hospital for nine days, then I was sent home to my family in Spartanburg to "rest and recover." The full story includes a bronchitis medication, a reaction, a string of doctors each with their own opinion and impact on my life, and many, many adventures....but it is all much too close to write about, and, largely, even to talk about. I was a person who wanted to explain and describe everything. For the first time I find myself a woman with secrets, learning not to tell.

So here I am in Spartanburg, resting. It has been difficult to accept what I am doing here, and even more difficult learning to live it day to day. It's exceedingly hard to admit that all appearances of a sturdy, healthy, promising young woman to the contrary, I am actually a bird with a broken wing that must be bound, caged, and nourished by hand.

But it is, more than anything, a blessed time. I had relinquished my belongings, my own room, my clothes, my music, my cat, my family, my friends, the privilege of spending Thanksgiving with those I love, and Christmas....and suddenly everything is given back to me. Words like plan and work are carefully guarded from me, allowed in small doses as I'm deemed able to bear them. In the absence of such worries, I am free to offer small labors of love, pursue what is good and healthy for body, soul and spirit, and chase every dream.

Money and independence, I find as they gently ebb and flow around me in tiny quantities, are not nearly as valuable as time, which is the gift now given to me in abundance.

My Benefactor is an endless source of surprises. He rocks out with me on the guitar, listens to Eliot Smith with me, reads with me about quiet lives in midcentury England and cross-cultural encounters in the Ivory Coast, and every so often whispers His mind - "that's enough for tonight" or "How about this, now." To learn grace is to learn that I have a Father and a Love who are already pleased with me. Instead of trying to figure out what to do to bring Him joy, I learn to simply share my joy, my thoughts, my life with Him, listening with rapt attention for that voice I have grown so much to love. And then, when I hear it, each earthly pleasure that has so delighted me fades to the dustiest gray, and I am happier still.
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