I have a bit of an issue with going to medical and dental appointments. Some may call it a fear, fret or fobia. It is real, it is heart racing, blood pressure rising, crying, being ugly, saying ugly things, nasty and out of control. Sure I have paid “professionals” to see if they could help or figure this out. They figured out, if they said they could help, I would pay them money. They would gather bags of money and I would be on my merry way. Didn’t really work. Oh it worked for them, they got their bags of money. Might have something to do with being raised in a religion that does not approve of medical services? Or it might be, I have just gone to way too many appointments?
Here we go again. The appointments. The fear, the dread, the misery, the muscle aches from the adrenalin blah, blah, blah………….it is just too much. Everyone tells me to focus on scripture verses or picture a positive mental thought. Think of something nice and calming, they say……………to be honest, I am so far out of control, I can’t hear, or think straight.
We live about 25 minutes away from the hospital. So on Monday morning, that drive was looming ahead of me. I had to come up with a plan that would at least get me that far. EUREKA…………………remember all those scrapbooks we have all kept? We have purchased paper and stickers and printed photographs and glue and tape and made our trips into beautiful works of art? Think of all the moola we have spent on putting together those “memory books”. For some reason, I grabbed one. I covered myself in a warm and fuzzy blanket and settled in for the drive. I looked at pictures of New England in the autumn. breathtaking. I thumbed through pictures of Hawaii. I felt a little teeny zip lock bag of a few grains of sand. I remembered the wind and the sun and the sand. We talked about a funny story and “remember that great dumpy place we ate the most amazing food ever?” Then I flipped the page and saw the cruise ship. The pictures of the animal towel creations that “Herbert” the best cabin statesman we could have ever asked for did for us. We remembered that Herb somehow magically got out the watermelon stain from my white t-shirt and had it hanging back in the closet when I came back to our room. Between you and me…………..there was a little tiny latte stain that I had not been able to remove from the hemline………………….yep, you guessed it Herb worked his magic there too. amazing man. Next page was a trip to the Oregon coast. Wow, was it windy in those pictures. I love that I cut out slim, trim, young, fresh, models and pasted them onto one of our photos and wrote a funny caption of how good walking on the beach is for our skin. What was I thinking? I was being goofy.
Oh we are here? Once I closed the book, the fear crept back in, the tears started, blood pressure rose, ears started ringing. I have a friend who wrote me an email that I printed and read over and over…….”you said it’s hard to remember that God does not give out fear when you are scrambling in a pool of it–I SO agree. That is why He puts people in our lives to lean on when we need to :)” …..yesterday to spend my day in goodness, I sewed the afternoon away, making a couple goodies for her……….
Somehow by simply opening a scrapbook, all the Grace I needed fell out of the pages. I was covered in good memories and Pure Grace and my mind swirled and twirled in all the goodness. I forgot about ugliness for 25 minutes. Sometimes, 25 minutes is forever. It felt good to take “some time off” from all the worry. It felt lovely to be bathed and covered in Grace.
As I walk through this week, dragging my feet and trying to stay positive….I am lucky for a couple of friends who I can lean on and they can do the worrying and fretting for me, or at least just a bit of it. It is just so overwhelming and too much for one person.
I am grateful for a steadfast, unwavering husband, who is somehow holding me together. I am grateful for my friends. Sincere, kind-hearted, true friends who somehow manage to allow me to be ugly and scared and terrified and then will listen to a silly recipe I just “have” to share. I want to be that kind of friend to others. I want to help them as they are walking on hot coals.
Maybe my purpose in life is to lift up my friends? Maybe I have been seeking all these years as to what is my job? What is my God-given talent? What is my purpose? Maybe it is to be a good friend?
As I try to keep my hands busy and keep my brain occupied, I am trying to think of others. Just when I thought I was doing something nice for someone she turned it around and made me feel lovely. She wrote in a message “and you explaining in the loveliest words about my situation and your love for me. I am so touched………….You are one of my blessings. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. ~maya angelou