About every time I left the house over the last few months, I had this conversation.
Someone: “How ARE you doing?”
Me: “Well, at this point I’m “faking well” pretty well, so that feels like an improvement.”
I am just no good at saying “fine”. I never ever will be. If you ask me how I’m doing I want to spout
1. Random details of recovery from having a thyroidectomy and hysterectomy back to back, with spurts about critical anemia, wayward organs and the loss of my status as an organ donor (most of the disposable ones are gone) and blood, lots of blood…
2. I want to tell you about Jesus and his church and the people who are AMAZING and surrounded my family for the past eighteen months as we grappled with this unexpected next phase of my body being a lemon.
Maybe I’m not a lemon.
I’m an onion. Lots of layers, and…. it stinks?
(READ: You Start With a Lemon and Squeeze),
3. But what I really can’t put to words in the 15 seconds that social propriety allots to the response expected to, “How are you doing?” is how much God has taught me over this who cluster-chaos of the last 2 years and what I wish EVERYONE could see. Jesus has GOT to get to us somehow!
I just cannot “Good.” or “Fine”.
It’s not who I am.
I’m ok with that.
So for today’s awkward sharing on the blog, I want to address how I am, for those in the back of the room who may be wondering as I step forward and take on life again. Before I get down to my normal and banging out words, serving families and sharing in other ways, I’m going to tell you about how my broken body helped me turn the corner.
I am pretty sure that getting down to broken was one of the best things God has ever put me through. My body had to screech-halt, forcing me to turn around and focus on my soul because I didn’t listen the first 5,354 times that God sent clues my way.
It took several tries for Him to get my attention, and finally He most definitely, undoubtedly, gave me MORE than I could handle.
Sidenote: We all know that little statement is not in the Bible, right? It’s not in the Torah, or the King James, and definitely not the Apocrypha. Snopes.com doesn’t have a reference for it, either. See?
It’s basically pre-social-media FAKE NEWS, that statement there. I’m waiting for Babylon Bee to respond to my email suggesting an article on”The woman who petitions that it be struck from the Bible, only to find it wasn’t there in the first place.”
I mean, *I* think it’s funny.
For the record, the Bible does say this:
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
(2 Cor. 4:8-10)
There are plenty of other examples of suffering that we can meditate on, as we each stagger awkwardly toward the holy and the cross, but this one is the one for me now. Feel free to find more in the good book.
People, we carry within ourselves the broken and battered sacrifice of Christ. In our actual bodies!
His suffering flows in our veins to propel us through our own and toward the place He wants us to be, not just the “him in us and we in him”, in a cute little way that gives us a sweet sugar boost to the emotions for our week.
Jesus is an organ transplant, for our dying, languishing souls as we lay on the operating table of this messed up world, with our pulse fading fast.
He is our only hope, and the good news is…
there’s not a waiting list.
I may not have been through an organ transplant (they don’t seem to offer me organs, they’ve just taken many of mine), but I did find myself laying in a bed with someone else’s blood being pumped into my veins to sustain me. It was awkward.
I was loopy and I swear they told me it was male blood and his name was James. If my mother-in-law hadn’t been there to witness it, I would still be convinced that James was my blood donor. Also that my husband would have to send my kids to school because I never labeled which homeschool books were for who before I died. That was the context of my hallucinations when crashing in a hospital, I kid you not.
He wants our hearts in tune to His calling, and our souls turned toward Him, completely and fully. He’s ready to stitch us up and get us back to thriving, the way he designed us to be.
We are each created as an essential part of His Body. We share his DNA, a thing greater than any of the distractions that we keep turning to every day; the distractions that I have turned to and made more important than what He called me to be.
See there, I ‘ll call myself out first; I volunteer as tribute.
I did this to myself, and I know it.
I’ve neglected my own body, but worse…
I. Have. Neglected. His.
It sounds so trite to say. “Oh, I’m nothing without Christ.” until you are laying there losing blood, doctors are coming and you KNOW that,
God help me I am NOTHING without your saving grace right now.
(READ: Losing your *IT* vs. Saving Grace (5 Things I’ve Learned Through 7 Years of Poop)
God wants the most of us and, if necessary, He is fully prepared to give us more than we can handle so that we just give up and HAND IT OVER TO HIM.
I’m crying “Uncle”, or “Aunt”… ok, “Jesus.”
Friends, let’s do it. Take the transplant, take the blood transfusion.
Let’s get on with the Life in Him part of our stories.
it’s been three months since my most recent surgery and I AM doing well. I am so weak that my soul is just busting.
Eh, It’s really getting there and I’m fine with it.
NOTE: Before anyone becomes deeply concerned about me, I really am mostly-fine. At this point, I truly am getting my bearings and feeling a flourish of strength return to my lemon of a body. It’s just been through the ringer. I am ok and I am doing well at this point. I’m speaking of what I’ve been through in the past two years and making a place marker to come back to when I reference it later.
Not all of my sharings will be so darn, Jesus-ey but this was the place to start for me.