After nearly two months of illness, on Sunday July 11th I felt well enough to attend a church service. The pastor who spoke that day read Psalm 23 and challenged others to read and ponder over a weeks’ time what God might be saying individually.
I took up the challenge and my regular journal recorded… after my first reading, the 4th verse jumped out at me, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – fearing no evil… my immediate reaction is fear. Perhaps because I’ve been ill for 2 months and that’s been terrible enough. I would struggle greatly with a “death sentence.”
I’m not finished here yet but often I wonder what I’m doing – what’s of value – what’s not. Too often I believe I’m simply coasting, putting in time – wondering, waiting, – not living the life intended for me…I then recalled some areas of my life where I’d struggled by not fulfilling my own life’s dreams and the current journey to rectify that.
My journal ended with, Now what? What’s it all meant? How am I moving forward?
It was weeks before I made it back to my journal as my body let me know it had been through a battle and needed some more assistance.
With all the antibiotics and pain medications going into me my gut ran out of good bacteria and the nasty bacteria called Clostridium Difficile decided to take over. Was it already there? Had I picked it up somewhere else? Why me? I’ll never know…
The bacteria were in control and with a bare minimum of details, I stayed home, I stayed close to the bathroom and I stayed in bed. It was the amount of blood passing through me that sent me back to plunk myself down in the doc’s chair once again.
So, one might ask, how does C Difficile get treated? The crazy answer is with yet another antibiotic.
In my Gratitude Journal July 22 – Grateful for “more” antibiotics to kill off the C Difficile bug in my body. I will hopefully be on the mend.
On that day, I continued my Psalm 23 reflections and in my regular journal, recorded some notes…Bang – right off the top – The LORD is my shepherd, not life, not hubby, not the things about me. “I shall not be in want”
He will satisfy me – as I think about what to write, what to paint, where to spend time…if I go to my Shepherd and ask for his direction he will guide me, show me and lead me because “his rod and staff” they will comfort me. In him, amid his presence I am surrounded by his cloud of protection. Whatever it is I do; it will be right.
The following day in a continued somber mood Psalm 23’s reflections met mine and my pen flowed with ink over several pages in my regular journal.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
The water runs out of the spout in my garden fountain, into a bowl and trickles below only to cycle through the system again, and again.
This is how God is leading me beside quiet waters.
I’ve sat many hours this summer, listening to the water, waiting to be well while one strange infection after another attacks my body.
I live in a Modular Home Park – AKA (also known as) a mobile home park where a typical impression might be one of lower class, poor and unkempt – a TV view of what I’ve often heard called, ‘white trailer trash’.
I love it here, when I can put aside my own biased views of my home location. Out my back door is the deck designed by hubby who then enlisted the services of his talented brother to build.
Surrounding our little yard is the wood fence designed and built by hubby earlier this spring just as the garden was coming to life and I became ill. My daughter and I had assisted just enough one day to get bragging rights that ‘we’ built the fence together.
The fence keeps Thomas the Cat within, who graciously chooses not to jump and run and is the perfect backdrop for the multitude of seasonal pops of color that have entertained me.
I feel protected and contained within my boundaries – it reminds me of ‘walking with Jesus’ along the narrow path – completely free within.
So, I sit, I think, I pray…
I wish I were well, I fight with the frustration and anger that rises within me. I have little choice but to relax, accept that I feel fatigued, have little energy and I cannot control this current situation. I can instead, enjoy watching my cat enjoy being outside with me looking at the birds and listen to their songs. Like him, I can stretch out my legs and lift my face to the warmth of the sun and simply… be beside quiet waters.
This is my moment to be grateful for all I have and which is being provided for me.
On Monday, August 1st I wrote in my Grateful Journal, Grateful. Feel better/off medication.
On Monday, August 22nd I wrote in my Grateful Journal, Grateful. Sunshine. Feel Healthy. Have options. Have a future to enjoy.
Please look for my next and last entry on …my summer saga…after all, summer came and went, fall rains arrived and it is nearly time for Christmas trees and snowfalls.