My "yesterday" was six weeks ago. I was sitting on the beach watching my kids dig in the sand. I started a pile of shells. Then Adam and I braved the cold, cold waters of the gulf. I waded in chest-deep, jumping when the waves came, seaspray splashing my face. Each wave was a gift.
Just a few days before, I'd been diagnosed with sluggish thyroid and the diagnosis, though it made sense of all my seemingly unrelated symptoms, felt like a knife in my gut. The doctor said to me, "Are you ready for this? You're going to have to change. You will need to learn to relax and let go." Those words were tough to swallow. They were actually tougher than "your thyroid is just not working."
As the waves pushed and pulled me, God reminded me that I can stand against the waves by His power. That I would bend but not break. That the waves would never stop, but I could learn to surf.
Later that afternoon, I walked the beach and collected shells. I was drawn to the broken ones. They were beautiful with their multi-color ridges and smooth insides. They were part of something bigger. They were broken but they were beautiful and reminded me that one day I will shed this broken body just like a mussel sheds its shell.
The beach, for me, is a deeply spiritual place. Nothing soothes my soul the way waves crashing on the sand does. The power of the waves, the grit of the sand, the cry of the gulls and the salty air caress my weary spirit and give me inspiration to connect deeply with our Creator.
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
That was January. February was quite a different story. Two weeks ago, I slipped on icy steps by our garage. With a loud crack and pop, I dislocated my foot, popped the synovial sac and broke my ankle in three places. (go big or go home) I had to have surgery to put things back together.
This injury was a blow. You can read all about that here. But after several days, I found a new groove. I'm not one to stay down, in fact I often sing, "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You ain't never gonna keep me down." And I found ways to be productive even while sitting in this stupid arm chair with my foot in a ugly, ill-fitting cast.
Then Saturday, March 1st came. Hopping on crutches on my way to bed, I somehow bumped into a wall and knocked myself off balance. Falling to the right, I couldn't put my foot down since it's broken and hit my head on the door jamb and fell the floor. I saw stars, I hurt all over, I panicked. Scott cleaned up my bleeding head, put my sore but in-tact screwed-together foot back in its boot and settled me into bed. He assured me I was fine, but my imagination and my anxiety would not let me sleep. I was sure I would not wake up if I went to sleep. I was certain I'd blown out the screws in my ankle.
After three hours of panic and pain, I woke my dear, tired husband and asked him if I could move to my chair. There I finally slept about two hours. When I woke, I was in pain and I was scared. Everything hurt and I couldn't stop crying.
Much of Sunday I cried. When I wasn't crying, I was sleeping.
When bed time came, I looked at Scott and said, "It's a darn shame I had to fall again to realize that I'm just supposed to rest right now."
How I long for yesterday
I know that diagnosis six weeks ago was meant to tell me to rest, to slow down, to stop pushing so hard. And for one brief week, I did. I rested. I slowed down. I danced in the surf. I even took my Epcot spreadsheet and threw it in the garbage. For a week, I just went with the flow.
Then I came home and slipped into gear again. Maybe not as high-powered as before but still, I wasn't coasting in neutral. And for the three weeks between our return and my first fall, I didn't feel right. Things had lost their luster and I felt like I was going through the motions. I was tired, deeply tired. I yearned to be back on that beach. But I couldn't figure out how to get there. I kept telling myself that there'd be a break in my schedule soon and I could rest.
Then the break came. But it wasn't in my schedule. It was in my ankle. And life didn't just glide into neutral, it didn't coast to a stop. It hit a cement wall. (actually my butt hit the cement stairs) I laid there in the ER that morning, thinking of all the things I'd have to cancel. Schedules and to-do lists that no longer mattered. And I thought, "I can't do this."
So, I modified my schedule and my to-do lists to include a walker, a boot and an armchair. And then I hit the wall. Literally. And I wound up on the floor, flat on back, looking up, wondering what the heck just happened.
The story that kept coming to mind during my waking periods yesterday was the story of Peter denying Christ three times. While I didn't deny knowing my Savior three times, I did fail to heed His call on my heart to rest. First in January. Again when we got home. And a third time after I slipped on those stairs. Maybe my crashing into a wall was a clumsy accident. Or maybe it was my rooster crowing.