When I wrote earlier that every hour is changing, I meant it. Every day is a new appointment, a new MRI, an educational class on post-op recovery. Since the news dropped, I've been in a steady state of processing. I'm a 90s Word Processor that belongs to a transfer college student making a last ditch effort to recover her grades. Thoughts of Rodney Dangerfield pop in my head. What I've learned about myself is this: I process facts and statistics first and emotions towards said facts last.
The last five days, beginning with two consults, have been a rush of facts, praying, farming out responsibilities, and meeting with friends. Honestly, honestly, it's been fabulous. I coached my last OrangeTheory class for twelve weeks (enjoy the temporary pay raise, Austin,) had a reunion of ten fabulous ladies who I took a formational prayer class with, and had to cancel on our dates with friends (thanks to those rapid life change moments). So, sorry Patricia, Karen, Kelly, and Rondi! Heck, why am I apologizing, they're extending me so much love and grace.
Monday night, I had a fabulous dinner with a sensational friend, Whitney. The two of us gathered for a late dinner and were greeted with two glasses of champagne, compliments of Amy and Chad. (Yes, Mom, I promise they've already been thanked.) Whit and I talked, caught up on life, laughed, talked about our kids, her business- White Star Market, and our home renovation. We just happened to have a table right next to my interior designer, Julie. How small and special life is: the beautiful details of a chance encounter to have your decorator plop down beside you, if only I could keep my eyes open and my heart full. When I got home, a whopping two hours later, y'all- I done forgot about everything. I done forgot that I have this tumor growing inside me, I forgot I needed surgery, I just came home and read. Thank you, Whitney, for helping me momentarily forget.
I fiercely believe, and believed for a long time, only two things are true in life: all we have is each other and all we have is right now. We are made for relationships. We can only carry the relationships we have with each other from one moment to the next. Will people fail us? Yes. Will people we love hurt us? Definitely. But we love anyway. We are irrevocably broken in that way. Even so, people are great. Think about it, even the ones we don't like are pretty fascinating and if we can start off with the belief that we are more alike than we are different, we can go places together.
This leads to my next point, we only have right now. We have this moment. I won't tell you not to waste it. Truth is, you might need to decompress. We might need, at the moment, to slow down. This is counter-intuitive to our success self-help books. This advice is the sound of a minor key in a major music composition. We are not guaranteed a next moment. My goal is to stay where I am and to stay in the process- goals, financial forecasts, or youtube videos of baby goats, I will stay in the process.
I titled today, "My Moment", thank you for staying with me until I arrive here. Since this bizarre diagnosis (the word bizarre is not chosen tangentially), I have not sit down (or lied down, or ended up bent over on my knees with snot in the carpet yet) and had my moment. I know it's coming. It's the moment where reality yells, no- maliciously screams at you that this is your life and there is no escaping the sound of music. First, a dull fade, then a background noise, a melody, then a full-on, stuck-in-your-head gasping for breath noise you can't escape. Play the hand your dealt, that's your only choice.
For my friends, I don't need to be afraid to grieve; I need to allow space to grieve. We all encounter trauma, hurt, and pain.(*1) I can't discount it. I can put myself in a posture of listening. John Piper writes, "Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face.(*2) Trust God. And embrace the life you have." This means I have permission to stay in my feelings (even if that's not how I initially process or an encouragement by Drake) and his advice also encourages me to move on.
Right now, my feelings are this: while I'm uncertain of the lengthy and weighty recovery and how this will affect my three young daughters or husband, I'm still just so stinkin' thankful. God has been at every turn of this whirlwind of a journey and shown our family incredible mercy. I see His mercy. I see His grace. My hope is that our eyes are opened to see the immeasurable gifts, though broken our lenses may be, we are given each day through the gift of each other and the gift of staying in the moment.
*1. For those who have experienced extreme pain, loss, brokenness, and trauma: I will post later on my own experiences, and we can grieve together if that is what you need (or we both need) to move forward. In my mind: open-heart surgery is a cake walk compared to many of the physical or emotional traumas and torments we carry with us.
*2. I've not finished reading, "Girl, Wash your Face", by best-seller, Rachel Hollis. If this is where her book is headed and I've not yet read of the epiphany of which I write, then thanks for hanging in there, anyway. I'm pulling straight from John Piper.