Life has twirled me upside down and inside out and back again in the last few months.
So many times I have said to myself, “Self, it’s time to pull up your bootstraps and soldier the heck through. Mind over matter, sister. You are not your disease.”
But then again, I do have a disease.
One that is, I’m afraid, writing our summer story in what may just be the toughest chapter yet…
I have cried. I have laughed. I have thrown a few things.
And I have even told one of my dearest friends as she was driving me home and I was holding a puke bag, “Let’s not do this again next summer.” (Because let’s face it, sometimes sarcasm is the only way to make the crazy better.)
In about a five-month stretch, I have been to hematology and neurology and rheumatology and pulmonology and dermatology and gastroenterology and gynecology and well, bless it. I am just a post-op, non-stop, big old Mixed Connective Tissue Disease mess. And should you wonder just how big, I give you Exhibit A…
Oh. My. Overmedicated. Heart.
Every little piece of me has been turned upside down by an immune system that is attacking healthy organs and tissue and joints and is creating potentially life-threatening blood clots.
Now it might seem strange for those of you who have known me awhile that I would write so freely about things I usually keep private and close to my heart but sometimes, you can’t cover up your hard. Because you can’t do it on your own.
Let me say that again…
You can’t do it on your own.
Bless it if it hasn’t taken me 38 years to be able to even say those seven words out loud.
Oh. My. Stubborn. Heart.
But do you know what friends?
In this hard. In this in-between. In this place that teeters between life-impacting and life-ending. There is something so incredibly precious that comes in its wake…
And that is LOVE.
Oh, friends, there is such love.
I see it in the picture she drew with my Sophie while I slept upstairs. I felt it as she grabbed my hand when I could barely make it to the bathroom on my own. I heard it in her “I love you, friend,” as she walked out the door with all four of my treasures.
Over and over and over, love has come.
Sweet sisters who have let their lives be interrupted by my hard…who have brought dinners and played games and changed diapers and gave gifts that I can never repay. Sweet sisters who have prayed without ceasing even though there are miles and days and lifetimes in-between us. Sweet sisters who have looked down the road at what lies ahead and have not run away but instead, stood with me.
Oh. My. Heart.
How can I not shout of such unencumbered and beautiful, Jesus-filled love?
How. Can. I. Not.
Even when it hurts. Even when its hard. Even when it scares the pants off me.
Oh my heart, how can I not?