so, the other day i drove myself to the doctor's office. this was a big deal because my neurologist's office is 14 miles away from my house. i am pretty sure that is the furthest i have driven in MONTHS!! that was quite an accomplishment for me. not only because it meant not having to get ryan to pack up all the kiddos and do it for me, but because of the amazing freedom i got from it too. i had no idea how God would use it, too. (more on that in a minute)
the freedom, (or lack thereof) is something that comes to me in waves. most of the time i don't even know that i miss it. but, then i get in the car and start to drive, and i realize that i haven't been alone in weeks. well, not for more than a few minutes. i guess i drive myself to my chiropractor's appointment pretty much every week now, and so i am alone then, but that is only like 4 miles away, so does that really count? i guess in my world, it does. i don't ever get to run errands on my own. i am just never alone. i don't do grown up stuff, like go to work.....pick up the dry cleaning ( i always think of this as being a grown up thing...still something i have never done! :) laziness really, if it can't all be washed and dried together, i generally don't buy it. wow--i have veered off big time this time......
so...my point is...that, here i am, driving myself to the doctor.....sitting in traffic...looking around at all these people in their cars...all these other self-sufficient adults...wondering what their stories are. do they have any idea this is the furthest i've driven in months? do they have any idea how fortunate they are to be healthy? to be able to just drive around all day and live a "normal" life. see? this taste of freedom sometimes comes with a price. it sometimes reminds me of how much i miss having a "normal" life. oh how the enemy tried to sneak in here and tell me things like "you are not going to get better"..."you will never be the same"...."there really is something still wrong with you...you just think this is almost over".....ugh, he is nothing if not persistent. he also has a way of wanting me to think that i have it so bad and that no one understands and i am all alone in this. this is where getting out among the "real world" can be tough, because i am reminded of all of these other people who do seem to have freedom....freedom that i have missed so much. fortunately, i am listening to klty on the drive there and God has a beautiful way of bringing me close to Him through song, and so my selfishness is diffused during that 14 miles and thankfulness seeps back in to where it belongs. i have so very much to be thankful for. so very much.
so, back to the whole point of this post......
i arrive at the doctor's office. i am a bit flustered because i am a tad late. just a tad, but enough to almost make me have to miss the appointment. my body doesn't handle stress well at all right now, so i was able to get to the office, (don't get me started about finding a parking spot and the loooong walk to the front door) and take a seat in the waiting room.
sit. calm down. relax. deep breaths. ah, sit and read about carrie underwood's wedding. she loves Jesus, read about that.
i took stock of the waiting room. i was, as i have often been these last few months, about 45 years younger than the rest of the patients waiting for their turn. i can't tell you how many times i have sat in a waiting room with me, my retired parents who have had to drive me everywhere...and then a number or elderly people waiting their turn and their young relatives waiting to help them. it's me and the old folks. it's almost become funny. not really though. almost.
so, after a few minutes of reading about carrie underwood, and her precious pink wedding, an elderly lady was entering the office and i jumped up (as much as i can "jump" up, mind you) to help her with the door. she smiled and nodded at me to thank me and i smiled back and said "you are more than welcome, ma'am"
then, within just a few minutes more, a sweet man came out of the doctor's office in a hover-round (which, over the last few months, i have learned to maneuver better than you would believe!) and as i saw that he was ready to exit, i hurried (again, perspective here) up to open the door for him. you wouldn't believe how hard it is to grab a door for yourself that opens inward if you are driving one of those bad boys. anyway....he smiled and thanked me and i, of course said "no problem, sir, have a great day, God bless you!"
after these two back to back door opener jobs, i went back to my seat and as i was headed back, a sweet older woman who was seated waiting her turn said kindly, "well, aren't you being so helpful today, young lady!" she sounded so very surprised and happy that i had helped these people. mind you, all i had done was open the door a couple times. but still, you could just tell she was impressed. i smiled and without really thinking, i said, "well, thank you ma'am, yes, well, i know how hard it can be to get around, i am happy to help!" we smiled at each other and then i sat back down to read. i looked up at her a few times, seeing if we would make eye contact, because i am always happy to carry on a conversation with a complete stranger, anytime, anyplace. but, she stared quietly at the floor and i respected her silence. besides, i was a busy girl, with two more door openings in the next few minutes. the sweet lady just smiled.
i was a little surprised at my response, and i am sure she was too. after all, i was the "spring chicken" in the waiting room. i am sure she thought "what in the world do you know about it being hard to get around?" sigh. boy did i.
the waiting room cleared out and it was just myself and my new "friend" and what i assumed was her daughter. then her name was called. they both stood up and the daughter gathered their purses. as they began to leave, i noticed that the older lady had forgotten her bottle of water under her chair. i stopped her and said, "ma'am, wait, you forgot your water." she thanked me and said, "you are just so sweet!" i smiled and said "no problem at all".
i couldn't believe it. it really struck me. what had i done?? honestly, it somewhat bothered me a bit. ok, so i opened a door for a couple people and i reminded a sweet old lady not to forget her water? is that not what anyone would do? i know i have been very much out of the loop lately...i have spent most of my days at home, in a doctor's office, in church..and, well, that's pretty much it....but has the world really gotten that much worse?? are things really that bad? i couldn't help but sit and wonder why this sweet old lady was so taken aback by these simple things i had done. it made me sad. but then happy too. happy that i was able to make her happy. thankful that God let me make her smile. oh how i pray that so many more people are kind to her. how hard is it to be kind? really?? it drives me absolutely BONKERS that people can't just be kind. in traffic. to their waiters, regardless of the service they receive. at the pharmacy. to telemarketers just doing their jobs. kindness....is it really that difficult? answer: NO!
as God would have it....as i was leaving my appointment, i walked down the hallway and got to the elevators and guess who was standing there waiting for the elevator? that's right...it was the sweet old lady and her daughter. i was sooo excited! i hurried (as much as i could!) to make sure we rode the elevator together. when she saw me, she smiled. the doors opened and we all stepped in. her daughter was giving her instructions and as we all got out, she told her that she was going on ahead to get the car and for her to wait right outside. i asked my new friend if she wanted to brave the "turny-roundy-door-thingy" (not sure the technical name for those types of doors, but you get the idea) because they can be tricky, or if she'd like me to just open the other door for her? she said, "young lady, you are just so kind!" i said "ya know, ma'am, God tells us to be that way, i'm happy to help you!" she said, somewhat somberly "well, i guess He does, doesn't He?" and i said, "yes, He does!"
i asked if she wanted me to wait under the shade with her until her daughter came, and she said, no, that she was fine, she would just wait and lean against the column. to be honest, i was feeling pretty wiped out myself, and without even thinking i said, "you know, i know all about having to lean like that!" she looked shocked and said "YOU?" and my face dropped, and i said "yes. me. ok, then, God bless you, take care."
with that, i was gone. i began my looooong walk in the 156 degree heat back to my car and before i had even hit row one in the parking lot- i lost it. i started crying. ugly cry, too. i passed two cute little pharmaceutical reps walking by, pulling their briefcase thingys that must have thought i'd lost my ever-loving mind. oh well, i probably have.
all of a sudden i felt all sorts of emotions.
still upset that such small acts of kindness had meant so much to this lady, why weren't more people kind in this world? i'm sure they are, in fact, i know people are, but i guess, not to her...at least not lately.
and dangit, i am kind, but what does it matter, i am stuck at home all the time, with no end to this ridiculous medical drama in my life in site...(just being honest)
happy that i blessed this lady in some small way
sad because i am stinking 31 years old and honestly, this lady moved better than i did
mad that i knew i drove that hover-round better than the guy who had clearly owned it a long time
why should i have to go through all this?
why should i look at this sweet 85 year old lady and be able to tell her i know what it's like to have to find a column to lean against??
frustrated that i am about to turn the calendar on yet another month and i STILL feel this way
so blessed to have gotten to be a part of talking about God to this lady and His loving kindness
thankful that He used me, even in such a tiny way
by the time i got to my car and my phone was ringing and i saw it was one of my best friends, i almost didn't answer it, but i did. boy, did she not know what she was getting into by calling me right then. but, then again, she is my friend, one of the best. so she's knows there is always a chance. :)
overall, i am good. i am thankful. so grateful when i look back at how very far God has brought me over these last ten months of this trial. i still cannot fully function in my normal life. so not even close. but He has brought me far. i must remember that. but sometimes i just can't help it when the emotions rush in like that....anger, thankfulness, gratitude, worry, joy, frustration, uneasiness, peace, faith, doubt....it seems unlikely that they'd all come together, but they do sometimes, one huge melting pot of emotions, and thankfully God knows them all. and loves me still. i am committed to stick by Him through this. it's really more of a hanging onto Him for dear life, clinging to Him, the only thing that can get me through....that is a more accurate picture.
and before you think i am "tooting my own horn" for being such an amazing person on this day. c'mon seriously.....i opened a door for a few people. you can't honestly think i would brag about that. if you think that is worth bragging about, then seriously check yourself. for real people :)
and while i have you....please go be kind. please. just do it. obey Jesus and act like Him. it is that simple. seriously. i will never forget what it used to say at the end of an old dc talk song, back in the day..."the greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians. who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and then walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyles. that is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable!" get out there and prove that wrong!!!! amen and amen.