It is 4:29 in the morning and gratefully I am awake after five hours of sleep. God usually whispers “Come with me” at this time. This morning He and I will discuss the COVID-19 vaccination. Again. Our appointment is at 8:15. Today is the day. We comply with the government’s request to take this preventive measure.
No, I am not sure about this.
Our household of three had COVID in December of 2020. Of the three of us, I am the one with lasting side effects. My eyesight was weakened. I am also the one whose immune system and health history make me more vulnerable to take anything “experimental”.
For me the more the government pushes this vaccine the more I hesitate. Why?
Simple, no one can be trusted to speak the truth. Certainly not Dr. Falsely. (Misspelling intended). Nor the CDC or WHO. Neither can government officials. My own health care providers listen to my concerns and reply with the same assurances. Like every one is reading the same cue card. The risk is minimal, take the vaccine.
By nature I am a rule keeper. But, this time I am unsure. Let’s be frank, the whole COVID experience is fraught with too many questions and too few answers.
For all those assuring me the risks are minimal I wearily reply that they themselves have no idea what it is like to be in that small percentage. I do.
Herd mentality is aggressively pushing us to shut up and take the shot, get in line again and take it again. Oh, and be prepared to repeat the process in six months to a year. Wear a mask, wear two no three masks! How selfish to even think about non-compliance. I am not prepared to be an obedient cow on this. Are you?
What I am sure about is God not allowing evil to prevail. I am confident He knows the future and that He will walk me through whatever the outcome of this vaccine is for me. I am reminded that the moments and minutes I live and breathe right now at 5:18 in the morning are miraculous. I have been on the literal edge of death before and God chose to spare me for this morning.
He is trustworthy. By His very nature He is not a liar. When that needle slides into my arm later this morning I am sure that my Heavenly Father loves me and is with me. Plus, if He does not want me to take the shot He will clearly show me this too.
As much as I do not want to get political on this blog much in me longs to speak my truth, my perspective on a few things.
I am in mourning. Grief is again a daily companion. Since COVID hit, the pitiful displays of all areas of leadership, the loss of lives, the riots, peaceful riots turned anything but and the hatred tangible in our streets I have mourned the loss of America. It has stirred within me, its jagged edges bringing forth blood. It has wrapped its tentacles around my heart and threatens to drown me in vileness. With the future in question, (Would we even live through it?) there seemed no safe place but the arms of God. And my belief in Him could cost me my life and the lives of my family. How do I walk away from the core of my existence?
In my artistic eye I have a vision of a neglected graveyard where the headstones mark the icons that bring America to mind. I hope to turn it into a multi-medium painting. Meanwhile, as I emerge from grief and shock my question is, “What now”?
How do we salvage America? As our enemies foreign and domestic are circling like we are now the greatest feast ever in life?
Where are our leaders set aside by God already to lead us? Have people of good moral character, honesty and trustworthiness already passed from this planet? The lack of decent government at all levels is apparent. Even in our small town our mayor has been arrested for ethic violations and our city council does not have its populations needs on their radar.
People are believing what the all to powerful media “reports” even when lies and cover-ups are exposed in their own coverage. They are arrogant in their spread of false and misinformation. Journalism has become at the least a joke but truthfully a disgrace to their forefathers in the field. A thorn in America’s flesh. This group keeps doing what they do because the majority enjoys wading in the stench as it suits their agendas.
Hope is a bubble in my heart. Healing is a possibility but it will come at a personal cost for each of us. Our forgiving those who have hurt, threatened to harm, whose perspectives and beliefs are opposite of our own. We have to give up the idea of forcing people to behave in the way we want. Most of all we have to admit where we are drowning in a flood that we caused by dancing the rain dance recklessly. We can be a better America than what we are now. Who is with me?
“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Once in a church our family were members of a congregation that had been without a pastor for several months. Finally we called an evangelism pastor as a interim until God showed us who to call longer term. He was a fine preacher/teacher. Knew the Bible well. Was also gifted in what we needed as far as administratively went. He was with us for over a year. After three months I realized he was bringing us the same sermon every week with different scripture to support his words.
My first thoughts were why? Every Sunday he was preaching about how to become a new Christian. Our number of attendees was dropping. As I looked around I thought, who here needs to hear this? This pastor’s gift was evangelism. He was an evangelist. Was that why? Did he know this so well he was not comfortable elsewhere in the Scripture?
We left that congregation. Not because of the pastor situation but because we felt we needed more to feed our spiritual lives. It’s been 13 years. The pastor of our church home now presented a moving sermon on Easter. It was theologically sound. It was challenging. The response from those of us in the congregation consisted of one person who went forward to pray. Like at our former church I found myself asking, “why”? Plus thinking how discouraging it must have been to invest all that time studying and preparing a sermon and no response.
Before you ask why I did not go forward it is because by the time I manage to roll myself and wheelchair to the altar every eye is upon me. Plus, the time has slipped away to respond. Maybe others, like myself, respond where they are.
Then part of my own Bible study this week lead me to Acts 8:1-40, specifically verses 4-25. Philip has contact in Samaria with a magician, a sorcerer. By the world’s standard he was very successful. He boasted about how great he was. Many people followed him. He was a believer in his own reputation. When Philip begins to preach in the area, cast out evil spirits and perform miracles many people began to follow him. Including Simon. He counted himself a true believer in Jesus Christ. I believe Simon was attracted to Philip’s “magic” which he saw as greater than his.
Then Peter and John arrived and when the new converts were prayed for and the duo lay their hands on them while praying they received the Holy Spirit. Simon saw this. Another two men whose “magic” was greater than Simons. He offered Peter and John money to teach him how to do what they did. Peter very bluntly let Simon know he had no part in the ministry they were doing because his heart was not right with God.
Simon became a true believer.
How many of us are Simon’s? We believe we believe in God. We do all of the right things. We attribute our earthly successes to God. But, when the point blank question is asked of us we suddenly see the truth. We are like Simon, not true Believer’s at all. Our hearts core is unchanged.
Witnessing this cancel culture, morally declining, hate and cruelty, lying movement attempt to wash Christianity from our world is crushing to me. I second guess my instinctive actions and often do not act for the risk exists anything can suddenly be considered the wrong thing to do. People I counted as my friends I am suddenly unsure of. Between COVID and an increase in crime I no longer feel safe in our little, rural county. Laugh if you are inclined but the day when we have to choose to die for Christ or live for evil is fast approaching. Not because of my feelings but because the signs are all there.
Why is the pastor’s sermon falling on deaf ears? Is it him or you? Do we not yet understand we are supposed to take Christ beyond the church walls and without action within the walls how can there be change outside of them?
“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.'” Hebrews 3:12-15 NIV
“Taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.”
For the first time ever in 57 years I looked at a picture of myself and liked it. On top of that when those negative comments in my head mumbled the first word I shut them down. Yes, I can see this is not representative of beauty by the world’s standard but I decided to give myself a break.
This picture and my enjoying it takes back the shame of having to give up my front row seat to the doctor’s daughter because of their financial and social standings. It soothed the embarrassment of having to pretend I could not read because the teacher said my mother taught me wrong.
It replaces those feelings of “not good enough” when I was teased and even targeted to be shamed because of my weight. All the doctors who misdiagnosed me for over 40 years.
This picture closed the wounds of an abusive childhood that lead to my amputation.
For every Human Resources Director who told me they were sorry but they thought my skills were a perfect match to a job they could not hire me because they had to hire someone in another race category. While I added in my mind, “And fat.” This picture let that go.
My heart has carried so much for 57 years. I let God have it. Finally. I was not ashamed to give it to Him.
Yes, I looked at this woman pictured with her husband of twenty-four years, and gave her a break. I let her roll away from underneath all that baggage.
The woman in this picture deserves a real life for she has fought for it in ways very few know. Only she and God know and with one picture years were returned to her.
Not to say today will not have its own pain, struggles, victories. Jesus never promised life as a believer would be easy.
That is okay. More than okay. The me in this picture deserves to live the life that comes to her.
Cleveland Elementary School in Cleveland, Alabama August 1970. A newly fat, brown-haired, brown-eyed girl can barely contain her excitment about finally starting school. Back then kindergarten was not a requirement so first grade would be my first experience with formal education. Plus, I had been taught to read by my mama and although I did not understand why it was such a gift, I knew it was one.
What else would I be able to learn? I had no clue actually, but I was eager to begin. Mama and I walked into that classroom and the teacher tells us I can sit where I want. I choose the front row right in front of the teachers desk. I had high hopes for this woman before me.
Then a girl walks in, points at my seat and demands I let her have it. There were other kids there already but there were lots of desks left. Believe me, in my six-year-old mind I was not giving up my desk.
Before it became more than a flicker of a thought though my mother took my book bag, my hand and moved me to the back row, far corner, last seat. She hissed at me that the girl was the daughter of a doctor, they had money, who was I to take her seat?
Mama stayed with me a bit longer and then hissed at me again, “Do not upset the doctor’s daughter,”. Then she left.
It was not high on my list of things I wanted to do. I was puzzled. Though a part of me began to understand, I was not as “good” as the doctor’s daughter. But, the teacher was asking for our attention and the real school part was beginning. Hurray.
It took a while but eventually we got to take a book, sit in a circle and we were going to begin to learn to read. Nearly everyone could say their alphabet. Some could recognize the letters too.
For now we just looked at the page and pointed out our letters as she showed us what they looked like and read to us. She’d call on us one at a time to point out a letter. When she called on me I made the mistake of asking her if I could just read her the page.
Without her permission, Miss Eager Beaver who apparently needed another lesson about her station in life, took off reading a Dick & Jane book. Anyone familiar with the Dick & Jane readers know there are not a lot of words on a page, or more than two to three word sentences.
Faster than I thought an adult could move she snatched that book away pinching my fingers between the pages. Without explanation I was sent from the reading group. You guessed it, right back to my desk in the back row in the far corner to the last desk.
During recess Teacher kept me inside. She came back to my desk and managed to sit in the chair in front of me. “You can’t read,” she said.
I was confused. Had I not just read to her? “Yes, I can. My mama taught me.”
“No, you cannot, I have not taught you to read. You cannot read yet.”
I remember looking down at the floor. My six-year-old mind could not understand. Of course I could read. I read books with way more words than Dick & Jane. Why would this woman, who I thought held the key to everything, be telling me I could not do what I had been doing since I was four?
“You will never do what you did this morning again until I tell you I’ve taught you how to do it. Do you understand?”
“But, my Mama taught me…”
“And your mother taught you all wrong. You cannot read.”
I sat the rest of recess sitting in my corner with my head down on my desk. Of course, I cried. My cousin who was in class with me thought, as did the rest of the class, that I had done something wrong and had to stay in from recess as punishment. He went right home and told my aunt, who told my mother, who gave me a spanking.
When I saw my mother I was ashamed and afraid to tell her what the teacher had said. Maybe if she had asked me I would have, but she did not. She kept her and my father’s promise that if I got in trouble at school I would get double trouble at home, hence the spanking.
Now I feared if I did tell her she would get into trouble because I had told on her for teaching me to read. I never told anyone either until years later. Just my doll Tippy Toes, and she kept my secret.
Eventually the teacher informed me I could start to read words, but she kept the brakes on me. Maybe she thought I would appear to be a show-off to the other children? Maybe she did not know how to deal with a six-year-old who was already reading at a third to fifth grade level? I am sure she had her reasons. I am not sure any of them are good enough for what she robbed me of that year.
Where I had been excited about school I was now nervous. I had panic attacks at every test. Could not trust myself to believe I really knew the information. After all, I thought I knew how to read and it was a good thing and it turned out to be horrible.
I understood my station in life. It took one school year. One. Nine months. Afterall, was that not exactly the lesson I was taught? Turned out I was a good student.
In some ways, I am still that fat kid in the far corner, in the back row, in the last seat.
I cannot remember what that doctor’s daughter from the first grade looked like or what her name was though she taunted me for the entire school year. Is my memory void of small details for self-presevation or simply the fact we moved and I never saw her again? Or the result of getting older?
Nor can I remember my teachers name or appearance. I came back into possession of the yearbook from my first grade year when my mama died. I had no idea it even still existed.
Part of me wanted to look. Could I pick the girl out? Did I not want to see the teacher’s face? No. No I did not.
I simply threw it away. It held nothing I needed to remember. I remembered enough. The real story of my first grade year, the year I learned my station in life, was not recorded between those once white pebbly cover pages.
Often, I can hear God laughing at me. You know those kind of times, right? When I make my own decision, my own declaration and I sound like an over-indulged, spoiled person instead of the Daughter of the King, the Lord God Almighty.
A couple of Sunday’s ago our church began a witnessing focus where we were encouraged to pray for the one person God put on our hearts to pray for. Specifically for them to come to know Christ in a personal relationship. First, I confess I prayed and thought, “Okay, I am good. No one…”
Then God whispered a name. I groaned. Right there in church I literally groaned and began to argue with the Lord.
This particular person is someone I have prayed for on and off until last year for about a decade. Some things he has done there is pictorial evidence of. About a year ago he was arrested for allegedly physically abusing his young son. Understand this, at that point my heart was too hurt (knowing quite well the child involved as well as his other children) to keep the praying going.
God never said, “Donna you can stop”. I think He understood all the circumstances and gave me a brief reprieve. Now, this man’s name was being whispered in my ear.
“Are you sure that’s You, Lord? I mean, You know what this man has done. And IT IS CHILD ABUSE GOD. Surely You do not mean I have to start praying for him again?”
Again his name echoed in my heart.
Then the best argument against my praying for this one man I had, I thought. “But God, I do not think having me pray for him is in his best interest. All I’ve wanted to do for a year is smack the man upside his head with my big stick.”
For the third time God repeated His request.
I knew if I wanted to be in God’s will in this I was going to have to follow through with what God wanted. Around the lump in my throat (all those excuses/reasons I had to not pray for this young man) I submitted.
After day one I have not had any resentment praying for this guy. I do not recount his sins even those against people I love. Proof God is in this praying.
God is still laughing about the big stick though. (It is two 1/2″ dowel rods duck taped together at the end of one against the end of the other. I use it daily to reach things I can not get to from my wheelchair. Like the light switch.)
Let’s be honest. Christian or not, it is not easy to pray for people who you perceive as a threat to you, your family, your faith or your way of life. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. Sometimes it is the result of realities.
Finishing up my prayer time and Bible study time with God in these wee small hours of the morning and beginning to pray for another person it was hard to submit to doing, I hear God laughing. “Have we not been in this particular conversation before?”
“Well, yes God and I will do as You have asked. But, God, I do still have my big stick”.
Been thinking about elected officials a lot, especially the last two presidential elections. For the last 20 years as I have witnessed the caliber of candidates running for official offices I find myself asking “Who is their right mind would run for any office”? Especially for President of the United States. “Who is worthy of holding the office?” “Whose life, not just their own lives but their family’s and anyone else who knows them, can withstand the scrutiny?”
Should your life survive the search for dirt or any thing that could be blown up to be dirt it doesn’t matter. Your opposition, whether a person or a political party or the media, will gleefully invent one on you. Then these same people will never let the argument against you winning die. Ever.
No, I am not suggesting that just anyone should be able to be the President of the United States, a senator, a representative, governor, supreme court judge or dog catcher. These people in these leadership positions in our country should be men and women of integrity, honesty, sound judgment and whose life reflects wise discernment. They should also not be a person who has been on the wrong side of the law or who takes the law into their own hands. Their work and life should give them the experience to take what they know, listening skills, and a sense of right from wrong and put it to work for “we the people”.
Every person on planet Earth is a flawed human being. Because of that we cannot live perfect lives. Show me one man/woman who makes the claim they are perfect, never making a mistake or failing to exercise good decision making skills and I will show you a liar.
In John 8: 1-11 Jesus was questioned by the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who had brought a woman accused of adultery before him for his take on the matter.
“Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ ”
The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973, 1978; The Zondervan Corporation.
Who fits these qualifications? In the movie Courageous the dad whose young daughter was killed in an automobile accident asks a large congregation, Where are you men of integrity? Since it was a movie multiple men stood. Real life is not a movie and can not be scripted. My question though is still, “Where are you people of integrity? You people of character and sound judgment? Who will stand in the gap* for all American citizens and not be bought off?”
*”I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV)
The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1973,1978; The Zondervan Corporation.
Can we really ask for candidates and leaders who are perfect? In doing so we, if honest, would eliminate everyone before they signed the paperwork stating their intention to run for office. I have felt like I was casting a vote for the least of two evils for the last twenty plus years. Prior to those years I didn’t exercise good judgment when voting. Not quite understanding the connection between my vote and the weight it carried when it came to running this country.
For example, I remember voting for Bill Clinton once. Why? Because I agreed with his policies? Proposed ideas? No, he was a guest on Arsenio Hall’s late night talk show and he played the saxophone. I thought it was so cool that a president would be so “normal” so “cool”. I learned a powerful lesson in that thought process.
Where are candidates who possess character? (Character as in truthful, doing the right thing in a situation or standing up to the influence of evil to do the right thing.) Not character as in, “What a character they are” that everyone laughs and jokes about. The latter we have more than enough of!
Right now I can not name one politician that I would put my trust in. Not one. I try to understand people’s reasons for voting for someone and I end up shaking my head. Here in our state we elected a former SEC football coach to be a senator. He worked in the football arena for 40 years. But his coaching is not a record on which to base a political career. He was even a legal resident of Florida when he agreed to throw his cap into the senate race. This man was not qualified to run and yet because citizens of our state were sick of the one he was running against, the coach won easily.
A consequence of political games is that in the event of and aftermath of bad leadership American’s are sick and tired of games as usual. We have no one to truly trust. In the lack of someone standing in the gap for us, we are hurling ourselves off the edges of cliffs and there are no safety nets.
I repeat, “Where are those people of integrity who we need to help seek political office”? They will not be found trying to bully anyone with an opinion or way of life that differs from their own, They will not be found breaking into any thing, a federal, state, city or personal piece of property. They will not be found setting fire to businesses. They will not be found murdering anyone whether in seemingly righteous anger or any other kind of anger. They can not be found among criminals. They cannot be found in abusing the power of any badge or office. They cannot be found if among those who have no respect for all life.
These are all things that in my opinion alter our appearance, often drastically. Or leads other people to believe we are not who we actually are. Perhaps not singularly as much as multiples of them in/on the same person.
Picture with me two people, complete strangers, meeting somewhere sharing a meal, chatting and exchanging phone numbers. Or maybe sharing this special date via Skype or some similar program. Time passes and eventually they physically meet and are alone. Can you see the surprise when Person A begins taking off all the artifical? By the time Person B has a look at the real Person A they do not know whether to stay and get to know this “new” person or run for the nearest Uber driver.
Or maybe when Person A gets finished with their reveal Person B begins theirs?
As members of the human race we go to a lot of work and spend a lot of time and money covering up what we look like. Denying even who we really are. Technology, inventors, scientists and some doctors have spent a lot of time helping us. What other “good things” could have been discovered while all these intelligent minds were rushing products to the shelves to help us hide. What good could have come from that time and effort being invested into other areas?
I know, I know, you want to look your best. Who honestly can even think its an even playing field when some humans are “born beautiful.” All the well meant and best intended advice that “you are beautiful where it matters, on the inside” does not usually translate into a date any night of the week. Looks also matter in the employment field. That or the money to be connected and so you can name drop or smile your way into a great job.
Do not all these things we do to ourselves give us equal opportunity? No. That’s a 100% honest and unvarnished piece of truth. There are hundreds of things that can keep someone from having the “big success” in career, social life, marriage, social economic status. Looks is one of them. All these items to alter your appearance? To project a person you are not on the inside? Do they help? Maybe. Depends on the people you are trying to impress. Then I question who is this person so turned by a pretty face or a fat checking account or a well known surname?
Then you spend even more time keeping up the image, pretending everything is perfectly okay, you are on top of every square inch of your world. With each second that ticks and tocks away deep down you are constantly see-sawing between all you have created to be you (the lies) and who you are (the truth).
Regardless of how much “magic” one manages to purchase to give them opportunties that felt to be impossible one thing is status quo, inside you are who you are. Sure, you can change bad habits, diet, get more education, move up the financial and social status ladders but those aren’t “quick fixes”. These changes require hours and hours of determination, dedication, hard work, scarifice and money.
How long before the artifical changes are revealed as just one big lie? Come on, admit it. Do you know who looks back at you from that mirror? The one you do a mental checklist in before you go out into the world?
The illusion is even easier to pull off for a longer time with the internet and especially the pandemic going on across the world. We are becoming faces behind a computer screen instead of flesh and bone people.
Counting myself as an “ugly girl” my offense in the artifical “not me” would be when I had the funds I had gel nails and I’ve worn a wig a couple times. Once to hide damaged hair from medical issues and yes, once to gain more attention at a Navy Officer’s Club in my 20’s. (Yes, I know how that wig worked it’s magic. It had a life of its own. It became my identify.) I got tired of that wig though. Tired of keeping up the pretense the intensive curly long mane screamed I had become.
Then I got tired of the second wig because it was so hot in humidity ripened 100 degree weather. Even though this time it was a much more day-to-day, much shorter wig I put it in a box tucked away somewhere.
A lack of funds meant a choice between artifical nails or bills getting paid, so the nails went to the by-way.
Honestly, too I am thinking of again wearing a wig and with medication ruining nails I once could grow for myself, I long for them too. For what reason? Fifty-six or not, I still want to look in the mirror and see a woman with hair. Not splitting or breaking a nail picking up a paperclip would be wonderful too. Maybe that’s why everyone else does it too. Medical reasons. Keeping a spouse happy (dangerous reason). It just makes you happy.
Either way it saddens me to witness the great by-pass of true realness. We joke about it. The 6’2″, well built, ruggedly handsome man on the computer screen turning out to be a 5’6″, pudgy man living in his parent’s basement. Or the incredibly beautiful female with perfect skin, hair, nails, clothes and body shape who really looks like the average woman with fussy hair, not-so-perfect body and a chip in her nail polish now and then. For just a few seconds lets forget all our reasons for being artifically attractive. What does this drive communicate?
What does it say to our daughters? What lengths are we teaching them to go to in order to “have a partner/companion”? What are we showing our sons to measure a woman by? Are we showing our children that whatever it is we are trying to “overcome” in our lives it is something or someone elses fault?
What are we saying to society as a whole? Do whatever it takes to level that playing field? Better yet put yourself in a higher position to catch the prize and if you haul tons of grudges, hatred and anger with you so what? Does it matter if you crush anyone you came upon? Once you are on top you will be kind then? Life is never going to be all the same for everyone. Everyone’s mind, physical make-up, soul and hearts are not the same. Everyone’s motives are not the same. Are we human beings or have we been replaced by some yet unknown artifical intelligence?
It reminds me of faternity and sorority hazing. Whenever I would ask a full fledged member why the degredation, humilitation and pain were necessary to become a “brother or sister” I got bluntly honest answers. Bottom line always came down to, “I went through it so they have to do worse. I suffered so now they suffer even more.” Never have understood that. Not sure I ever will. If every pledge group is treated more harshly than the previous as some revenge or payback how long can it continue?
These events in a persons life I believe reveals their true self.
Being in a situation where your dying is the likely outcome.
Having the opportunity to make a change and doing it. Will you treat everyone you perceive as mistreating you the way you want them to treat you?
Becoming a parent.
Standing before God for judgment.
Why bring your attention to such a trivial matter? Who really cares if humans “fake” a bit, it is not hurting anyone right? I propose it is.
I can not feel satisifed with myself if I am constantly seeking something else I can add, raise, suck out or tuck away on my body. I only feel that okayness with who I am and what I look like if I have aligned my heart with God the Father. There are times when I question who I am, what I look like and how much more my medical issues will take from me. I learned the hardest way possible that when we let our careers define us, when they are who we are the time will come when that career will be stripped from you. Its a hard crash to come back from. But, God is always there. I am being me in this un-me world.
What if we deverted 10% of the time we spend in make-believe to spending time with God? To telling others about Jesus the Way of Life? To being a witness for all God has done for you?
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:9-11:
"For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am who I am and his grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."
The Holy Bible, New International Version. 1973, 1978 by International Bible Society. The Zondervan Publishers
Let’s try being who we are in the grace of God. Maybe then we can make the changes in this world so needed if we can do a couple things. Be honest about who and what we are and taking care of our business instead of other peoples.
Fifty-six is not a terribly high number. A lot closer to sixty than I want, but still, not bad. Right? My own mother passed away when she was fifty-four. Given my health issues and the number of times my husband and I have been told I probably would not make it through the night alive, fifty-six is a gift.
In December of “the year that shall not be spoken” our daughter got COVID-19 on her job as a health care worker. Then her father and I did too. Our daughter is 19, healthy and aside from feeling bad she recovered quickly. It hit my husband and I much harder. Between the two of us, I was the sicker one although none of us had to be in the hospital. (Sincerely, thank You Father!)
Finally “recovered” I looked in the mirror, down at my hands and my one foot left after the amputation and recoiled in disbelief. Who was this old woman staring at me with wide eyes and mouth agape?
Where had these gray hair come from? No kidding, they were not there three weeks ago. The flaky skin? The hands covered with hundreds of little wrinkles? After I inventoried every part of me I had to face the harsh truth, my body had a parade march across it and every thing left its mark.
I have never been a girly-girl but I enjoyed the times putting on the glitz and bling felt wonderful. Now, I am not kidding COVID-19 took ten years and added it to my face and hair.
Do I start wearing a wig again? Good option but they are hot in summer. Wigs provide “more hair”. My own thinned out in 2004 when I was incredibly sick (and the doctors kept promising it would grow back in) and COVID took more. So having more coverage is good.
Another option is hair color. It is an option that is going to require constant maintenance and it will not thicken my hair. Although I could go blue except for the bleaching of my hair which would damage it further.
This far I’ve been battling the flaky skin with exfoliating scrubs all over and tons of the best moisturizer and rehydration creams I can afford. Looks like a change in foundation (make-up) is also required. The one good thing about having to wear a mask when outside is that I do not have to line or use lip color on my lips surrounded by fine lines all of a sudden.
Yet, the saddest damage is to my heart. Just as quickly as COVID-19 invaded our household the feeling I am only a shell of the woman I was took residence in my mind and heart. This is going to sound even sillier than anything else I have shared but I am mourning things lost that have been gone for a decade or more. Like having a biological child. There is no need to imagine the look on the face of my face when the lab reports a positive pregnancy test anymore. Or the faces of my husband and daughter!
Passion seems to be a faded memory as well. Understanding those complicated relationships I always thought I would get later in life when I was “grown-up” does not seem to be happening either.
The good news is that aside from the health issues I knew about before today, my new doctor (my doctor of 20+ years retired when I had COVID) was pleased with how I am handling my health. Yes, I do have a few COVID “leftovers”. My left eye has a bit of black spot in the first half-hour/hour when I wake up. There is fluid build-up in my ears that causes me to hear things differently than they are said. (Or maybe my family needs to stop mumbling?)
My heart though still looks at myself and thinks, “Who is this woman with my mind, heart and soul but with all this gray hair, flaky and dry skin and fine wrinkles”?
Stick around and when I figure it out I will clue you in!