My friend Joyce always tells it like it is on her blog: Sounds of Hope. She's a trooper and has become the near pure fragrance of the Holy Spirit through a lot of refining; I have not. After some of her stories I just shake my head in amazement at that which a human can endure, especially one as kind and sensitive as she has become.
Today I am going to imitate her a bit, and be real about the my Christian life. Faced with some challenges since my hospitalization, the biggest one being that I need to get back to work, I have been shaken. Interestingly I suppose that isn't actually the biggest hurdle. Before me still looms recovery, one that is far more complicated than I ever thought. I have been in denial about the seriousness of my condition. In spite of the fact that two cardiologists, my primary care physician, and a number of nurses have told me "THIS IS A BIG DEAL AND IT IS GOING TO TAKE TIME," I have decided that I should be better than I am - I should have more energy, more enthusiasm, and a clearer mind.
I spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts, which is probably not the safest neighborhood. My mind has so many things to accomplish, and my body is resistant. I continue to try to do more than I should. I am supposed to "listen to my body", but without caffeine (which I can't have), it doesn't listen. I have doctor's orders and they don't fit my feelings or my lifestyle. They don't allow me a fast-track back to my old life. In fact today, I am certain something has changed; I have changed.
I was reading a web site about the emotional health of a post heart attack victim, me. It put names to the things I am feeling. I felt like a basket case before I finished reading the page. It was as good as a word from God, though.
Although I am what Jesus says I am, and I don't always believe the reports I get from doctors, I do listen. I think He knows more than they do. I'm just saying.
How does Jesus fit into all this? Well, when I read what I am experiencing (HERE), and it seems normal, I need to remember that Jesus is normal. In the end he suffered some pretty sever medical conditions and didn't give up. With his strength, each day, I get up at the regular time, I try to maintain a normal schedule, I do small chores that I can finish, I pray, I walk, I eat well, and I take the medication. I have had a hard time resting, and not over exercising. I made 3 miles on the treadmill 2 days before all this happened.
My friends say I was too busy, and that is why I got sick. I guess I don't know what busy is - I worked/commuted 50-55 hours a week, wrote 4 blogs, played in a band one evening, dated my wife one evening, did a few chores on Wednesdays, went to the gym 3 or 4 times, and participated in church. Too much? I don't know, it still seems normal to me. Life is for living.
Now I go out once a day because I am bored (I have driven all of about 350 miles for the month), I try to write a few blogs (I fortunately have a backlog of about 700 that I can remix), I walk a mile every other day, keep up with all the doctors and try to relax. It is a big span from where I am to where I was. With each task, I think, can't this be done some other day?
I am afraid that I won't be able to make a living like I once did.
When I was in the hospital, my pastor prayed for me, and I felt that the proof of my healing would be that my heart enzymes (released in a heart attack) would become normal. I actually saw some sort of picture in my spirit of that happening. I have faith for that, I do. I know I heard God.
In the midst of all this, Jesus also promised me that he would "redeem everything." Hearing from God is way cool, and vital to the peace that I do have. For me, although hearing from God always causes a dilemma: did I really hear Him, and do I have faith to believe it, to nah, that is just my wishful thinking. I am choosing faith in this promise.
Faith is serious business. It is not religious jewelry, but the turnbuckle that connects heaven to earth; the supernatural to the natural. Sometimes it fits the flow of life, and some times it is counter to that flow.
Well, you know God is awesome, right? As I typed the above bold sentence, I felt like I had more to say, but didn't have words to say it. I set a publish date for Monday, and forgot about it. I took a shower and was heading for the YMCA to do my tri-weekly mile. It was 5 minutes to nine, the Mother's Day breakfast in bed was a success, and I wanted to get to church for the 10:30 service. I heard the Lord prompt me, go to the 9 am service. I swapped my sweat pants for a pair of jeans and headed to the Vineyard. Mix-and-match gym/church clothes are awesome!
I sat through the acoustic worship, then a sermon on forgiveness - you know, the f-bomb. Both were introspective. I was in the lobby, getting ready to leave and one of the elders gave a word of knowledge. "There is someone here this morning with a weak heart that God wants to heal it." I didn't even hear him, but a woman that I know came and got me. I went up for prayer, and you know, I am now certain that my healing is on God's radar.
I heave heart enzyme tests next week.
How about you, have you had a life changing event, one you were never the same after? Tell us about it.