As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gratitude 10--Finding My Way Back

When I posted about my shoulder on November 17th, I knew it might take quite a bit of time before I was able to post again. The pain I experienced was unbearable, and I knew a great deal of healing had to occur before I would be able to write again.

I had no idea that the return would be delayed further by emotional pain that at times would feel utterly unbearable and would require healing before I could write again.

As I sit to write this, I feel as though I am learning to walk again. Perhaps that is because I am. A different path has been laid out before me. To the casual observer, it might look like the same one, but to those who have walked here or have walked with me, it is obvious the path I thought I was one is merely a mirage. This one is laiden with landmines, heartache, and questions. Some days the very thought of it leaves me overwhelmed and heart broken beyond words. Other days, a determination to believe in the promises the Lord has repeatedly given forces me to keep moving. And on other, days that are coming more and more often, an excitement that this journey is not one of loss but one of joy, victory, and prosperity propels me forward with an anticipation that only God himself could put in my heart. It is on those days that I know we will not merely survive, but we will flourish, and we will teach others to flourish as well. The question then becomes how to walk this road, not the one I thought I was on or the one I hoped for, but this one. I confess that I don't know. I am learning.

My writing has always been about my journey, and with a new journey and learning to walk it, I find myself learning to write again as well.

On one hand, it is tempting to simply write as though as were well and nothing had changed. I could do that. I know how to perform well. I am quite adept of presenting a lie. I've done it for many years.

On the other hand, I am shakey as to what to say or how much to explain at this point. And frankly, I'm tired of the clouds that have settled over us for the last month. I am ready to see some sunshine, and the fastest road through the clouds is not denial, but gratitude. It doesn't fix things, but it certainly does wonders for one's hope during the journey. And so, I offer thanks.

Thank you God in Heaven...
1. For your forgiveness when I blow it huge.
2. For not walking away when I get mad and ask why.
3. For catching every tear and sitting with me as I cry.
4. For folks who say, "Yep, it's that hard."
5. For your faithfulness.
6. For your promises that are always yes and amen in you.
7. For being with us in the middle of the night when sleep eludes us.
8. For giving different kinds of "crazy" specific names.
9. For friends who pray fervently and love deeply.
10. For strategies to overcome.
11. For the determination to watch the enemy fall under our feet.
12. For the conviction that we can overcome and teach others to overcome as well.
13. For Debra who wouldn't let me be in denial. :-)
14. For people who prayed when all I could do was cry.
15. For laughter.
16. For Christmas.
17. For children who love this time of year.
18. For the 4th Writers, who offer grace.
19. For Mary B, who calls in reinforcements.
20. For Vicki, who googles and arms herself so she can stand with me.
21. For whoever had the great idea to put lotion in Kleenex.
22. That Anna's pathology came back with "Benign" on it.
23. That Robert's foot wasn't broken.
24. For Christmas songs that we can turn up really loud and sing to--even louder, of course.
25. That you never waiver.
26. For the hard times.
27. For the easy times.
28. For Christmas lights that transport us beyond...
29. For 60 dozen cookies that went to our soldiers in Iraq, and all the women who made them.
30. For peace.
31. For the 20%.
32. For knowing where I am and being with me...even when I feel I am having to find my way back.


sharilyn said...

welcome back! and thank you for your words of honesty. you are right in that it is gratitude which helps us get through the tough times...and adds bonus blessings to the good times.

i pray you will continue to heal...physically and emotionally... and i'm glad you're back!! :)

with love from CA...

Debra said...

Love this list!!!! Especially number 13. Love you bunches!

Jan Parrish said...

(((((h))))) praying for u as always.

Jerri Phillips said...

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

Jan,thank you for the long distance hugs!