Thursday, September 26, 2013

Good Will

Lot's of changes happening in my world lately.  As things have been happening I thought that I wasn't prepared for all of this, but I have started to realize that sometimes you just have to go through it to realize you are.

I have always been very honest in my writing, and I will tell you what is going on.  My health went on a sharp decline in the last few weeks.  My pain continually increases, as well as the weakness and fatigue.  I use my cane daily and we have had to move a bed onto the first floor so I am able to rest during the day yet still be able to be a part of the household.  Jeff has taken a leave of absence from his job to take care of me and the kids, and we recently found out that my liver is not functioning as it should.  Because of all of this, we are enrolling Joey, and possibly Anthony, into a Christian elementary school for now.  At this point, I am going to doctor appointment after doctor appointment and resting in bed in between.  Public school was never an option for me, but this great Christian Academy met with us and they offer discounted tuition for pastors and are helping us out even more because of my health.  I want to do what is best for my kids right now, and so I am doing something I did not foresee ever doing.

Ok that is a really long paragraph up there, lol.  I promise you I was not hiding anything from you.  I am one of the least dramatic people on the planet- I roll with life and hardly anything ever rattles me.  As I have gotten weaker and after the liver tests came back, I really have not though to mention it that much because I am not particularly concerned right now.  Yes my life has dramatically changed, but all in all there are still a lot of things that can be causing my liver to fail and also cause some of my other symptoms I haven't mentioned.  And until we find out what they are, I see no need to really take an issue with it.  I will admit, going to the Christian School today upset me a little bit, and I am struggling with making the best choice for my kids.

But all in all everything I have done in my life and all the years I spent serving God have all prepared me for this time whether I realize it or not.  The other night Jeff and I found an old edited copy of Good Will Hunting that I bought for him back in college.  There used to be this really cool website where you could order any movie and they would edit out all sex scenes and swear words...anyway, we were watching Good Will Hunting and there was a scene where Robin Williams sits down with Will and basically gives him a lecture.  He was lecturing Will- a smart mouthed, cocky young guy- about how he doesn't know as much as he thinks.  Robin Williams says "You're an orphan aren't you?  Well if I have read the book Oliver Twist, does that mean I know everything about you?  How you feel?  What you went through?  Who you are?"  It was a great scene and very, very true.

Reading about something does not make you truly understand something.  You can read about nerve pain but until you feel it yourself you cannot know what it's like.  You can read all about how financially difficult it is to take off work to care for a sick spouse, but if you've never done it you cannot truly grasp the stress.  You can learn about the emotional stages of illness but until your whole life shuts down and you watch someone else care for your kids, you cannot truly appreciate the sacrifice and emotional turmoil that goes with it.

Likewise, you can read the Bible.  You can sing worship songs.  You can recite prayers.  But until you actually live out the Word...until you actually sing from the depths of your pain...until you actually pray with every tear-filled breath you take, you cannot fully understand who God is in your life.  I have been prepared for such a time as this.

This is a season in my life.  This may take my life.  Either way, I am right where He has me...and I don't just know that intellectually.  I know it personally.  And that is because I know Him personally.

I am not saying I think I am going to die...honestly I don't give it too much thought either way because I am not dramatic and because it doesn't really matter.  I have lived my life not just knowing, but LIVING the truth.  I have served God wholeheartedly, taught my kids the goodness of the Lord, and walked every step in the way I feel He has guided me.  So when a time like this comes and tries to shake me- it fails.  It fails miserably.

Listen, I have my days.  I have my days where I get down and I get sad and I wish my family were not going through this.  But most of the time I know that no matter what the outcome, He not only has foreseen it, but allowed it.  And because I know the goodness of my God, I know it is a part of something that is bigger than me.

My plan?  Listen, my honest plan is to find the cause of the liver issue and fix it.  Then I plan on working on a few other symptoms I have and getting those in line.  After that I plan on working with my neurologist to get this nerve pain under wraps with the right medication.

Then I plan on living my life again.

So that's what has been going on.  This is the update.  This is the asking for prayer for me and my family.  This is the THANK YOU for everything so many of you have been doing for us.  This is also it on the subject for a while.

Unless something truly major happens, I need to slow this train down and start talking to you about other things- because yes, there are other things.  Maybe I do not actually have a lot else going on right now, but the heart has no limits.  For example, I have a nice surprise coming your way in a few weeks and I am so excited to finally tell you!  You know my awesome friends Chris and Jennifer Niles...well, I am going to be taking a train out to PA to meet them in two weeks!  To say I am excited is an understatement.  In fact, with my health being so bad I have almost been forced to cancel...but Jeff and I are really praying that I stay strong enough to be able to go.  I am taking a train and only going for a couple of days, and as long as I am honest with Jeff about how I am feeling that day, he has agreed to let me go.

When I first "met" Chris I was sick, but still living my life.  Now six months later to the day, I will be meeting him in person- and it couldn't be happening at a time I need it more.  I want to meet them.  I want to laugh with them.  I want to watch Chris handle his wheelchair and live his life.  I have become such good friends with Chris and his wife, I feel as if we are family.  In fact, I may just ask for Jen to adopt me as a cousin- she has a lot, so nobody will notice an extra one!

I guess what I am saying is that life is going to go on.  No matter what happens, life moves forward.  And when you have been living your life for something greater than yourself, you find the strength you need in the times you need it.

**By the way, if you have messaged me lately and I have not written back I am sorry!  I have been very busy with doctor appointments and I sleep a lot.  I try and pop online in quick spurts, but do not spend a lot of time on.  Also, and I hope you understand this, sometimes when going through things you just kind of step back a little bit- I love you all very much and I am not meaning to ignore anyone.  I am simply navigating new waters and sometimes I need to take a break to work through it.  Thank you for understanding. **

1 comment:

  1. Oh Ashley, it is so hard to hear what you are going through. But, you do have a very positive view of it and THAT is awesome. My heart breaks as I watch you write about the sadness you feel in sending your children off to school. Please let me assure you, it is a WONDERFUL place. It is not being home-schooled with Mommy, but it is so loving and caring and nurturing.... (Plus my two are very happy to have two more of their former classmates with them .) I am continuing to pray for you and the family.