Monday, November 19, 2012

Healing and a CURE

Yesterday was an interesting day all around.  Busy again, at the very least, but a lot of emotions (good ones, mostly) running through the day.  Both days this weekend I woke up early--too early--and couldn't fall back to sleep.  I think it was around 6am Saturday and 5:45 Sunday.  This morning was 5:30, so I don't think I really like this trend.  Not sure what the deal is, as I'm comfortable and not particularly anxious.  I'm totally wide awake, too, but I'll admit it's annoying.   However, yesterday I took it as a sign.  We had an event to go to at 11am, which would cut it too close to our normal church time.  So, I figured that if I was up in time and not exhausted, I'd make an effort to go to the early service at our church, which I'd never actually been to before.  It's a more traditional service and it's rare that I'm willingly up and out of the house that early on a weekend.  Normally Craig would come as well, but I knew getting him up that early would be asking a lot given the activities later that day.  Anyway, waking up early obviously wasn't an issue yesterday, and even Jacob was up relatively early.  I made an attempt to get him ready as well, since he seemed to like the idea of going with me instead of going off to Sunday School, but when I figured out that church was actually 15 minutes earlier than I originally thought, I couldn't quite get him ready in time and left him home.  Ultimately, I think there was a purpose in that, as it turned out that I needed that solo morning very badly.  I think Jacob's presence would have infringed on it a bit and I wouldn't have had quite the focus and clear mind that was needed to properly appreciate it.

I got into Craig's car and turned on the Christian station (K-Love) because I know it's an easy preset on Craig's radio.  I was driving along, my first time behind the wheel since the accident, and it occurred to me that going to church was extra important for me on that particular day..  I don't know how to describe it other than to say that I just needed to hear whatever God had to tell me.  Last week was pretty hellish (despite all we still have to be thankful for) and bad stuff like that just doesn't seem to make sense most of the time.  Why was I in that place at that time?  Why did I have to put my safety and the baby's safety at risk?  Why do I now have to spend a lot of extra money fixing this situation, when we're already approaching another financial challenge (more daycare and diapers)?  I just wanted to hear something, anything, that would make any of this make sense.  I'm not normally like that, either, but I was just desperate for something.

As I was sitting at a light, the DJ came on with a verse of the day...Matthew 11:30, which says, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  I don't even know if they read the two verses before that, because all I really needed to hear was that one, but for context, they are, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Pretty much immediately I teared up.  I don't know what did it...whether it was the idea that God could take this burden and make it lighter, or whether in the grand scheme of things our burden should have been so much worse (due to sin) and (thanks to Jesus' sacrifice) the trials I'm facing now are small in comparison...but ultimately, it didn't matter.  It was something I needed to hear, obviously.  I teared up pretty bad for the next couple minutes before forcing myself to compose myself so I didn't look like a total mess walking into church.

I had a couple moments in church as well (it is ever possible to sing "Amazing Grace" without a hint of emotion?), mostly surrounding the notion of God's grace and how it brings us out of even the worst circumstances into His arms.  There was communion, as well, and even that had an added element of thankfulness and emotion involved in it this week, perhaps a sort of cleansing, if you will.  It was good to be there, for sure, and I came home from it all feeling just a little bit lighter.

Once I got home, we headed out to an event involving one of Craig's clients, CURE Childhood Cancer Association.  They support families of kids with cancer.  Craig has done a lot of fundraising events for them via the Knighthawks for years, and he was bringing out the mascot and a player to their big "Recipe for a CURE" event.  There were hundreds of people there and it was a brunch event with live and silent auctions.  Basically, there were food stations galore--a pregnant woman's dream!  They had stations with omelets, waffles, salads, seafood, carved meats, pasta, breads, crepes, pancake-like puffs, candy, and assorted desserts, much of it custom-made by chefs at each station.  A-MAZING.  The food was fantastic.  They had "kid chefs" at many of the stations, and they were some of the kids the organization helps.  Omelets were the first things we got, and the girl who put our chosen ingredients into a cup to pass down to the chefs was a beautiful 14 year old with big eyes, lots of makeup, long fake eyelashes...and a bald head under her chef's hat.  She's been fighting cancer since March.  I also had a five year old boy make me up a cupcake--totally not according to my specifications, but we were all laughing too hard to really care!  It was really an amazing event...and not just because two people practically dueled it out to the death (of their bank accounts) for possibly the cutest puppy ever that was being auctioned off.

Seeing the profiles of these kids up on the screens and seeing them helping out in person really added a whole different perspective to life as we've known it over the past few days.  Yes, we've had a rough few days, but they could have been scarier and far more tragic than they were.  But our kids (both of them) are healthy and this whole mess will more or less be over within a week or so (aside from the 4-5 unplanned years of car payments).  We're not facing months or years of cancer treatments.  We're not facing the possible loss of a child.  We're not watching them endure horrible, painful side effects.  We're not making a million life adjustments to make room for doctor's appointments or hospital stays.  Many of those kids are younger than Jacob and are facing a lifetime of health issues.  I just can't even imagine.  I have college friends whose three year old daughter had a tumor removed from her spinal cord near her head, and while I don't know for sure that it's cancerous, she's still facing radiation and chemo as part of a treatment study to ensure that she's cured for good.  It's going to be a long road for them, and each time I read one of their Caring Bridge updates, it just hits home how lucky we are.  They are committed Christians so they definitely have a fantastic attitude about it, all things considered, but it's still such a burden to bear.  It makes mine look like nothing.

Although I was stuffed to the gills and incredibly tired by the time we got home, I had to head back out for round two of car shopping.  I walked into the dealership that's closer to us and literally said, "I have two questions--do you have a Corolla in stock in Tropical Sea Metallic, and can you beat the other dealer's price?"  They didn't have my crazy color choice in stock, but they did beat the price, so hopefully within the next week or so I will be the proud owner of a teal-ish green car that I've never actually seen the color of in person...but it looks promising!  I just have to wait for the insurance check, make some decisions about funding, do a couple other housekeeping things, and wait for the car to make its way to the dealer.  It's still going to be a crazy week, particularly with the holiday, but at least I only have to drive five minutes there instead of 20. 

Oh, and I also got a haircut while I was out.  But needless to say, by the end of the day yesterday I was spent.  Between the emotions early in the day, going to the brunch, dealing with a difficult Jacob prior to his late nap, buying a car, a stressful week, and a generally long weekend of errands and too little sleep, I was falling asleep in my chair by about 7pm.  I recovered enough to get some laundry done, read some of the newspaper, and head off to bed early.  Thank goodness for a three-day work week. 

Oh, and one more little interesting moment today...I picked up my rental car this morning, and as I was installing Jacob's carseat, I realized that the radio in the car was already set to K-Love, the same Christian station I was listening to yesterday morning.  The odds of that have to be pretty slim, considering it's not exactly most people's first choice.  It was a good reminder that God's with me through all of this, and that He was already with me in the car, ready for the stressful first drive back on the highway. 

Also, I just did the math, and I'm figuring that despite having two accidents on the same stretch of highway, I've probably traveled that stretch about 3,000 times during the morning commute alone (not counting numerous drives to sporting events, shopping or other things).  That means I've only had incidents there during .06% of the driving I've done there.  Add in those other events and it's probably closer to .05% all-time.  Ultimately it's still an issue of "wrong place at the wrong time" no matter what the odds say, but those odds are pretty tiny and I need to focus on the fact that I've had plenty of good commutes in the meantime, just to remind myself that I can.  I'll be extra careful, though.

Let's hope I can manage a low-stress week and enjoy the holiday to the fullest...     

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