Giving blood had not totally buckled my knees since my 20s. What happened?
I try to make sense of it all. My right arm hasn't been the same since after my surgery, when I became so dehydrated. I had cautioned the nurse to use my other arm. But she felt sure all would be fine. "The vein looks great," she said. She dug around a bit trying to get the vein to work before heading over to my left arm. I was the wrong person to dig.
My strength and arms began to feel a bit battered.
I couldn't stand up. My vision blurred, my hearing muffled. I scrambled for consciousness.
I'm escorted to a room across the hall to lie down.
So yeah, what happens when your life feels like a muddle mess?
I look across the room at my daughter sitting there with me.
I feel ridiculous. I'm looking straight into the eyes of a fourteen year old cancer survivor ... one who has to give her blood yearly to evaluate her body's progress, ensuring no signs of cancer ... one who smiles through it all. She really smiles. She giggles. She amazes me. I've never been that strong.
And I've been blessed to have had her sit on my lap through every single vial of blood drawn. That baby girl will never be too big or too old to sit on my lap. Yeah, that comment came from my grandmother.
The nurse walks in and gives me a sugar tablet. She places a cool cloth on my forehead. She fetches water. You know, I need ... a teaspoon of this, a teaspoon of that .... She marks in my chart that blood is never to be drawn from me unless I'm lying down. Bless her sweet heart.
My daughter waits patiently for my strength to return ... so we can leave. I, the pitiful mess I am, look her way ...
"I'm sorry," I say.
"It's okay, Mom," she replies. She smiles.
Seeing her endure cancer treatments throughout the years took my weakness and threw it into the waste basket. She made me stronger. Or so I thought. Lord, what has happened to me? Why am I so weak? Is this due to my recent health issues/surgery?
Yeah, what happens when life feels messy?
It wasn't always easy for her, you know. In those early days, we were never more thankful for bubbles and baby M&M's candies. And her favorite pink baby blanket named "Blanka." And prayer.
In those early days, there were tears. Being poked and prodded was scary to a tiny tot. And to me - for her and for me.
Being an eye witness - to the mess that crumbled our plans for her life, for her baby days - singed this heart.
When the heat's turned up, we must trust that the Lord, who made the universe and sustains all things, is capable of sustaining us.
We must trust that there is a plan for change. The kind of change that turns us inside out ... that disrupts our lives ... that takes us to our knees ... that mixes us up ... that forms us ... that shapes us ... that makes us whole ... that makes us more like Jesus. Father, thank for not abandoning us to ourselves.
And if we stick with God, we'll see over time that we are better. We are stronger. Maybe not physically but spiritually. We've been refined. We can rise and walk. And we become something beautiful. We become something worth holding onto ... something worth keeping ... something worth displaying ... something to make God proud ... something He can use.
When our muddle mess becomes something worth keeping, it's only then that we have something worthy of ourselves to give away.
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word" (Hebrews 1:3).