Monday, July 28, 2008

Bitter or Better?

(Editing note: Post written late Sunday night into Monday morning.)

This morning while thumbing through the notes in my Bible I noticed a quote I had jotted down....I'm assuming from our pastor......that said,

"Suffering (trials, hardships) can make you bitter or better."

When I looked at the quote my thoughts shouted..... "Well, this week it's definitely not better, it's most definitely bitter." And honestly that's where I've been lately....bitter.......working through it....fighting against it...but none-the-less....bitter......HOWEVER.....today.... God, in his perfect timing, shows me how this disease and this trial can make me better.

We heard news today of a girl in J.J.'s Sunday School class who's appendix had ruptured and was in the hospital. My heart ached for this family, and I wanted to go right away to the hospital to visit. Eight months ago, I wouldn't have thought of doing that at all. But now......now my heart aches. Now I have mercy and compassion and understanding. And you know what.....so do my kids.

I sat through the church service with my heart pricked, but wondering how to approach my older girls......their plans would have to change, they would have to give up their afternoon. How would they respond? Would I get a little whining or complaining?

To the oldest: "I think we should head to the hospital to see Anna."

She responds enthusiastically: "Oh, most definitely, we should go."

We let my next oldest know......she's all for it.

We gently let J.J. know....I wasn't sure how he would respond....going to a hospital again. But he was totally fine with it. He wondered what she had, and how long she would have it etc. On the way he asked if Anna was at "HIS" hospital. She was actually just a few rooms down from where HIS room was. In the room he was a little chatterbox, telling Anna about his pokes, and his experiences and tons of other topics. The mom had never heard J.J. talk so much.

Visitors were such a huge encouragement to us while we were in the hospital with J.J., so today... hopefully...... we were able to encourage Anna and her Mom.

Eight months ago......we would've gone home after church...........

TRIALS CAN MAKE YOU BETTER......

Jump ahead to this evening.........

We have a neighbor girl who was recently diagnosed with JA.....Juvenile Arthritis. When I heard of her diagnosis my heart ached for the family....and the mom in particular. Any disease with the word JUVENILE in front of it is hard to swallow.....usually my head screams "THIS SHOULDN'T HAPPEN TO A CHILD (aka JUVENILE)!!"

Anyway......

The mom stopped by this evening to discuss a dog vs. chicken situation......but it was the first time I've seen her since I heard of the diagnosis.... so we got to talking. INSTANTLY there was a recognition and connection that permeated the discussion where she could feel how I must've felt with J.J.'s diagnosis and I could feel how she must've felt with her daughter's diagnosis.

Her daughter's disease is classified as an auto-immune disease. She has the most severe kind there is, which will entail a lifetime of medication. Her future is positive, living in the year we live in, yet it's still unknown exactly how it will manifest in her daughter, or the eventual outcome. She mentioned crying a lot, yet maintaining composure in front of her children. She talked about the process of trying to obtain medication....the cost of medication.....insurance woes....

Does any of that sound familiar? It may be a different disease, but the heartache, the fears, the trials are so very similar. And so we comforted one another......

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."~~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Eight months ago I couldn't comfort......

DIABETES CAN MAKE YOU BETTER.....





5 comments:

kkonmymind said...

wonderful post - thank you. You brightened my day :)

Penny said...

Thank you for putting a positive spin on things.

I too have found that since Riley's diagnosis my heart aches even more when I hear of a child's sickness. Not only do I feel bad for the child, but I also know first-hand how the parents feel.

About a year after Riley was diagnosed I was at a basketball game at school. A mom there saw me dosing him with his pump. She mentioned that her daughter had Juvenille Arthritis and all the shots and things she had to take. There was an instant connection. Her daughter was doing well at the time and was playing on the basketball team.

A few months later that same girl got lymphoma from the very medicines that were supposed to make her better. I felt horrible about it. She is in remission now, but can no longer take the meds she was taking before so her JA has gotten worse.

That verse from Corinthians in one of my favortie verses. I believe everything happens for a reason. All we have to do is have an open mind and heart so that reason might be revealed to us.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Very powerful post Lynnea, thank you!

Donna said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lynnea. That scripture is a good reminder for all of us.

k2 said...

Lynnea -
Wonderful post, thank you so much for writing it!

The connection that we feel with others who walk in out shoes is amazing and is such a positive force in our lives.
k2

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