It’s Monday, and I ought to have been refreshed, rested, ready to take on the world on a Monday morning – and I guess I was in a way, because I did get to spend Saturday doing laundry and cleaning my house really well, (really, really well – like, I washed every baseboard in the whole 1000 square feet I reside in). Yep. But man oh man, did it ever feel good to sit down in the evening after a bubble bath and enjoy my hard work!
And I did get to have lunch with a group of ladies after church, and a visit in the afternoon from two of my close friends. So, I should feel rested and ready to go on Monday morning, right?
But it’s amazing how much the junk in my life will try to sink me… I felt emotionally exhausted today, beginning very early this morning. Then, an email came commenting on a blog I wrote last night about my busy month of March, saying how perfect my life seems, and how happy they are for me.
And I AM happy, and I do feel purpose in my life, and I do have joy on most days, but I’m about as human and imperfect as the next person. Oh, I’m soooo not perfect, and neither is my life.
Then my young patient gave me the biggest hug. I didn’t realize I needed that hug, until she hugged me – but I really, really needed it. It actually reminded me of how NOT perfect my life is.
I am normally pretty chatty on the way home from work with my friend April, but tonight, I just couldn’t wait to get home so I could cry. Sometimes, it just feels good to cry. Sometimes, a hug is like a key that opens up your heart so that you CAN cry!
My life’s not perfect – and I have always tried to be pretty transparent in my blogs, but maybe I’ve failed at that. Oh gosh, where should I begin? Hmmm.
Well, my throat hurts for starters, and the IRS still hasn’t cashed my check and it’s almost April 15. My back is killing me, and physical therapy starts tomorrow evening. I’m not sure how much help it’s going to be – it’s “degenerative” after all, and I’m also not looking forward to getting home after dark. I’m old and I’m tired, and I just like to come home after work. I’m exhausted thinking about it. And my shoulder hurts, and my ribs still ache since that last triple sow cow, double axel jump I did March 10 at work.
I’m still pretty new at the job, still memorizing chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs, and getting immersed in oncology (all new stuff to this old ICU / hospice nurse). My brain hurts. I’m tired. I miss Rory and Holly and the grandkids during the week, I’m not sure when I’m going to get any time off to get to Colorado to see Ian and Hayley, and with these gas prices, flights have skyrocketed. Argh.
I have a real estate license I rarely get to use, and wonder if I’ll ever get to use it again. I have a family that is as dysfunctional as anyone else’s (but I love them, just like you love yours), I weigh too much, talk too much, regret some of the decisions I’ve made in life (like not staying in the Army for the 2nd 10 years, and retiring), and I sometimes wish I hadn’t left my old neighborhood where I knew everyone and everything around me was so familiar and convenient. I rarely get hugged (single people never get touched or held – so when you hug someone single and they don’t let go right away – now you know why). I feel like a lousy daughter because my sister takes such good care of our mother, pretty much all by herself, I miss my brother and he lives too far away, my heart aches to be back in the ICU at Beaumont, and I still after all these years get horribly homesick to be living back in San Jose.
I love Jesus, and I know He loves me, but I need to hear sermons like I heard yesterday so that I’m frequently reminded that one day God is going to make everything right, and that He hears me when I cry out to Him feeling betrayed or hurt, because I frequently feel abandoned lately. I need to be reminded that I am forgiven, and sometimes, I need to be reminded that people will not get away with some of the really hurtful things they say and do – over, and over, and over. He knows.
When my young patient hugged me today, she prayed for me. She always does that. She’s so sweet. And as she left the unit, an older gentleman shook his head and said to me, “She’s so young. This isn’t right. It makes me sad. Old people are supposed to get cancer – not young people.”
But that’s not true. This world is broken, and you don’t have to be a Christian to know that. And unfortunately, young people get cancer. And so help me God, they all walk in to get their chemotherapy with a smile on their face, and they remember my name even when I’m just learning all of theirs! And they ask me about my grandchildren, and what I’m going to have for dinner, and how far I have to drive to get home, and if there’s anyone there waiting for me. I haven’t got a clue what it’s like to walk in their shoes, but on most days, I enjoy my cancer patients more than I do most people, to be honest. They make eye contact and seem to have a wisdom that grows from their vulnerability. And they are soooo very easy to love.
My life is so, so far from perfect, and so am I. But some day, God will heal the crack in creation, and some day, He will heal all the cracks in my heart, and in yours. But until then, make sure you surround yourself with friends who text you at 6 a.m., and tell you to read Philippians 4 with them today, like Sarah did for me this morning, and friends like Kristie, who remind you of Sunday’s sermon, and that all will be made right in God’s time, and in God’s way. Those are the texts in the early morning, or late at night that are worth being awakened for. Those are the friends you hold dear and close, because it’s the Gospel they preach to you, and it’s the Gospel you preach to them – even at 2 a.m. Yeah, those are the ones you keep close!