He's Been Faithful

April 26, 2006 Seems like yesterday. Seems like forever. I pushed hard to go to Awana that evening. The pain was intense. As the kids were helping me in the van I cried and screamed out in pain. I pleaded with God to help me make it one more night. Awana would soon be over and then I could rest.

My eyes filled with tears as I looked at the little girls sitting in front of me. “This is why I am here!” I smiled to myself. One of the little girls asked why I was crying. I gave her a hug and said, “Because I love all of you so much and I don’t want Awana to end.”

I waited for everyone to leave that night. At church I’m known for smiling all the time and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the expectations. I didn’t want to let anyone down. My daughter drove the car up as close as she could to the door and they helped me walk to the van. Tears streaming I pleaded once again for God to help me get home.

Relieved to see my driveway I wondered how I would be able to make it up the three steps that taunted me. With two kids holding me under the arms and my daughter bringing up the rear (literally!) we managed to get inside. I sat down in the dining room. I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. I fought for months. I was stubborn. I gave in and asked for some old friends…my crutches.

I cried walking down the hallway to my bedroom. Partly because of pain, but mostly because I knew I had a long road ahead. “Why now?” I asked myself first and then God. My father needed me. My mother needed me. My family needed me.

Lying in bed that night I prayed that God would hold off until after my father passed away. I knew seeing me on crutches again would be upsetting to him. It would also be a reminder to him of his own physical limitations. My dad always drove me to my doctor appointments and physical therapy. That was our time together. I asked mom to tell him I was okay, but I was going to be using them for a little while just until I felt better. I never wanted him to know how bad it really was. He knew though. He was my dad. He knew me better than anyone.

It was a major struggle to visit my dad. The walk from the driveway to his bedroom was long and each step more painful than the last, but I was determined that nothing would stop me. I managed to see him often until he died on January 11, 2007. Within a couple of weeks I was done. I could no longer get up without major assistance. In fact, I couldn’t do anything for myself. I was just that stiff. I relied on my family for everything. I was quite bullheaded when it came to asking for help. That was very difficult for me. To me that represented failure. I felt I had given up.

There were days, many of them that I hoped were my last. I was ready for Heaven! I knew God didn’t give us more than we could handle, but this was getting to be too much. In my family’s eyes I could see the hurt. They so desperately wanted to help. They were already doing everything over and above expectations. I couldn’t thank them enough.

Everyday, all day long I focused on Philippians 4:13. Such a small verse but with a huge message. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. I lived moment by moment. I tried to keep my sense of humor by singing this verse (and believe me, I cannot sing!) anytime and every time I moved. This made my kids laugh. And oh how good it feels to laugh!

Well, today it has been exactly seventy seven weeks since I asked for my reliable friends. It’s been rough I admit. I’ve still got a long road ahead. Because I have slouched for a year and a half my back is all messed up. I need to learn to walk again and to stand up straight. I have several more months with my faithful companions, but I can look back now with a smile and count my many blessings!

I've been blessed with pain relief! I still have a lot of pain because I have arthritis and a damaged body, but it is indescribable how much better I feel. And I have two new cool scars. Yes, I do like them. All my scars are a reminder to me of God's faithfulness. He sees me through each and every moment. Each and every hour. Each and every day!

I’ve been blessed to have Christian therapists and nurses. I’ve been blessed by so much love and support from my church family. I’ve been blessed with your prayers and making so many new friends through blogging. I’ve been blessed by my own family in more ways than I can count. And more importantly I’ve been blessed by God. He chose me and my family to be part of all of this.

Maybe I will never completely understand why He allowed the situation to enter our lives, but I have learned so much. He’s taught me to have more patience. He’s taught me a lot about my pride! He’s taught me to hold on tight and to trust in His perfect plan. I also was witness to changes in my family. Good changes. As much as it felt like it at the time this wasn’t all about me. I can honestly say that I am thankful for playing a small role in this huge blessing He has given to us!


Christine said...

Amy, thankyou so much for sharing this. It really pulled at my heart,especially when you mention your dad, I know how much you must miss him.I really needed to read this verse too, to get through all of life's difficulties.

You are a wonderful friend Amy, and I'm blessed to have you in my life.


Carrie said...

What a lovely post. I'm so glad that you're feeling so much better than you were! Isn't God GREAT??!?!
I'm keeping you in prayer.
God bless :)

Michelle said...

oh Amy I had tears reading this post! I didn't realize how much pain a person is in with that arthritis; my heart goes out to you. You have struggled through so much yet look at you now counting your blessings! You're amazing, and you're right - He has been faithful and through Him all things are possible!

Kailani said...

You have courage beyond imagination. I don't think I would have been as strong. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful for what I have and not to complain about the things I don't. You're such an inspiration!

An Island Life

Carol said...

Girl, you just bless my socks off! So very glad you are experiencing some relief. You are truly an example of being content in your circumstances.

Be blessed!

Faith said...

This post was awesome. I will keep you in prayer. I was very touched and especially because I remember clinging to that verse when I was dealing with lyme disease for 2 years. you are a blessing to the body of Christ!

Kimmy said...

Amy, thanks for sharing so deeply from your heart. I continue to pray that God's healing hand will be in your life. You've come so far and it's a blessing to me to read how far you've come through everything. ((HUGS))