May 2010

*insert pathetic “I’m so sorry I haven’t updated” mum-bo-jumbo here*

I have encountered two crises in the past few days. I’ve had a strange nausea/fatigue/feverish type of bug that, while sort of paralyzing (I really don’t do well with nausea) is just non-descript enough to make me feel stupid about turning down opportunities.

For example, Thursday night I got a few people together to go to the midnight showing of Robin Hood. I planned it a few days in advance, and even though only two other people were going to end up being there, I was still excited about it. The trouble started Thursday morning when I woke up early to go to the hospital with Jess. My stomach was a bit queasy, so I ate a banana, hoping that would settle it. All day it continued to get worse, but I was determined; I mean, I’d planned this movie thing, I wasn’t going to bail out!

Stephen, one of the people going with me, was going to pick me up at about 10:30. From 9:30 till then I paced, debating whether or not I should call it off…but no, surely once I was with them I’d be fine.

10:30, and he pulled into the driveway. With a deep breath, I hurried to his car, pulling on a jacket. Easy conversation began as we pulled out of the subdivision, and then things started getting bad. I remember him asking;

“So what did you do today, chores?”

“No, I…” and a wave of nausea hit me. There was an unnaturally long pause as I tried to gather myself, doing everything in my power to have *mind over stomach*. “You know what, Stephen….I’ve actually been feeling really crappy all day. I thought I’d be fine, but…” I tried to breathe deeply.

Stephen said something to the affect of “Oh, I’m sorry…are you going to be ok?”

And then I had to speak the humiliating command of, “Um…actually…just be ready to pull over.”

“Are you serious?!” Stephen’s voice had a slight inflection of disbelief, laughing, probably half-convinced I was pulling his leg.

“Yeah. PULL OVER.” I said, scrambling for the door handle. We were still on Chipman, and there, in front of some poor person’s house, I……..dry-heaved. Lucky them. Unfortunately it made me look like more of a fool. I think I would’ve rather thrown up then to cry wolf like that.

We carried on for another thirty seconds, maybe, before the motion of the car was too much and I told him to turn around, I needed to go home. He pulled a quick u-turn, and then I made him pull over….yet again…and yet again, I didn’t throw up! I got back into the car — sat for a second as he put the car into drive, seat belt unfastened, leaning against the door, one leg up, trying to relax, mortified.

“Ok, we’re just going to go nice and slow and get you home.” Stephen said, trying to make light of the situation. “Alright, I’m going to start speeding up…are you ok?”

“NOPE.” I said. He pulled over AGAIN, and before he even stopped I had hopped out of the car, running a bit to not lose my balance. I couldn’t be in the car anymore. I had to WALK HOME.

I don’t know if you can sense the note of bitterness in this whole story, but I’m not completely over the humiliation, haha. It’s pathetic. I don’t like being the “sick” one. I don’t like the pity, I don’t like how uncomfortable it makes everyone, I don’t like the “special treatment”…I hate all of it. So when I had the same nauseous feeling on Sunday, I was immediately determined to make it through church. I was supposed to sing a duet, and there was no way I was canceling that at the last minute, either….because apparently I don’t learn my lessons.

I “manned-up” and fought through the queasiness during the mic-check and Sunday School, though there were three separate times where I rushed to the bathroom, sure I was going to throw up….and didn’t. That’s the frustrating part of all of this, I’ve never thrown up. I don’t get it.

Thanks to God, I made it through. I was panicking through the worship service, unable to sit still, running scenarios in my head of what would happen if I was up there and couldn’t finish the song. Thanks to many prayers, two minutes before I needed to go up I had a burst of adrenaline and the symptoms went away. I made it through the song, thank goodness…but almost immediately after I had to go home, and crashed.

With all of this, I think I’ve discovered a problem. I am nearly completely unable to let people down. I hate “rocking the boat”. I push through, no matter the cost. I am completely unhinged when I have to say “no” — I don’t want to be the one who can’t hold up her end of the bargain.

It all goes back to pride, I guess. My reputation matters far too much to me. I’m paranoid that people are mad at me, are disappointed in me, or think badly of me.

For a long time I’ve had a hard time walking the line of having a good testimony vs obsessing about my reputation. No matter how “perfectly” you live with others, there are going to be misunderstandings, or times when you’re humanly unable to do what you’re asked. Romans 12:8 says If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. The fact is, you can only do so much, even with other believers. We will always have varying standards, differences in theology, and flesh to battle against that wants us to lash out in anger or seethe in bitterness.

I need to refocus on God, and remember that it’s only His opinion that matters. With all of this sickness happening, I’ve been sleeping a lot, and haven’t had regular devotions…and because of that, my spiritual life has really suffered. My prayers are forced, the joy is gone, and I’m really worn down. Sometimes the hardest part of these spiritual dry times is getting back into the habit — it takes a lot of effort to push against the current of apathy and have that much-needed quiet time.

I want this summer to be the best yet. In Sunday School, Mr. Saylor talked about making this summer not just about relaxation and fun, but to make it worthwhile. There are so many meaningful things I could be doing, but instead I’m partial to lying around with my laptop, on facebook, youtube, or hulu. But there is no possible way this season is going to mean anything if I’m not spiritually prepared.

Why is it that something eternally important quickly becomes optional in our “busyness”?

…oh my. I’ve gone off on so many rabbit trails in this post. I really need to get back into the habit of blogging or else risk losing coherency altogether.



I’m sorry I haven’t updated much lately. I haven’t had any ideas.

This is a song that I love, though. Ready?

Sara Groves, “From This One Place”

I was about to give up and that’s no lie
cardinal landed outside my window
threw his head back and sang a song
so beautiful it made me cry

took me back to a childhood tree
full of birds and dreams

from this one place I can’t see very far
in this one moment I’m square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else

I don’t know what’s making me so afraid
tiny cloud over my head
heavy and grey with a hint of dread
I don’t like to feel this way

take me back to a window seat
with clouds beneath my feet

from this one place I can’t see very far
in this one moment I’m square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else