This past week flew by in a whirlwind of ordinary and extraordinary, with a couple of scary close calls and lots of deep relief mixed in. As the dust is settling before daybreak Sunday morning, I am even more filled with gratitude than usual.
This is how my strong, sweet husband described it at bedtime Thursday night: “We have had two days that could have brought major paradigm shifts, but here we are resting in our comfortable bed and everything is okay.” I love that. And I am truly thankful for a husband who will speak words this powerful just as I am falling asleep.
Early Thursday morning Jessica had a health scare that brought all four of the parents together in the emergency room. Jess had been sick since the day before, feeling pretty worn down and in lots of pain (she had an elevated heart rate, too) from what we would eventually know was tonsillitis. But before we knew that, everyone was on high alert.
By mid-morning, she had had tests and received lots of assurance from the doctor plus a few prescriptions and strict instructions to rest. We were all wildly relieved and with her blessing made plans for her to come back to the farm to recoup for a few days.
It had been many years since we all convened in a hospital room like that, and it echoed both terror and comfort. Because we know God so much better by now. Trust in all circumstances has become such a natural way of life. We sense and believe so deeply how much He wants to help all of us, both with health and medicine and work and finances, the physical realities of living on earth, as well as with human relationships and all things spiritual. It’s amazing.
The peace in that hospital room was as much a relief as her good health report.
The day before, we had a near miss with a house fire. I had spent the afternoon working between the gardens and the Apartment, where I had turned on a wall unit air conditioner, to cut the humidity. I went outside for a few minutes and returned to the sharp metallic smell of electrical fire. Long story short, the wall unit had a short in it. Thankfully, the sparks and tiny flames in the machine, though they did produce a lot of smoke, did not turn into a true fire, and the house is fine. But it was tense. My husband arrived home within minutes of me turning off all our power. He checked the wall and wires thoroughly. We turned the power back on and went back to life as usual, slightly stunned by everything that almost happened.
More echoes from past trauma, and another example of something which we have experienced before: Our house fire a decade ago was scary and stressful and expensive. But also loaded with blessings. God walked us through that ordeal then, every step of the way. This time, we were glad to avoid it completely.
So much assurance and peace, just to be restored to real life routines, two days in a row.
Before and in between those stories, life this first week of October was as full and normal as ever. My husband continues to work at the Commish under extreme stress but handles it beautifully, if you ask me. We continue to strive for health and peace and beautification around the farm. And gosh we really want to embrace the changing season.
Speaking of seasonal pleasures…
Saturday morning, Jess was feeling like herself again. The three of us took a very late breakfast outside to eat on the deck next to the first bonfire we have had in many weeks. It all happened just as a cold front swept uphill from the pond and a gentle rain tapped on the oak canopy above us. We played outside and luxuriated and talked about everything.
What a way to start October, what a way to usher in autumn. And maybe this is helping us prepare for so many life transitions already headed our way. The house fire a decade ago signaled an awful life chapter. But I know this one brewing now will be different. I know that in my bones. Tomorrow is a new moon, too, I think. Definitely a time to notice growth.
Later that afternoon, when she was feeling really great and ready to resume her life and gentle routine, I drove Jess back to the City. (She had come to the farm with me on Thursday, without her car since she was too sick to drive.) That drive back was especially nourishing for the two of us. Long car rides have often, over the years, meant deep talking.
I soaked it up gratefully. And this time I was offered two additional gifts.
First, we saw Jocelyn. She was driving toward us on Penn, and it was actually her vehicle I recognized first, “Becky.” I am well acquainted with Becky since she started driving it in Colorado. Then I saw Jocelyn’s beautiful, pale round face and enormous brown eyes, that fringe of bangs beneath her ballcap. My heart leaped. I miss her so much, even with all the good news and encouragement we keep hearing. For a moment it occurred to me to suppress tears in front of Jessica. Then I realized that my body’s initial response to cry and ache was brief. No need to suppress.
Something warm and pleasant washed over me instead, like a touchable veil of comfort.
Then, after dropping Jess (and cuddling her dog Pippa), as I was leaving Oklahoma City, I noticed the digital marquee on Penn, not far from where Joc would have been driving. It was at KP Supply, a business that for many years has been sharing inspirational or motivational quotes on their sign. Once, they agreed to scroll a Happy Birthday message to Joc, so she would see it as we drove to school that day. They are the nicest people, and their sign always touches my heart. Yesterday this was their message:
You cannot trust your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
Okay, wow, yes. This speaks straight to my heart for so many reasons. How does it strike you?
I am finishing this post around lunchtime on Sunday. It’s once again raining gently outside, our windows are open, and I am happy to be immersed in all sorts of cuddly activities with my husband and our Shepp. My heart is calm.
This week’s near misses and moments of rescue, these golden reassurances for yet unanswered prayers, they are altogether a thrilling gift. Life is beautiful and good beyond description. Trusting God with every detail is the most radical, most effective, most deeply satisfying life strategy we have ever tried. He loves us so much, it’s crazy.
Ok. Happy Sunday. I need to go check on my friends who are running the Chicago marathon today!!!
“It’s Not Time to Worry Yet.”