One thing I have learned is to expect the unexpected and just go with it. There is no point in wasting good energy on asking why. That question is not likely to be answered. My responsibility is to recognize the multitude of blessings we have and remain thankful, regardless of circumstances.
One week ago I was shopping in Midtown Charlotte. I had eaten a healthy lunch and wandered around the fun shops. Like all responsible citizens I used the pedestrian walkway to cross the street. I had safely crossed the right turn only lane and was waiting for the “walk” signal as I stood on the pedestrian median to cross four lanes of traffic. I don’t know if the “walk” light ever turned. I don’t know if I stepped into traffic. I DO know that God was with me. I woke up some time later in the ER and I did NOT like having to wait on a gurney at the nurse’s station in the ER. Those that know me up close and personal might imagine that I had expressed my opinion. A busy nurse heard my plea to be moved and told me I had to stay there because I had a seizure and was being observed. My head throbbed, but something inside me giggled. Really, seriously? Right before Christmas? This is so inconvenient. I remember staring at the ceiling as if looking into God’s eyes and saying “Got it, slow down.”
As I lay there, watching people far sicker than me, be wheeled up and down the hallway for various tests while their family members sobbed, I knew I was blessed. I knew the ramifications of the seizure would be 6 months without being able to drive a car (and apparently tractors according to my doctor). I also knew that I was alive. No driving for 6 months was a very small price to pay and I felt blessed that I would walk out of the ER on my own two legs. Hours before, I was at the intersection of 5 roads, I was alone, I had blacked out during a grand mal seizure and I was still alive. Tell me God doesn’t perform miracles and I will show you an example that proves He does. Johnny arrived quickly and in the calm way he has come to deal with difficult news about his wife, he assured me I would be fine. I wanted him to call my best friend. He did and she came right away. I wanted to talk to my brother but Johnny insisted I wait to call him. Another thing I have learned is that if family is long distance you call after the storm has passed, not in the midst of the storm. I remember being overwhelmed with how fortunate I was among so much sorrow. I also remember telling Johnny not to touch anything or we would end up catching the flu. Delirium is a funny thing. As I slowly recall different things about that day I laugh, I cry and I thank God that He was with me.
The lingering soreness of a seizure of that magnitude is pretty much gone now. I would love for someone to explain how I stretched my shoes though! No worries, someone will take me to the store to get inserts to fix that. I have 2 staples in my head to patch up some of the cuts on my head. Guess what? I am thankful for that. Recently I spent some time at the cancer center where people much younger than me, covered their hairless heads in scarves. I walked away with a new perspective in its’ rawest form. I am thankful my hair covers the scars. Thankful in all circumstances; that is indeed where I am.
I am alive. I am thankful for breath. I am thankful for no broken bones. I am not asking why. I am accepting God put me here. In a strangely awkward way I am thankful my Grandmother did not have to live through this. It would just be so hard for her. I am left with the life lessons she gave me. She prepared me for times such as these. She taught me to accept whatever comes my way and find a way to make the best of it. I’m a marathoner and I don’t think it is just a coincidence that 6 months is also 26 weeks and a marathon is 26 miles. I am thankful for the opportunity to face 26 weeks and see how God shows Himself as the mighty conqueror over the next 26 weeks. I am prepared to bust through “the wall” with a force of family and friends that will break down all barriers.
I am blessed in ways I can not explain. I am thankful in ways I can not begin to explain. I am not asking God “why now” or “why me”? Instead I just want God to show me how to use this time to point others to Him. My cup overflows with thanks, in all circumstances.
© Copyright Gatewood Campbell, December 2013