It’s hard to believe that it has been over 7 weeks since I hit my head and got this life-altering concussion. Last week, I had an appointment at the neurologist to get the results of my EEG. Praise God, my EEG was great. There is no permanent brain damage. However, he did say that he expected it to be 2-3 more months before I felt back to normal. Even with the great results from my EEG, this news was really discouraging to me. I’m just now writing about it because I think I’m just now getting my head wrapped around that.(*Medical side note: I have elected not to take the medicine prescribed to me through this process. I’m very sensitive to meds and it is not worth the benefit to me. I’m not sure if it has slowed my recovery or not but I just wanted to share that for those who have asked questions about medicine.) Thankfully, God has been changing my attitude of disappointment to thankfulness through the gift of perspective. In the scheme of things, 2-3 months is really nothing. And this giant pause from life has also revealed some strange gifts given to me. Here’s a list of a few…
1. the gift of seeing our children’s strength
Our kids’ lives have been wildly interrupted over the last few weeks. They’ve been shuffled from place to place by a number of people. They’ve eaten whatever they’ve been given. They’ve worn dirty clothes (repeatedly). They’ve had more responsibility than ever before. They’ve put themselves to bed. It’s been crazy…but they have rocked it. I’ve seen them be tough and tender, positive and encouraging, smart and strong. As a mother, you hope every day that you are teaching your kids these traits, but at these young ages, you rarely see them surface. This experience has given me the gift of seeing those traits surface and stay a while.
One child was sent to the corner, and the other child joined and stayed for the duration of the punishment. Talk about team players! Haha!
2. the gift of ministry
I have learned so much about how to minister and spread the love of Christ to others. Before this injury, a large portion of my ministry was public. I sing on stage at our church; I lead a large group of young moms; I lead a book study; I work on staff at our church, etc. During this time of recovery, God has shown me the beauty of private ministry – the kind that no one knows about except for you and the other person. We have been so loved. Many people have not asked questions, they’ve just done what needed to be done. We didn’t even talk about it they just did it…and it was so beautiful. Also during this time, God has brought us new ways to love others. He has given us opportunities to serve Him through serving people in new ways that no one else will ever know about…and again, it is so beautiful. In a way, I feel like I’m actually starting to “get” real ministry for the first time.
3. the gift of time
Being engaged in a private ministry means being available to sense and respond to need. It means listening to the Holy Spirit of God when you feel that nudge to reach out to someone. I have always had those nudges in my life but I have not always responded. You know why? Because I was too busy! There was no time to write that note, or pray in earnest, or share a Bible verse, or cry with someone. My busy schedule stole me from God’s intimate, personal, and precious work to souls. I cannot be all things to all people and I have no desire to do that. But I can be God’s embrace of love to somebody who needs it, and I don’t want to miss that chance. What a gift this strange time has been if to teach me just this one thing.
4. the gift of watching life without me
One of the hardest things for me during the last 7 weeks was watching my life go on without me in it. I have experienced a grieving process because many things have felt like a great loss. At the same time that I’ve felt thankful to all who stepped into my “normal” responsibilities, I’ve also felt deeply sad that I was gone. This sounds dramatic, but it’s almost like seeing your life after your funeral. Some folks are sad for you; some folks are actually glad that you’re gone, as if they’ve been waiting to take over for you; some folks are not affected at all; and to some, a certain few, you are irreplaceable.
This last “gift” has taken me the longest to see as a gift. And I would be lying to say that I’m not still grieving some things. But very few get to see their life without them in it. Very few get to have the definition that comes along with this perspective. Very few are forced to let go of the “important” to grasp hold of the eternal. For that, I am grateful.