I think this is my first time joining Quick Takes in more than a year. But this week, it fits.
You can see why this is so fun if you head over to Conversion Diary and follow some of the links.
It's crazy - There are a hundred bloggers who take part in this!
Add your voice to the crowd, if you'd like.
1. Surgery Day
I was nervous, but not overly nervous. I'd been through surgery before, but nothing prepared me for how bad I'd feel. My daughter took a picture, just a couple of hours after the surgery (I'm not sharing it because the incision is really gross and I am absolutely gray from tip to toe.)
My pastor came to anoint me and I began to start to feel better shortly afterward. In fact, it was remarkable how much better I felt from hour to hour. The body is an amazing creation and prayer is powerful!
2. Struggling to Pray
Overnight and into the next morning, I still felt pretty miserable. my oxygen level would drop and I would lose track of where I was. I thought that maybe I could pray for everyone who was praying for me, but no dice. I got a few words into the Our Father and started having a dream about being on my way to get ice cream. But I was still wide awake.
When I snapped out of it, I felt bad because I couldn't even use my time to pray. I had to just lay there and dream about ice cream that I couldn't eat. While I was busy feeling sorry for myself (here it comes:) I thought of "Footprints in the Sand" and the fact of the matter was, that God was carrying me. My friends had brought me to him and placed me in His lap. I had to surrender control and I wasn't prepared to do that. That's why MY Footprints dream looks like this:
3. Learning to Suffer
I remember getting my wisdom teeth pulled on Good Friday when I was 18. I was in so much pain by Easter Sunday that I had to leave the church and sit on the porch in the front. That's where Sr. Marie found me sitting. I was crying,and she sat with me for a few minutes. We talked about suffering and she told me that everyone has their Good Friday just not at the same time, but Easter Sunday was coming, even if I didn't feel it today. It wasn't until this past Sunday, that I understood what she meant.
When we suffer, God does not abandon us. He tries to help us. But like a willful toddler, I was wiggling out of His grasp to try to walk for myself - only I was too weak. It was only when I surrendered that God showed me how many people were praying for me and that they could handle the prayer part. All I had to do was give Him the suffering and He'd know what to do with it.
4. Resting in the Lord
By Monday, I had discovered that I was becoming anxious about the second biopsy. I hadn't heard anything, and wouldn't until Thursday. I couldn't do anything useful, really, but rest.
Late Monday night, after everyone else was in bed and I was up for pain meds, again, I realized that God could use my sufferings. I had wondered about this "redemptive suffering" thing for my entire life and in a flash, I felt like I had a better grasp of what it meant to "offer it up". I offered my suffering for someone else who needed a hand with theirs.
Almost instantly, it was like the floodgates opened, and I couldn't shut it off! The ideas just kept coming. And they were good!
5. Searching for God's Fingerprints
As I worked on my new ideas, I began to research the science behind our reactions to liturgical music. What makes music so powerful? I actually came up with answers. I began to write. After about 2,000 words, I realized I had a series.
"What Is It with Music? The Physical Reasons that Music is Good for Your Spiritual Life" was born. The response has been very positive and the next in the series will be about the effect of tempo and mode on our bodies.
I could see God's fingerprints all over our physical responses to music and how they serve us when we attend Mass and sing together. We are so wonderfully made. All the beautiful things that we create are a reflection of His Goodness.
I began to sift through websites of friends who are visual artists and make note of how these individual pieces of art are as unique as the flowers that God creates. We assist Him in manifesting His goodness and beauty when we use our talents to create.
6. Finding God in Creation, Expressing His Beauty through the Arts
I found the blog of a young artist who I had watched grow up in my parish. She had five lovely works of art that I shared as part of Moxie Wife's Five Favorites link party. The reaction was tremendous. People loved it!
I asked the ladies at Catholic Mom if we had anyone who did spotlight interviews of artists (like we do with Techies and Bloggers) and they said no, but we should! So in the space of a few hours we had a plan: The goal is to discuss how our Faith informs our work as artists, even if the artwork is not specifically religious in nature. That lens throws new light and life on an artist's work and I was suddenly excited to share that with people.
I was energized. I hadn't forgotten about my biopsy results, which were still looming, but I decided that whatever God wanted from me was what I would lay before Him.
7. A Miracle
Yesterday morning, I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 3 AM and began to write. I had sent out 11 requests for interviews and some of them were already coming back saying they would love to participate. This new idea was going to become a reality!
There was so much to do! What if I had cancer and would need treatment?
By 10 AM I was sitting in the Doctor's office waiting.
My thyroid had been a huge mess. There had been nodules all over it and it was huge - one side had been 6.5 cm and the other had been 7 cm. The doctor had been very surprised that the first biopsy was negative. The second one was mostly negative, too. There had been cancer, but it had been very small and self contained and they had gotten it all.
My incision looks good and my vocal cords look like they are mending, too.
I'm telling you, folks. It's a miracle.
I came home rejuvenated and refreshed and...
took a nap.
Thank you for your prayers.
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful Michael and I are to all of you. Please know that you will be in our prayers always. May God bless your kindness to us in this time of uncertainty.