Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doctors, Doctors and more Doctors

For the last 8 months I've been dealing with a certain medical condition that's...well...annoying. The first doctor to see me diagnosised the simplest solution possible and threw an antibiotic my way. Weeks later when it didn't work, she threw me another. After the third didn't work -- I went some place else.

My first sign that Doc #2 didn't have a real medical degree was the Foghorn Leghorn tie. Without the slightest glimpse at my transferred medical records he asked, "Which antibiotic would you like?" After multiple visits, once HE had prescribed the third antibiotic, I said, "No thanks" to anymore and requested to see a speacialist.

By now, months had passed (7 months to be exact) -- we've changed insurance twice -- and I'm beginning to go a little loopy. After jumping through SEVERAL hoops for the insurance company, the speacialist says, "Figuring this out is gonna take some time."

This past month, I've done numerous Xrays and a CT scan. They revealed a kidney stone in my left kidney. Who knew? Today, I began seeing the "Infectious Disease" doctor as the particular infection (which has probably attached itself to the stone) now shows up as "resistent to every known oral antibiotic".

At Doctor #4, I sat in a room filled with chairs, with IV lines hanging from the ceiling. It looked like a scene straight out of the movie Inception. As I get ready to have my 2 week long IV inserted, I say to Billy, "This is the WEIRDEST thing I've EVER done." He says back, "Really? We'll it isn't the WEIRDEST thing I've EVER done!" Nice.

So, the next couple of weeks will include an hour at the clinic each day for an intravenous antibiotic drip...I will even grace them with my presence on Saturday and Sunday. All this while making up 26 piano lessons and helping sub the makeup lessons at KMP for my boss...I have a love/hate relationship with snow days!

Hopefully, BY TOMORROW, I will feel the symptoms of my infection leave -- and have the kidney stone blasted on Friday. Shortly thereafter they hope I'll be infection free. I pray so.

In the meantime, I've already been asked such irratating questions as, "Mom, what's for dinner?"..."Do you wanna go workout at the Y?" I just keep holding up my arm -- and smiling really big...saying in a sweet as pie voice, "I have an I V!" You should probably pray for them!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

RamFam Happenings

2010 was a strange year for us. It seemed like everytime we prayed for something, God did the exact opposite. We were often stressed, pressured, and perplexed by this. Billy and I were fairly confident that we were hearing Heaven's next step for our lives...but frustrated that we had no earthly means to "make" anything happen on our own behalf. If any "next step" was to take place, God's word would have to bring it about by His Spirit -- nothing else was working.

For sometime we believed that God was calling us to go back into full time ministry, but we had no idea where and how that would eventually transpire. Actually, we were quite aware of how WE WISHED our situation would transpire. It was hard for us to imagine that God would call us AWAY FROM the community we have become so imbedded in. We love New Life -- we love Colorado Springs -- we love TCA -- we love our friends, our kid's friends, our neighbors, our dry cleaners...you name it...we are emotionally attached to it. We believe in "staying steady" after all and being planted in a community. Yet, there was a nagging sense that God was calling us out.

From Abraham to the Disciples, the Bible is filled with stories of God calling leaders to come out of where they have been and directing them to go someplace else. We didn't jump to identify with any of them however. We mostly commiserated with Joseph. You know, legit vision from the Lord -- thrown in jail at no fault of his own. We felt like God had us in jail.

"Perserverance" is a hard lesson to learn. Maybe the hardest. The very nature of the word suggests what you are going through is "hard" and that the "hard" is lasting a "long time." I prayed many times in 2010 for God to "Give us a break" -- LITERALLY -- I wanted a vacation, a trip away. Each prayer like that was meet with a new challenge, more work, a broken appliance, another "situation" to handle.

To make a long (but VERY good) story short, we were surprised at years end with a sudden answer to our prayers. Billy accepted a job at Smoky Hill Vineyard Church in Denver as "Family Pastor" and 2011 took off with great force. We are very greatful that this "job" seems to have been custom built for Billy and our family. The people of this new community have joyfully embraced the us. However, if I'm honest, the timing took us by surprise...as God's timing so often does. Between working in Denver and coaching JV Basketball at TCA, today was the first day Billy's truly been off work since December 14th. We can't wait for Spring Break! (We are looking forward to the fast approaching end of the sports season so we can regain a little balance.)

Looking back at all those desparate prayers in 2010 for a "break" - a "vacation", "refreshing"...what I now see is that those things were simply not what was needed. Inorder to come into the place where God wanted us with excitement and energy to spare, we didn't need to go hide away in the tropics first. What we, what I, really needed was for my CAPICITY to be ENLARGED -- so that the BIG LIFE that God was calling me too could be a blessing to me as well as to others. God does many, many things through rest and vacation. We are BIG believers in them -- just ask our kids! However, God has used REAL LIFE...PRESSURE...FASTING...even SUFFERING to enlarge our capacity for what He's called us to do "next".

At just the right time, I was ready to shoulder the things God was calling me too -- even looking ahead now at the daunting task of selling the house, moving, readjusting five kids to new schools, friends...embracing a new community -- seems more of a blessing than a burden. After all, God isn't only at work at New Life Church and in Colorado Springs. Whereas we may bring a new perspective, we are not bringing God to Denver. He is already working there. He is at work all around us..all the time...inviting us to join Him. For the RamFam He seems to have invited us to rely on Him in a new way in 2011. All 7 of us.

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we dispaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Cor 1:8