I haven't been healthy a day of my 59/60th year because I had a sinus infection early in the year and my ear clogged. Then the Lord healed it just a short time before I fell ill with the virus and it's been clogged ever since. My doctor's appointment to get the tube so that I could hear in that ear was cancelled due to the coronavirus so I've been deaf and claustrophobic for months now, but I'm handling it. The family joke seems to be people texting me to ask "when we are going to celebrate my birthday, hahahaha!" I don't mind except I was really looking forward to having red velvet cake. Red velvet cake has always been MY birthday cake until my husband hijacked it for his birthday which falls two weeks before mine. Then my son also requested it for his birthday which is four days before mine. By the time my birthday rolled around, I just requested a twinkie with a candle because I was sick of red velvet cake. I was sick of cake period. But this year, my husband requested something different, as did my son, so I was all set to get the red velvet cake for my birthday.
I thought that maybe the day I turned 60, well when I was supposed to turn 60, was going to be my last day on earth. In fact, I asked the Lord to take me home for my birthday as I had no desire to live one more day because of the pain that I was in from the fever. He didn't respond and I'm still here. He really doesn't pay much attention to the requests made while in delirium. I've always hoped that after you hit a certain older age that life levels out and your normal becomes boring and routine-something that I was welcoming. I couldn't have been more wrong! Life for me, especially the last 5 years has been as close to hell as I ever desire to get.
In 2014, our entire family got food poisioning from some Chinese food we purchased from a local grocery store for a birthday celebration. In just 5 short hours, the entire bunch (all 7) were fighting over toilets. I was the only one left unscathed, probably because I seem to have an iron stomach or slow digestion, which in this case was a blessing because I didn't get sick until everyone else was starting to get better which meant that no one died in the process.
Because of the food poisioning my husband developed a yeast intolerance that resulted in life and death situations for the next 3-4 years, so many trips to the ER that we were on a first name basis, and 5 surgeries that now have him classified as a six-million dollar man because of all the re-construction to his innards. I'll spare you the details except to say that it was a very scary time and that was one expensive egg roll!
At the same time all of this was going on with my husband, one day my retina decided to say "talleyho!" and I was rushed to a hospital 1 1/2 hours away to save my eyesight. After surgery and 4 additional procedures, I am happy to say that I see better now than I have since "legs got frames" in fourth grade. Legs was my nickname, and if you know me at all, you understand why. Then my OBGYN discovered something awry and scheduled surgery but it was postponed because my pre-surgery EKG was abnormal and I failed the subsequent stress test and had to see a cardiologist who prescribed a drug to help regulate my heart beat so that the OBGYB could eventually operate. After the operation, my biopsy came back wierd so I had to have hormone therapy and biopsies every 6 months for the next two years. A biopsy is basically where they give you two aspirin, hold your hand, stick a knife in you to slice off a piece while trying to distract you by talking about pumpkin pie. That was my experience anyway. You can only find so many things to say about pumpkin pie, although it is one of my favorites but thinking of slicing a pie while you are being sliced is not all that helpful.
On top al all of this, my job got more stressful and there were several family issues that happaned that all but destroyed my heart, panic attacks and anxiety, my brothers untimely and unexpected passing in 2018 and my dad's passing one year later, to the day, leaving my sister and I reeling. Then came a career change for my husband and a new church family after having been at the same church for 26 years. Life just seemed to be spinning totally out of my control. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and I couldn't get off.
I came to the conclusion that I needed to take a step back and reboot. I had been sensing in my spirit that a big change was coming for awhile and that I wasn't going to be at my job forever. One day, while running reports, the Lord told me to quit. So immediately, I sent my resignation letter to my boss and then called my husband and told him what I did. I probably shouldn't have done it in that order but when God speaks that loudly, it's best to just obey.
So even before Covid-19, I was adjusting to a totally new lifestyle and a completely open schedule. While most people are finding it hard to adjust to this new situation, I haven't been too bothered by it all except that it's horrible that so many are sick and dying.
I love being home. I love the extra time to cook and prepare nice meals for my family instead of the Wal-Mart special (rotisseree chicken, Amish macaroni salad, and frozen vegetables) for a quick meal after a stressful day at work.
I love that I can wake up, grab my Bible and spend as much time as I want with the Lord before getting out of bed in the morning.
I love that I can go to the creek and not have to worry about setting an alarm to insure that I'm not late getting back from my lunch hour.
I love that I can stop what I'm doing and take a worship break at my piano anytime and as many times a day as I please. It's hard for me to see a keyboard and not play it, even if it's on display at Cracker Barrell.
I love that I'm getting things done around the house that have needed done for a long time.
I love that I have time to be a blessing to someone every day-something that I've added to my daily schedule checklist.
I love that I can spend more time with family than ever before, well until this virus thing came along.
I love that all the things that used to be "me things" that were lost in the turmoil of the last 5 years are returning, like the love of kneading and baking bread, knitting, photography, writing, reading, singing, composing music and cooking.
I love that I have time to develop new friendships with some very lovely ladies that that the Lord has brought into my life.
I love that if I can't decide between the two Bible study options that I can attend both instead of having to choose!
love the church that the Lord has seen fit to settle me in even though it probably wouldn't have been the one I would have chosen on my own.
I love being able to attend church functions that I had absolutely no responsbility in planning.
I love to throw my hands up in the air in worship. For the last 26 years, I've played the piano and couldn't but I must admit that I miss playing the piano in church.
I love being able to take on-line classes to improve my skills and to explore new areas that I never had time to consider before.
I love living a more peaceful, less cluttered, less hectic and more simple lifestyle.
I will definetely continue it even after I'm allowed to be out and about. I may even tackle my nemesis-baking good cookies. Has there even been a cookie sheet invented that will take my dough and make it yummy??? Do you believe in miracles? LOL!
So maybe almost turning 60 is not as bad as I thought it would be.
I have my health, in fact, I've never been healthier than I am right now, except the ear issue. That's easily fixed.
I have a home that keeps getting more appealing as I paint and organize and decorate.
I have people who love and support me unconditionally.
I have Jesus, the one who loves me with a perfect love. That is such an awesome thought. Hallmark has nothing on Him!
I have a bright future, both here and in eternity-which by the way, I'm not in a hurry to investigate now that the fever is gone but it has certainly given me more empathy for people who suffer from chronic conditions.
I have life! So many cannot say that in the midst of this pandemic.
I have choices and options and potential. I live in a free country. Life is good!
Yes, there are still situations that are hurting my heart that are competely out of my control. It's called life. But as I've spent much more time with God in the last 9 months than I've ever had the blessing of doing before, I'm learning that it's better to leave things in His loving, capable hands. It's so freeing! In the morning the first thing I do is give those things to Him. And when I lay my head down at night, I thank Him for working in those things that day even if I can't see or feel that anything has changed or is different. I learned a long time ago not to judge a situation by progress because progress is fluid and runs both directions. Life sometimes gives us detours but with God at the helm we can know we will reach our destination. He is the pilot and I just need to sit back and let him do the flying. My hope is in God and His promises and He has never failed to keep even one of them yet. His answers don't always look like what I envisioned but they are always just what I need. I wish I could say that it is easy to do this, but it's not. I find myself grabbing things back from Him sometimes to see if there is anything I can do to help Him along. But there isn't. I just need to let Him have them and live knowing that He is able, willing and will "accomplish all that concerns me." I just need to let Him have control. After 60 years-almost, that is the best thing I could say to anyone. Just let God be God to you. I can promise you will never regret it.