Updated: Oct 24, 2020
One of the advantages of owning your vacation home on wheels is the ability to go anywhere, any time.
This proved to be quite challenging during quarantine and my own personal solitary confinement this year.
Yes, there was a diagnosis for the feet, but the prognosis is at least two months of healing, trying to get the feet stable, taping them with athletic tape,
more visits with Lino, inserts, heating pad, icing calves, and a steady diet of ibuprofen.
Wait. I did not sign up for this race. I had crossed the finish line, right? Apparently not. Or, I was busy celebrating, but God had signed me up for another race immediately following the one I just finished. And I am so tired.
We had been trying all summer to change our view of things from our little farm to our favorite camping spot up on Hwy 88. It’s secluded, isolated and a place we have many memories. But, there were many setbacks with this plan. For one, my feet. How to go when I couldn’t get around. Number two, fires. California was on fire this summer and well into the fall. And to combat this, the Forest Service closed these campgrounds. Then they were opened up, so we began to plan again. But, by the time we were possibly ready to go, the campsites were all closed again.
I had called Lino to ask if doing a trip would be good. He said it would be good if: I did not increase my pain, and knew when to stop. I asked: "How do I not increase my pain if it is already at 1000?" He laughed.
So, John looked at other options, and called my brother and sister-in-law to see if we could stay at their vacation home on the Walker River. Good, all set.
Let me say this. I was not in total agreement with this plan, but I was willing to give it a try. Pain makes a person be pretty introspective and, should I say it....selfish??? I was not sure how I was going to sleep with my clunky boots in the trailer or even where I was going to sit. But, even though I did not quite keep these thoughts to myself, we went. John and I, for a few days. All of us needed a break from routine, and my children needed a break from caring for me.
This would be a nice time to say that I really thought I was done with my suffering. I really did. All the car ride home from getting the diagnosis and having the cuboids put back in place, I was rejoicing. I was finished. No more. I could move on. My son and I were so in awe of God on that 45 minute car ride. We are basking in the goodness of God and of His answering our prayers – not only for my feet, but of the many in our lives.
When it became apparent that I was not done – that night – I was pretty devastated. To say the least. I went back to Lino 3 times before I finally asked how long it was going to take to get me back to being healthy and walking. Two months to stabilize the ankle joints. Two months??? Wait. I thought this was it. I mean IT.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me." Jeremiah 29:11-13
His plans are for our good. Not disaster. This injury is not for my disaster, it says so right here. And WHEN, not if, I pray, God will listen. And here is the IF. If I look for Him wholeheartedly - I mean really look, I will find Him. He is not hiding. In fact, He wants to be found. He is everywhere the eye can see. The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). His Word is written on my heart. He is listening and waiting. I may not understand, but God’s ways are higher than our ways.
Yes, it is very true. His ways and thoughts are not ours. They never can be. Because only He is God and only He can make or have these thoughts. God sees beginning to end. And He is outside of time. We are finite and He is infinite. He is faithful and what he says He will do, He will do. He is Sovereign. He knows what is best and will orchestrate it in our lives for our best. He is the Good Shepherd and He leads His sheep to still waters and green pastures. And He feeds them at a banqueting table. Yes, this same God is for me and loves me. So, I can trust Him.
Yes, I can trust Him. If He deems it necessary for me to go on another race, go another round in the ring, have more time solitary confinement, then I have got to say, “Thy will be done.” (Matthew 6:10)
But it’s not that easy. At least it hasn't been for me.
On our trip to Walker I started in the back seat of the truck with all the pillows we could find and John so sweetly arranged everything. About 30 minutes into it, I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. This was going to be hard. No amount of shifting around was making this ride comfortable. Then…car sickness. I have not gotten car sick in forever, but I did on this trip – twice. When that happened, on Monitor Pass, I switched to the front seat. After 3.5 hours hours we reached Walker and I was done. It was then the reality of the enormity of what this week was to hold, set in. I could not even sit at our kitchen table to eat. Well, I did, but it was awful.
I was exhausted, in pain and ready to cry. And I did, when I got in the shower that night. I could not believe how much it hurt. And I still had to get home. What a vulnerable place I was in. I do not know if John heard me crying in the shower, but the trailer is only so big, so it’s possible. Sleeping on the master bed. Mmmm. I did ok that first night because of the melatonin that Lino has me taking, but the other 2.....
God, what is it that You want from me? This is what I asked Him, more than once last week. I surrender God. You can have all of me. Everything. My life. My pain. My life without pain. My family. My writing. Everything. It is Yours. My hands are open and I cannot get myself out of this even if I wanted to. I am weak, Lord, but You are strong.
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I knew what my ride home was now going to look like, so I tried to push it off as long as possible. Life settled into a routine there beside the Walker River. The spot really is a beauty. But I could not notice it. The sounds of the river rippling over the rocks. The birds flying high in the sky, calling to one another. I knew they were there, but honestly, I just couldn’t take them in.
All of the things that I thought would happen, did. We’ve travelled in that trailer for many, many miles, and I know trailer living. It was a first with injured feet.
On Thursday, I gingerly hobbled over to sit in a chair set up by the river, in the sun, to listen to the water rushing over the rocks. I had a moment. You know the kind – with tears. It was here that I remembered something. I had been in preparation for teaching on Nehemiah 4-5:13 and over a month ago I felt led to include a song. I actually had one saved and reading to go for this lecture.
that I had been singing for 6 weeks, and not even knowing I was going to be in Walker, filming my lecture. We had just decided that morning, that if we stuck around I would film it by the river.
Can I say something? God is good. Yes, good. He is so good to me. I am a brat most of the time, even in my prayer times of surrender I can get pretty bratty. Know what I mean? But, here, I have my loving Heavenly Father reach down and hold me close. I was overwhelmed with His Sovereignty at this moment. I had John take a picture so I could remember His goodness to me. I sat there and sang all verses with the refrains. It ministered so much to me. And the truth of these words sunk deep. Was I truly staying upon Jehovah? Truly? This here was the rub. I was not. I was so busy being involved in my pain, that I was not stayed upon Jehovah. Now I was getting somewhere. Confession and repentance and then God’s perfect peace and rest. His Sovereignty washed over me and made me clean and comforted me. God covered me in His precious love and it felt so good. Oh, so good. I am my Beloved's and He is mine. I have known this for a long time, but I KNEW it last Thursday.
I guess one could say that this trip was for that one moment. It was a moment of complete surrender. Now, God has me, all of me.