Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eye of the storm

Faith's a funny thing. Faith let me treat Mog's big seizure last week, then leave her at school to go swimming. And then enabled me to leave her at the hospice for a long weekend, as I went off for a weekend a couple of hours away. That couple of hours is significant - thirty minutes is my comfort zone, my ability to get back to her bedside to give her the second dose of emergency medication, my chance to be with her before it's all too late. Helen House is the only place I can leave her when I'm more than thirty minutes away, and even then I rarely do.

Logically, I know that Mog is just as safe in God's hands whether I'm sitting right beside her or on an island with a lengthy walk and then a ferry and then a too long drive home to get to her. But whilst my head says "God's in charge", my heart says "My beloved child; what if she needs me?"

Which makes Sunday all the more precious.

Saturday was a beautiful day. It was a day with 1477 other women (and a few brave men in the band!), an appointment with God which we'd booked up in the middle of a different storm, in January. Make a date with God and He tends to show up. And there was worship, and there were tears, and there was teaching, and because it was my friend and I, there was a certain amount of inappropriate laughing too. But God made us, and God gave us both a shared sense of humour, and I think He might have been laughing too.

A message delivered so fast that I'm finding different sentences floating up now; sentences I'd somehow filed away to think about later whilst trying to keep up with the next thing Christy Whimber was saying. And a message I didn't entirely agree with, but like an apple; plenty of sweetness, a hint of sharpness, lots to chew on, and some pips to be spat out.

And a beautiful sunny afternoon, a walk along the rocks, and as bonus light relief from some of the heaviness of the day, a big black lab bouncing along the waves, exuberantly retrieving the most revolting tennis ball ever from the black salty water.

And then another lovely meal at our hotel, and then tears and honesty and openness and a ridiculously late night (Sorry my friend!), followed by a good night's sleep.

Sunday was supposed to be cloudy and cold and somewhat grotty; we had gone to bed knowing that we'd had the best of the weekend on Saturday. But instead we woke to streams of sunshine forcing their way through the gaps in the curtains; a perfect day for our trip to the island.

And not once did I stop to think about how far away from Mog I'd be. After a wobble on Saturday night, I woke up without any of the "what-if she needs me"s on Sunday. Just knowing she was safe in God's hands, and in the hands of the hospice staff, and not even thinking very much about either girl, except to be thankful for them.

And the day was a gift. I think God likes to give us things, and on Sunday He just kept on giving. We had a slow start, but still managed to catch the first ferry of the morning. And the sun blazed down on us, and the water danced, and we landed on beautiful Brownsea Island. We walked through Scouting history, and we were surrounded by outstanding beauty, and the sun shone down on us. The ground was soft beneath our feet; moss carpets and bouncy clay; the ultimate in easy walking. I had forgotten how good it is to walk without either pushing a heavy chair or carrying a heavy backpack. And my friend carried our water and money, so I had nothing but my coat to hold me down.

It was a day for singing, a day for tree climbing, a day for dipping toes into icy cold water. A day for discovering that my friend's geocaching habit can actually be quite fun (Yes - I apologise to all of you for being rude about it in the past). A day for nearly being savaged by an angry peacock, a real "Taste and see that the Lord is good" kind of a day. A red squirrel. Birds. Scouts camping where Baden Powell held the first ever Scout camp. Bell ringers in a tiny church. Pink trees, blue skies, steep paths climbed gently. Laughing and smiling and talking and standing together in silence.

Finally time to start thinking about coming home. And so we meandered down to the ferries again, and, the icing on the cake, our own private upper deck (OK - the wind was up and no one else was silly enough to want to freeze) and so our own private tour around the other islands in the harbour. Sitting freezing feeling the force of the wind, and realising that what we'd expected to be the first step towards home was in fact the icing on the cake, an extra portion running over. God is good.

A clear run home, and a slow walk back to normality. The chance to get to an evening service (happens once or twice a decade), a peaceful night, and then a different kind of busy day on Monday.

And then back to reality with a bump and a bang and a whole lot of twitching. A Mog with a long long seizure - record long for her - and a Mog struggling either with whatever new breathing thing caused the seizure in the first place, or with whatever breathing thing the huge dose of diazepam has left her with. Hopefully temporarily. But a night full of alarms and beeps, and now a morning where she has woken up as I write this, but is unable to cope without her CPAP.

A morning where I'm back to "Help me, God, I don't know if I can do this", and a morning where the reality of the possibility of losing her (not immediately - I assure you I wouldn't be blogging if that were the case!) feels far too close. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small, protect me O Lord.

Is my faith any less than it was when I left here on Friday? No. Am I scared? Yes. But Sunday is a precious jewel of a memory, a bright shining reminder of how much God loves me, and how He is so much more immeasurably immensely everything than I can ever possibly begin to imagine. And tears and worship come hand in hand. This weekend we stepped briefly into the eye of the storm, and there was peace and beauty and perfection - and we were sheltered from the winds of life around us. And now I've stepped back into the storm again, and I'm breathless. Breathe on me.

Jesus, be the centre.


Mama B said...

Your writing is beautiful and moving. Thank you. I'm so glad you had that gem of a day straight from the hand of God. Love and prayers for quick recovery for Mog.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Tia. I am so glad that you had this wonderful weekend. So thankful that you know and have the assurance that the Lord is with you in the storms of life.


Alesha said...

Beautiful! I have had just a few of these days that I can tuck into my pocket like a treasured rock or favorite love note. I feel the same way about them. It's like the Lord just blesses you with every single little thing for just the one day, so that it fills you up and you are able to face the days ahead. They are precious gifts, aren't they? Thank you for sharing yours with us!



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