Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Places to See

I just started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp yesterday.  (Thanks for the Indigo gift cards some of you gave me - used to buy the book rather than waiting for it through the library which I had been doing.)  And the book totally speaks my language.  She is talking about living in wonder and gratitude.  Goals I've had for the last number of years.

"I wonder too....if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.

To see through to God.

That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endless crave." pg. 22

Wow, that quote in the first chapter hit me hard yesterday.  I am living in one of those holes that splatter our sight, one of those tears in the canvas of my life.  And, I have TOTALLY seen God in it.  In ways I never would have expected and have never understood.

So, where have I seen God in the last 4 weeks?  Because that's all it has been since I received the diagnosis of endometrial cancer.  It's a little scary to begin the list because I might leave something off.  Then again, I can always add to the list later.

1) in the hugs and tears of those I love (and those who love me) when I shared the news
2) in the prayers of those same people, and of the members of the school and church community, prayers that have most certainly helped carry me
3) in the eyes and tears of my students when I shared the news and they asked their questions
4) in the prayers of those same children
5) in the words shared with me through cards, phone calls, e-mails
6) in the non-verbal encouragements through eye contact, hugs, and smiles
7) in the encouraging gifts of meals, flowers, quilting magazines, books, movies, visits (and all the offers that haven't been taken up yet)
8) in the time my parents and my sister were able to be here to look after me (what a long time for my parents to put up with sleeping in my cold basement that doesn't have a bathroom!)
9) in the fact that my doctors pursued the referrals and the testing even though they really thought it was all pre-menopausal "stuff"
10) in the quick turnaround between diagnosis and surgery (despite the extra week waiting due to being bumped for emergencies)
11) in that extra week to just be and spend time with family and friends rather than madly getting things ready
12) in the blue jay mentioned in a previous post
13) in the sunshine on my face when I go for my daily walks (all of 2 or 3 houses to the north and 2 or 3 houses to the south)
14) in the provision of an excellent teacher to take over my class while I can't be there and in her openness and willingness to communicate with me
15) in the gift of medication that can ease the pain and not result in nausea - truly a huge gift!
16) in friends who are willing to do laundry and bring out my garbage
17) in the little home maintenance jobs my dad did for me (things I lived with, but are SO nice to have fixed)
18) in the peace that I have felt, rather than fear (most of the time, that is) - which HAS to be God
19) in the daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, and bleeding hearts which are trying desperately to demonstrate that spring will eventually come to this land of the very long winter
20) in the gift of sleep - and even of discovering the ability to nap!

That'll do for now.  And, I think it gives evidence of God showing Himself!  What an awesome God.

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