God is very good to me. Life may be kicking my butt but God is good and I have a remarkable story that illustrates this beautifully:
A good friend of mine from our former church in L.A. invited me to a prayer and worship service last Thursday night. To be honest, I didn’t want to go. As much as I love this dear community of friends, I just wasn’t sure I had the emotional energy to see them…many of whom I haven’t seen since my decline. So, I sat on the invitation for a few days and in that time published my last post. As I composed & edited the post and put the struggle into words, I decided I really should take advantage of Pammy’s invitation regardless of my reservations because I knew the experience would help calibrate my perspective and bring healing. In addition, the kids were willing to drive me down which sweetened the pot even more! 😉
Olivia was 4, Max 8 and Wilson 10 when we moved from L.A. to Santa Barbara so it was a little freaky for the boys to be back at Christian Assembly – they remembered everything being much bigger back in the day. Ha! Although we’ve been gone for twelve years, it only took one step past the threshold of the church before I began to run into friends…by the time we got settled in the sanctuary, our posse numbered 12+. The 7 years we attended CA were formative for our young family. I was part of a small mom’s prayer group that was very special and I became deeply invested in the spiritual nurturing of all our little ones. Now these kids are grown and many of them were present Thursday night praying fervently for ME…how precious is THAT!
The highlight of the evening for me came after an organized time of prayer for spiritual, emotional and physical healing…a large group gathered around me including Wilson, Max and Olivia. As I looked down at my kids praying, I was overcome with a strong sense that they should be prayed over but I was sobbing and couldn’t do it so I motioned to my friends Pam, Robin and Kathy to pray for them. I just sat there and sobbed and, quite unexpectedly, felt led to pray prayers of anointing over the kids myself even though I couldn’t articulate the words. I motioned to Kathy to help me place my hand on Olivia’s head and then the boys’ and through my tears I prayed the prayers of my heart that came out as unintelligible sounds and groans. I wish my description could do the experience justice…it was such a precious, “full circle” picture of community, friendship and love. God met me in that moment and reassured me that He has my children in the palm of His hands. Something my heart needed to be reassured of, I guess.
My prayers? Well, for Olivia, I prayed that her heart will be protected. She has been and will continue to be on the front lines of my struggle and I pray her faith fuels her strength. For Max, I prayed he will be sensitive to and empowered by God’s spirit as he grows in his gift to lead others (in worship especially) but also in life in general. And for Wilson, I prayed he will be a bold beacon of God’s grace and truth and JOY in the many contexts he will find himself in this transitional season from youth group leader to military officer. For all three, I prayed that the tough stuff will not leave emotional scars but will deepen and inform their compassion.
As for me, God used the evening to remind me to trust my instincts. I am in a frightening and frustrating process as expressed in my last post. It is easy to feel lost in the increasingly unfamiliar space I find myself in and (although I appreciate the professional resources available to me) my best defense against losing myself in the chaos is listening to and trusting my gut…an important insight for both me and Rolf because we are DIYers at heart, always have been, from Rolf’s building projects to the way I managed our home to the way we problem-solved Rudy’s care and now mine. It was as if God was saying to me on Thursday “Don’t worry. You’ve got this. I’m guiding and you’re listening and you have a team of wonderful people following your lead. Trust yourself. All shall be well.”
So, whenever I think I’m hearing from God I look for confirmation and then this happened the following morning:
The kids and I rolled in at 1am on our return from L.A. As a result, I was out of sync in my normal routine and extra tired the following morning…about 3 bites into my breakfast I began to choke. The boys jumped into gear and began our family’s choking protocol but this time it didn’t work and the blockage was not budging. Trying not to panic, I motioned to Max to pound on my back harder. The food shifted and my airway opened up but it was still lodged in my throat. It was really painful and I was unable to swallow my saliva. After a few attempts at trying other techniques with no luck, I told Wilson to call 911 figuring they’d have some quick and easy remedy. Three first responders arrived, assessed the situation and advised I be transported to the ER. I really didn’t want to go nor did I feel like the situation warranted an ambulance transport…if only we could get a good whack at just the right angle…I asked one of the first responders to try…he did so, lightly, but expressed concern over hurting me or making it worse. Understandable, but while Wilson answered the others’ questions regarding my general information, I turned to Max and asked him to give it another try…2 or 3 strong strikes later and I was free!! I leaned back with a deep breath and big smile just as the ambulance and EMTs arrived. Woo Hoo!!!! They checked my vital signs and left pretty quick after that.
Like I said to the boys afterwards, it was good that we called for help and had back up but ultimately we followed instinct, figured it out and got ‘er done! Yay us! Where was Olivia? Out on a long run. There will be future episodes for which she will be needed but this time God gave her a break and guarded her heart. Praise Him!
So, has all this translated into less frustration in the living out of the day to day? No. But, it is helping me connect the dots and not feel so lost…as have all your thoughtful comments and messages this past week. Thank you, friends! I welcome your insights and words of love always.
7 thoughts on “DIYers”
Trish, I have no incredible insights other than to continue to tell you what an INCREDIBLE person you are! Your faithfulness in the midst of this horrific trial is amazing and as I have told you before, you are positively touching people lives that you have no idea you are reaching. The Lord is being glorified! I hate the struggles that you have to face day in and day out! I hate that your precious family has had to endure so much hardship! I LOVE that you all are so committed to Jesus and to each other!
LORD bring strength and peace to each one in this household!
Thank you for your continued efforts in keeping us posted on your daily life. I pray for you daily! I LOVE YOU DEARLY.
Oh Trish, you have the gift of faith, honesty, intelligence, and writing skills to convey it all. OnceGain I am moved by your blog and feel such an ho or to pray for you and yours. Thank you. On another note, I copied your calligraphy note for ourBen grandson. I DID give you the credit! He was being promoted to Middle school and is a great kid. I told your story and how you originally wrote it for a graduating son, and how we pray it will be influential in his thoughts and decisions in the years to come, when more decisions will be his to make and his future will be shaped. That was a real ‘gift’ to us all, and again I thank you for your wisdom. I hope to see you at the RM dedication. Joan W.
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So, so grateful for that rich time of prayer with long-term friends. No such thing as gibberish in prayer, dear Trish. God knows it all before the sounds escape us and those groans were exactly what you needed to offer. Great whacking job, Max!! Praying for all of you on the regular. Mucho love to you, Trish.
Trish you encourage me in most amazing ways and with step of obedience to what God is calling you to, you exude such, courage, grace, poise, faith and grit! Thanks so much. You are a great blessing to many and may the Lord continue to grant strength even when you don’t feel that way physically. Love you!
Has I’m reading your blog I’m feeling that again you are teaching me. My son just came and told us he is going back into rehab. I sat still sick to my stomach thinking how can I help him. I realize that God is listening to my prayers and that he has Grant in the palm of his hand too. Thank you for always teaching me to be strong and faithful. I will continue to keep in in my heart and prayers. Love you
It was so wonderful seeing you and the “kids” at CA. What a special treat to have you all there and see your beautiful smiles and the strength of your faith resonating from each one of you. Interestingly enough, I felt led to pray for your kids too. I spent a good portion of the evening praying for them. May God, guide, protect and bless each one of them. May they know His heart for them and His delight in them. Love to you all!
What a walk down memory lane to be at CA again. I surely miss this sweet days of little kiddos and your curly topped boys.
You and Rolf have been instrumental in my life, child rearing and marriage. And watching your valiant struggle gives me strength to rise up even against my smaller hills. I miss the times we spent together! I see that day at the beach and Rudy on the trampoline with Kate and Drew often in my mind. We never know what is in store for us, but God is training us and preparing us every step of the way isn’t He?
Loving you from Missouri.