Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This Season of Waiting

I will be the first person to tell you that I am not very good at waiting.  I usually want to know what's next before I even get through what's now.  I mentioned in an earlier post that our church is in the middle of a series that talks about that "Next" in life.  That we all have a "next".  You can read that post HERE.  This series has been huge for us as we are going through this new season of grief and trying to discern what's "next" for us - individually and as a family.

Here's the thing.  I thought I had figured out what my "next" was supposed to be.  I thought I had a good plan in my head.  I had spoken to people regarding this idea.  The wheels were turning.  It was going to be huge for me and it would involve trusting and having faith in God to get through to the goal.  I thought I knew what the plan was going to be - finally.

Have you ever thought you had it all figured out and then something happens that derails your plan?

That's where I am.  Right now.  

The loss of a child is devastatingly painful.  It's unimaginable.  It's not natural.  Children aren't supposed to go before their parents.  That said, we never expected that Peyton would live a long life, so we knew in our hearts we would eventually face this loss.  And we have.  When you are a 24/7 caregiver for a special needs and medically fragile child, that becomes your world.  When that precious little life is gone, so does that caregiving role.  It has left me feeling rather lost and in a fuzzy state of uncertainty about what it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life.  So when I had the realization of what it was that I should be doing now, it was huge for me.  It gave me a new purpose to work towards.

Then came September 8th.  I had a freak accident.  I got up off the couch, took a couple steps, and rolled my ankle resulting in a very bad sprain.  Or so we thought.  I knew that this injury might delay my plans for my "next".  It didn't thrill me, but the overall goal seemed like it was probably still attainable in the time frame I was considering.  I had that feeling like someone was trying to slow me down, but I wasn't sure which side this was coming from.  Was it God telling me "not now" or was it the enemy telling me "no way, not this!" - in either case, slowing me down enough to where I had doubts in my mind about this goal.

Then came September 30th.  I have a weird medical history.  No disorders or chronic illnesses.  I just have weird things happen to me that happen to very small percentages of the population.  Things that are life-threatening.  Presumably because of my injury, I developed a massive pulmonary embolism - large blood clots in both of my lungs.  Not good.  Not good at all.  None of my doctors can understand why.  There's no disorder or medical condition to point to for an answer.  It just happened.  Even my Orthopaedic Surgeon has never seen anyone with my type of injury develop a PE.  He ordered an MRI.  

If I thought that the ankle injury alone had slowed me down, imagine what this did to me!  Even now - November 12th - I still have pain in my chest and back related to the PE.  My lung function as of a few weeks ago was only at 76% of normal.  Far better than the 40 or so % that it probably was when I went to the ER, but I'm not running on a full tank right now and my ankle is still in incredible pain and I still need to wear the boot or splint when walking.  After the PE, I felt that this definitely must be a sign that I'm meant to slow down.  I made it through this life-threatening event, but my goal for myself - my "next" - has had to be shelved for a little longer.  In the time frame that I had envisioned, I will not be at full capacity and, therefore, need to wait.

Then came October 30th.  I saw my Orthopaedic Surgeon as a follow up to the consult I had shortly after my ankle injury.  I received the results of my MRI and they weren't good.  I hadn't just severely sprained my ankle and torn a couple ligaments.  I tore a tendon!  The only answer to that is to have surgery.  More delays.  More waiting.  My "next" for me seemed like it was becoming something that might never happen at the right I was going!  Surgery was set for November 21st, pending clearance from my Hematologist an Pulmonary doctor.  Thankfully I have an Ortho who wants to make sure everything is in order before he touches my ankle!  Pulmonary gave me clearance for surgery.  

Then came November 11th.  I received a phone call from the Hematologist's office last Friday.  The doctor wanted to see me in the office on the 11th.  I presumed it would be to give me instructions on how to manage my blood thinners prior to and after surgery, as they would have to be adjusted.  Yes, this did happen.  What also happened was that he asked me to wait.  More waiting!!  I'm only about 7 weeks out from having a massive pulmonary embolism.  The risks going into surgery this soon afterwards are high. As we want the best possible outcome {i.e. for me to survive the surgery and to not have a repeat PE after the fact}, I am being asked to wait.  He said ideally it would be three months.  Three months!!!  I'm in pain now!!  I need this fixed now!!!  Not three months from now!!  However, I agreed with his medical judgment - because, while I may be impatient, I'm not stupid!  He did say that he felt that with the pain I am in, two months or so would be a sufficient wait time.

As soon as I left the doctor's office, I left a message with the Orthopaedic Surgeon's office to reschedule next week's surgery date to sometime in early December.  When I got the call back, I was told the earliest date available is December 12th.  That's one month from today!  I gladly took that appointment time and am secretly hoping for an opening in the week or so prior to that - as long as it's in December, we're ok.

And so I wait.  

And wait.

Waiting seems to be my "next".  It is no longer about what's at the end of this wait.  It was never about what my plans were after all because I was never in control of this situation in the first place.  I was recently told that sometimes it isn't the goal that is the "next" - it's the journey between here and there that is your "next".  It's what you learn on the journey to that goal.  I have to believe that this is what God has in His plan for me.  For certain, I am needing to learn to be patient in all things.  I need to be patient with Him and His perfect timing.  I need to trust that there is a reason for what I am enduring right now and that there will be a "next" in my life that will be filled with His blessings.

Instead of putting on my pouty face and stomping my feet because I want what I wanted for my "next", I need to open my eyes as well as my heart to allow me to be able to see what God has for me in this season of waiting.  I hate waiting.  It's not fun.  It's frustrating.

What I am learning is that perhaps the waiting is the "next" because it is during the waiting that I may molded into the person God wants me to be so that I can move towards whatever next season He has planned for me, whether it's the vision I had for myself or something entirely different.

And so I wait.

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