I feel adrift.
Since January, following a fall, I feel adrift. Adrift as a wife, a writer, a friend, a human being.
My body, in pain most days, isn’t allowed to do housework as ordained by professionals. Simple cooking is OK. No vigorous kitchen cleanup reads don’t make a huge mess while cooking.
My mind won’t wrap itself around the craft of writing. Whether it’s working on my book, the blog, or book reviews, it doesn’t seem to matter. I feel mindless, wordless.
My summer days are mostly inside, and little or no exercise is ordered by any of the illustrious physicians in attendance so far. Don’t even mention flowers and gardening.
One chair in our home allows me to sit comfortably. Our bed allows me the comfort of lying down, but have you tried working from a prone position? I am trying to grow accustomed to standing while using my laptop, but years of otherwise make unlearning difficult.
Rays of hope arrived over the past few days.
After seeing multiple physicians, undergoing as many lab tests and imaging studies, and receiving steroid injections times too many, another doctor seeing me for an unrelated problem listened. I mean she really listened to my complaints and symptoms.
This doctor gave me what probably comes the closest to a correct diagnosis anyone has attempted. Then she referred me to a physical therapist specially trained in treating the adverse physiology I’m attempting to overcome.
(Sorry for the mysterious explanation. It’s a rather sensitive and personal subject as far as I’m concerned.)
We left that appointment feeling we’d been given a ray of hope.
A couple of days later our church newsletter arrived. Physically unable some Sundays to attend church, I’ve learned the importance of the newsletter to feeling in touch with people and activities.
On the last page of this newsletter, the second ray of hope came to me. In the form of a #40wordprayer, incredibly beautiful word creations limited to 40 words.
I requested and received permission to share not only the #40wordprayer, but also a reflection on a conversation with a friend and former student:
for the reminder
from a dear life-giver
that in life
all of the goals
do not automatically lead
and as the world
the purpose resides not
but in serving
This prayer emerged out of a conversation I had recently with a dear friend and former youth group student who now serves as a radiation oncologist and just finished her final oral medical board exams. We marveled at how milestones in our lives give us the impression that we will one day ‘arrive’ at the destination to which we have been striving for so long. And then we mused at how this contrasts with the reality that so often these points of ‘arrival’ are actually springboards of ‘departure’ into the next season of the journey.
When Jesus came to the greatest milestone on his journey and cried out ‘It is finished’, it took some time before it became clear that he was actually saying ‘It is beginning’.
In our desire and hope towards ‘arriving’ at the next ‘destination’ of vision and mission as a family of faith at MPC [Moreland Presbyterian Church], may we be ever mindful that in this journey of life and faith, the ‘ends’ (great and small) are actually ‘beginnings’. And as we receive the gift of each new moment of life, may we hear the voice of the Giver saying, ‘My child, begin again.’
With Jesus and with you, brian
PRAYER AND REFLECTION: BRIAN MARSH, HEAD OF STAFF, MORELAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, PORTLAND, OR
IMAGE OF CHILD: “PATH OF LIFE,” DIGITAL ART BY ALICE POPKORN VIA FLICKR
Am I drifting or evolving?
Perhaps this is a God-given time for reflection, discernment, and new direction. If so, I feel better about the conditions I find myself struggling through in my writing, my home life, and my friendships and other human connections.
Days on end, as many of you know firsthand, of the same thing takes us to a land of drought, parched to the elimination of our art. A life of illness or injury with no definitive answers, again as many know, leaves you with anxiety and stress and doubt, none of which enhances the body’s ability to heal. Nor do these emotions lend themselves well to family relationships and friendships with our online or real-tie community.
I am filled with hope on two fronts now: (1) from the medical community caring for me; and (2) my faith community providing prayers, encouragement, and as Brian said in an email this week special prayers for “sani-T!”
Image: Adrift via Unsplash (no attribution required; free images)
Image: James 1:5-8 (MSG) via Pinterest
Stay tuned for more about my “evolution.”
Hi Sherrey, lovely post thank you. I love the message of feeling adrift and in the land of drought being a time for reflection and renewal. How wonderful to have the doctor really listen and come to a more accurate diagnosis! And the 40 word prayer and the recognition that when ‘it is finished’ is actually the beginning. This is very powerful. All healing and loving thoughts to you for your full recovery. Patience is the name of the game as is allowing others to help when it is needed.
Susan, you always bring a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing your insights and thoughts, especially in the last sentence. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.
I sure hope your pain is going away. I know (even though my pain is nothing like yours) what it feels like to have a doctor/medical personnel actually listen and HEAR what you have to say regarding pain. When I’ve been in situations similar to this, I’ve felt my life to be in limbo, but I like your description better: adrift. I’ll be thinking about you and looking forward to our lunch at the WW conference. Then I hope we’ll be able to do lunch more than just then. Hugs to you my friend.
My traveling friend, welcome! Things are looking up day-by-day. Looking forward to our time together in August and beyond. I continue to reflect on how serendipitous our meeting at the conference last year was. A gift for us both!
You are certainly plugged in to the right Source for your supply of grace, strength and healing. Our move beginning about 4 months ago has involved financial maneuvering, logistical planning, and physical exertion beyond what we were expecting. I knew it would be big, but didn’t recognized how BIG!
One reason I feel adrift is that I have had to lay aside my memoir manuscript for most of the summer. There is simply no time and I don’t have the focus and concentration required for writing/revising, except for writing short blog posts on the side. Others have told me the benefits of having one’s writing marinate and coming back to it with fresh insight. I have to believe they are right.
We must remember “My times are in his hands.” and this promise: Job 23:11 “But he knoweth the way that I take when he hath tried, me I shall come forth as gold.” I join with your many friends here to wish you relief and renewal. 🙂
Marian, dear friend, I can only imagine what this move has brought into your lives. Transition and change is never easy, is it? Like you, my memoir manuscript has been languishing in a corner of my workroom now for close to nine months for the same reasons–lack of focus and concentration. Let’s hope the recipe for this marinating process is spot on!
Thank you for the beautiful words from Scripture in your last paragraph. These are not only beautiful words but also powerful ones.
My daughter suffers from chronic lyme disease and has been doing the antibiotic healing route for several years now. It’s been a long haul and none of us are really sure there will be an end to her pain and struggle. Between the two of you, I am learning about grace and how we humans must accept what we are given and how to maneuver through life despite the difficulty. Thanks for this lovely post, Sherrey.
Dear Joan, I had no idea your daughter suffers with chronic lyme disease. What an awful disease and I send her my sympathies for the pain, the struggle, and what seems to be a never-ending journey to resolution. Thank you for your kind and gracious words.
What a lovely post. I join the pray-ers….I feel like you/we are adrift AND evolving.
Thank you, Dolores, for stopping in and for the prayers.
Sherrey, your story, told so eloquently, is a powerful reminder of the importance of health and perspective. I can relate given my own personal challenges with peritoneal dialysis. I especially appreciate the reference to an end being a beginning of a whole new chapter in one’s life. I’m so sorry you are enduring this hardship but am hopeful for you as you step forth in faith into your next chapter. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I have missed you and am happy to reconnect. Sending you many healing prayers and blessings.
I thought of you as I wrote this post, Kathy, with your personal health situation. I send you my sympathies and prayers daily hoping that the two of us will reach our goals of improved health and wellness one of these days. Missing you too! My mind is in such a fog some days I forget to plan evening meals. My prayers and blessings are yours!
Thank you, Sherrey. Let’s keep moving forward in faith, one step and day at a time!
Thank you Sherrey. I have also been a bit ‘adrift’ but am also looking at it as evolving! thank you! I appreciate your perspective.
Michelle, thanks for checking in with your perspective on evolving into a new phase. Glad you enjoyed the post.
Sherrey, the pain and the lack of clear diagnosis must be very, very difficult. I’m so glad your church community and your blogging community are surrounding you now. May God continue to provide glimmers of hope through words, and deeds, and prayers made visible. Big hug.
Shirley, my dear friend, how perceptive your first sentence is of my feelings. The circle of friends, both church and blogging, is immeasurably comforting. Your hug was felt in a BIG way! Thank you for being a part of my support group.
Sherrey, I know this must be a difficult time for you. Please know you’re in my thoughts and prayers.
Joan, please know your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.
Yes, my friend, you are right. This is pretty much where I am now, too.
Cate, thinking of you as I begin to struggle through PT and trying to work on the book. I think the PT is going to win!
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