April 12, 2018
At some point in being angry at my mom, I hit the wall. Sitting in my truck in the driveway I confessed that I would never be able to forgive my mom on my own. I was done trying.
After a Selah moment the Lord put picture in my head. My mother, deep in grief, crawling on bloody hands and knees. She was trying to reach me to beg forgiveness. The Lord asked, “If she did this, would it change anything? Take away one moment of your pain?”
And the struggle went away. I yielded my need for revenge to the Giver of perfect justice.
Later, it was revealed to me that no one taught her how to love but Aunt Paula and Aunt Gladys and the Word had taught me some things. So I vowed never to leave my mom without hugging her and telling her I lived her.
At first she was surprised and suspicious. After a few years, if she thought I was leaving she would remind me “You didn’t give me my hug.”
God is good.
She was still terrifying and said cruel things but not just that. My mom had gotten a taste of something she probably never expected to know.
God is good.
February 25, 2017
God is in the redemption business. Taking something and making something new out of it.
Romans 8:28 promises it. The context of the verses before it talk about persevering through hardship and he concludes that God makes it work together for good. For our good. Not that what happens is good but that God who made creation from chaos will make good come out of bad things. “He makes all things beautiful in His time.”
In the middle of my ugly divorce, my children and I needed counseling. My children had been victimized and there was someone deliberately trying to make it worse than it already was. To pay for the session, the therapist had me do editing work on her current paper on an Apple IIe.
I had never worked on a real computer before and after some serious trial and error I figured out how it worked. I loved it. It worked the same way my brain did. I found my gift.
That was the first step in a long line of God-incidences that brought me where I am today. I volunteer in the church office doing computer work after a 30 year career in IT. I am retired from the largest computer company in the world. I loved that job and was very successful at it. But what I do at Eastside is all that I did before but for something eternal. Something of true worth. It’s my job to give the ones that can preach and teach more time to use those gifts while I do what God built me to do in great joy in the office. I am happier than I have ever been.
The season of my divorce was the second most painful time in my life…(BUT GOD…two of the best words in the Bible) but God made something for mine and my family’s good from it.
I may not see all the things He has redeemed but I believe in His promise that it will happen.
February 25, 2017
First thing in the morning I’m supposed to check my blood sugar. I put the little stick in the machine and the screen lights up.
I’m trying to use it to remind myself to have my quiet time first thing too. Apply the blood of Jesus. It lights up in the dark.
It makes me giggle like the simpleton I can be but it works sometimes so I’ll keep doing it.
February 25, 2017
In a conference room for a demo of a kid’s program, we were asked to turn to the person next to us and give an example of when we were rejected. Unfortunately, the person next to me was someone I admire so much and value his opinion so greatly that I can rarely speak intelligently in his presence. He frightens me. So I babbled something stupid and he told me something awful that happened to him and we moved on.
I realized today that in my paradym the question was null. “Recall a time when my heart pumped?” That is the same question. Jesus was rejected and told us to expect it too. It makes me laugh. No wonder the question was so hard. I had to think about it.
Here’s a few answers:
- When my mom gave me 3rd degree burns over my neck and arm. I almost died. She always told me it was my fault. I was 18 months old.
- One of the many times I was left alone as a child and the water heater exploded on me. I fell asleep waiting for help – blackened, burned and cut.
- The time my friends in high school told me (as a joke) they’d pick me up for a football game on a certain corner. I sat there until midnight rather than go home to be shamed by my mother and made fun of by my family.
- The time my husband tried to sell me as a prostitute.
- The many times that same husband would look at me and then turn away with a look of revulsion. (Even today I have trouble looking in a mirror.)
- The time after we were separated that he raped me.
- When he abandoned us and we had to live in our car.
- The times I was still at school and my family left to go somewhere without leaving a note. I came home to climb through the window. Once there was an earthquake. I gathered their coats and some water by the door while I was waiting. They laughed at me for a long time about that.
- When I had anaphylactic shock at church and the choir director moved my legs out of the way so she could close the door and start rehearsal. She never even asked if something was wrong. Never knew that the paramedics jump started me, gave me 3 shots of adrenaline and were about to give up.
- The times my mom would say “Sue’s the pretty one. But it’s ok – Judy’s smart” in company.
- The one time I had a birthday party and no one came.
So there’s a few times I’ve felt rejected. Sometimes people suck.
But then there are wonderful people too. People who love me so much I can cry just thinking about them. They outnumber the jerks incredibly.
Their acts of acceptance can’t be numbered.
But more importantly there is the God who made me. The one who holds all creation together. Even me. He sent all those wonderful arms to hug me and kind words and deeds to bless me.
August 13, 2016
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sending out an email from my desk at Eastside and there at the top of the distribution list was Joan’s name and email address. I tried to delete it but I couldn’t. I started crying. Hard. Fortunately everyone was in a staff meeting so I was alone.
Joan had breast cancer. She fought that battle but it came back-this last time in her brain. She had just recently gotten out of the hospital.
We met in April 2013 on her first trip to the orphanage in Rosarito. She was the kindest, most positive person. You couldn’t help but be drawn to her.
She had the best home-going I could have prayed for. She went to a musical production with her husband, out to dinner with friends. Then went to church on Sunday where everyone was glad to see her, hug her and just love on her. That night she died. I was in Mexico that weekend.
She had been helping me, answering my questions about the tests I was undergoing and just talking about the whole cancer fight.
Then she died.
I miss her but I know it won’t be forever. Not long at all in the grand scheme of things. It’s nice knowing she’s there waiting for me.
August 13, 2016
I used to do this for my Aunt Gladys. I’d be on the way back from taking her to a doctor appt and she’d be sitting there with TV face in another world. So I’d just start singing the old hymns. After a while she would start to sing quietly then louder, then in harmony. After driving around for awhile in worship therapy we ended up in the Taco Bell drive up because she was hungry. Then she’d tell me the old stories of her family when her dad led the church and her mom played the piano. Worship therapy, that’s what is. Able to reach us when nothing else can.
August 6, 2016
My surgeon is House. He’s scruffy and abrupt. He even uses a cane. I like him a lot.
My daughter who is pretty and social was with me and he started asking her questions – I had to point out that I was the patient. I’m sure that was a great disappointment.
He asked me why I was having surgery rather than radiation. I told him I didn’t know it was an option and asked him to tell me about it. He said I would have to go to the Kaiser Hospital in LA for 3 sessions of high dose radiation or I could go for 3 weeks, 5 days a week to the radiation oncology center there in Anaheim. He told me the projected outcome for radiation or surgery were the same. Since cutting it out worked well 13 years ago, and I’m the get it over with type, I chose surgery.
So he booked me for surgery on August 16th. I have a pre-op physical on the 11th. He checked the size of my chest and the space between my ribs and said I was a good candidate for the laparascopic procedure. Finally, being built like a linebacker is good for something!
Then he started castigating me. He asked me where I was in July. I told him I was in Mexico working at an orphanage. He repeated the info to his assistant, scoffed almost using the f* word and told me that was no excuse and that I messed up his numbers. They’re supposed to see the patient within 3 weeks of referral and I was referred on July 6th so I got him in trouble. I told him when Kaiser sends me a survey I’d give him all 10s and add a nice note. He told me he wanted 11s. I said no problem. Then he hobbled back to his office without a goodbye or a nod of his head.
I love him! He’s got social skills like mine and I feel comfortable saying whatever I need to to him. Thank you God! The surgeon that took out my kidney in 2003 was like that. He did a great job and he didn’t freak out when I told him I had opened my draining incision up a little more with an exacto blade I boiled. I couldn’t get the packing in. He reached in a drawer and handed me some presterilized scalpels. Then he told me a story about a crazy guy that removed his own adrenal gland using mirrors. The guy got one out but passed out trying to get the second one out. So when he came to, he drove himself to the hospital. It was a great story and right up my alley. God has always gotten me to the right doctor at the right time.
I’m still a little annoyed that Dr Nguyen didn’t mention the radiation option. I like having all the info and I wonder if there’s anything else I should know. I’m sure I gave him the impression that I would be in favor of surgery. It’s entirely scriptural…If thine eye or pulmonary nodule offend thee, pluck it out..or something like that in Judy’s Revised Version. I’m too impatient for anything else.