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I haven’t been…

March 5, 2008

to the grocery store by myself in weeks. Except for the other day when I was allowed to sneak there to pick up some prescriptions. I snagged some less than $4 a gallon milk, only to be promptly busted by a friend wondering what I was doing, there, out of bed.

The ebb and flow of my days has been how many hours must I be in bed waiting for the sitting on a burning match feeling or electrical voltage show to subside in the back portions versus how many hours can I be up on my feet, playing at this new normal. It’s an enlivening game of really considering my priorities.

I teach the Bible to a class of women during the week which involves a couple of mornings. Those times do not involve being constantly on my feet, and for the day that does require a longer time, I utilize a tall stool to take the edge off of the electric voltage. However, I’m unused to this idea of balancing my life between being upright and being prone.

Some people pray that God wouldn’t require them to go to Africa. I find myself praying that God would not require a lifestyle of chronic pain. There is great weakness in such a prayer, to know myself unwilling to endure this indefinitely. I know many women who live with chronic pain, and I have mentally revisited my interactions with them, to great shame.

In preparing various lists for the friends and family who have taken over my grocery duties, I have noticed how much I unwittingly carry in my head regarding canned green beans, cheddar cheese, cereal, and spaghetti sauce. Truly a host of trivialities all of the sudden important when trying to describe to someone the exact brand, size, and flavor of frosted mini-wheats to buy.

My grocery list looks like this:

skbo chk brst
shrd chz
blk chz

My grocery list now written out for people looks like this:

Kroger Brand skinless, boneless chicken breasts, ice glazed
Kroger Brand Colby/Monterey Jack shredded cheese, 4 cup bag
Kroger Brand medium sharp cheddar cheese 12 ounce block
Raisin Bran, Malt O Meal Honey Nut Flavored Toasty O’s, Kroger Brand Rice Bitz
Kroger Brand orange juice with calcium, 1 gallon
Hidden Valley Lowfat Ranch Dressing

The point being that when I go to the grocery store, I know what I am doing. When others go for me, they are trying to do what I know all ready how to do. This is not a statement of ingratitude at all. I am completely dependent on this type of help right now. I am utterly thankful for how willingly and generously it has been given.

Yesterday, I was so uncomfortable, I was ready to call the doctor and request surgery. Today, I have had probably the best day in literally weeks. This has reminded me of my grocery list before the Lord. I know in my head and heart what I want Him to do for me, and I keep writing it out in specifics. But the Lord knows exactly what He is doing in, for, and through me. He has the power and authority to make the wiser choices because it is His perfectly sovereign character to do what He has all along been doing, what He knows to do, and is trustworthy to do in the lives of His people.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2008 10:02 pm

    First — you found milk for under $4? That’s worth getting out of bed.

    Second — my mother-in-law has a chronic pain issue. Your posts have poured mercy into my heart for her. I sincerely hope God removes this thorn from you.

  2. March 5, 2008 10:17 pm

    My grocery list before the Lord.

    Wow, you totally looked into my heart and put so much to words with that statement.

    Your literal grocery list looks so much like mine! I can’t imagine how long it must take to write out the specifics.

    Thanks for continuing to share with honesty and rawness all that you are going through. I am learning much – as always.

  3. March 6, 2008 7:29 pm

    Beautiful post, beautiful surrender to our Lord who does all things well, in His time and for His glory.

  4. March 6, 2008 9:16 pm

    My heart goes out to you – this is such a difficult thing to go through. Yet, I can tell you from experience that God will grow you through this in ways that only this type of pain and dependency will allow. In my first year of liver disease, I did not understand this at all, and I too, had a specific list for my Father, as though I knew what was best for me! Now, into my third year, I am finally able to surrender my ideas for the future – knowing His plan is perfect, His healing complete – His timing is impeccable. Praise God that your not as slow as I (was) am!

  5. March 6, 2008 11:40 pm

    Hey Elle! I wrote something for you on Pragmatic Compendium. Maybe it will make this time a little easier for you.

  6. March 10, 2008 2:35 pm

    I was really touched by this post. During some times of recent struggle, I have cried out, “Why is this required of me?” Thank you for this reminder that His timing and plan is perfect–that I am made complete through His sanctifying work in my life.

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