Monday, July 1, 2013

stop, rest, accept

Today was the day. With a rested back, restless mind & READY heart, I entered the unit floor. My patients were kind,  eager to fill me in on recent happenings of our little unit. Co-workers waved, saying they were glad to see me back & feeling better, but instantly provided updates of imminent needs.
I smiled, nodded – assured everyone I was OK, better & could handle all of it. But to be honest, it was overwhelming & I knew it would be. That’s why armored-up with a comfortable maxi-dress & Tall Iced Grande White Mocha to face the day.IMG_1754
I accomplished many “to-do’s,” but was advised to leave early (by a very stubborn Medical Director) so to not strain too soon. I understood her point & even appreciated the concern, but my desk was lost in paperwork, June notes not done & with this Type-A personality, it will drive this girl-writer / social-worker NUTS.
But, I left at 2:00pm because I’m a little scared of her. And I took Vickery Rd. home, pondering my continued issue  with limitations.
My limitations are physical. I have a mind that never sleeps, a heart that never stops, but a body that cannot keep up… & this is the hardest part for me. 
 My head says “walk” – my right leg stops.  My head says “stand” – my spine says, not without crutches. My heart says “stay” – my body says, you can’t.
This is the battle I face, the life I lead. But in the fight between mind, body & heart, I find Jesus. I find his truth & his strength… & not strength to keep walking, standing, or staying:
So, I will stop. I will rest. I will accept.
And Jesus, Dr. Chamarthi & I are good with that.

Sincerely, Holly

Joni & Friend, Holly

It's been a quiet Saturday. The pain has dissipated (thank you, Jesus) & my body is responding just as Dr. Ward said it would - I'm ready to get up & get OUT.  But I'm heeding his orders & staying in...even scootering around my 675 square foot apartment... you know, normal stuff.
Don't believe me? See instagram for proof.

I've had a lot of time to think over the past week & oodles of time to write, so this "pain-cation" hasn't been all bad. But thinking & writing will only take you so far in a day, so what do I do? Instagram. This morning I shared with Edward the latest  on the Gram (yes, he cares) & how I learned Joni & Friends Family Retreat is going on.  It's been fun seeing  pictures, videos & tweets from STM's & even Joni herself.
There were many years I played a role in Family Retreat.. First as a Short-term Missionary, then as Leader of the High School Group. I LOVED camp &  made friends that will last  a life-time.  The families call it, "heaven on earth" ... & it is, it really is.
And it all started with her story.
When I was a little girl, my mother loved telling me about it.
"Holly, Joni's in a wheelchair, she's paralyzed & can't move her legs, but GUESS WHAT? She paints with HER MOUTH!"
My little face would drop & she would go on, "You see , God is SO strong he can use anybody he wants to."
I didn't know it then, but my mother was planting a very important message in my heart.
She was teaching me that God is bigger than my Spina bifida...& he's stronger than my weak little legs...& he did a GOOD thing giving me a broken body, for I will know him more because of it.
I'm proud to say Joni is an actual friend of mine.  We met at Family Retreat, but it wasn't right away & I didn't approach her. When you look up to someone for so long, it's difficult to muster the courage to say hello. So I kept my distance & admired from afar, because she is so important & I didn't want to get in the way.

But on the last day, my camper, Billy, went right up to her in the cafeteria to say hi.  I tried to grab him so we could eat lunch & Joni wheeled over toward me - so tall, even in that wheelchair - & said,
"I've wanted to meet you all week."  My heart stopped. All I could say was, "I've wanted to meet you my whole life."
That was the beginning of our friendship. She decided to feature my own story on her TV program (2008) & I continued serving at camp, visiting the International Disability Center in Aurora, CA & hanging out with cool people like Cindy Fahy, John Wern & Dan'l Markham... until school stopped & reality started.

Seeing all of the pictures this week, provoked me to relive these memories of Joni & her friends. It's difficult to do camp now with work, responsibilities & back pains... So to feel "apart" I decided to send a quick email to Joni, because I felt she HAD to know how fabulous she was looking on Instagram. I knew she was at camp & honestly did not expect a response... But she did...
& I have to admit.. my heart didn't stop. It lifted.
So, here's to Family Retreat. Keep laughing, loving & dancing those summer nights away.

Sincerely, Holly

*Picture from left to right: Me, Joni Eareckson Tada & Angie, my beautiful friend with Spina bifida who is now home with her King.