Thursday, August 29, 2013

When We're Willing to Do So...

      Right now my husband is mostly in bed, dealing with chronic numbness and/or pain to an extent that he's never experienced before.  These past few days it's been mostly pain.  Severe at times.  As in he's been on the verge of passing out three times in the past 24 hours. Make that four times - I just had to stop this blog to help him back to bed, neither of us sure that he would make it.  It's hard to see him cry, use a cane, beg for relief, and at times, break out in a sweat as he verges on passing out. Scary too.
     And that's the point of this blog.
     When there's nothing else that we can do.  Exercises.  Pain meds.  Heating pads.  Cold packs.  All that's been done and is still being done. And yet....there's still this unbearable pain that overwhelms him from time to time...
    We're finding that we  can  sing. Not always. And almost never in tune. But still, we can sing...
    Ironically enough: we don't normally sing around here - it's just not our style. Or, at least, it wasn't our style...
    This afternoon, while I was trying to catch up on rest - there hasn't been a lot of it around here the past two nights - Phil got up and was suddenly swamped with pain. He told me later he made it back to bed by singing hymns. Really???  That's a new one!
     This morning, as I waited for Phil to get ready so we could go for his first therapy session, I found an old hymn - one I was pretty sure I didn't like - welling up from my heart and bursting out of my mouth. I didn't even know I had memorized the words.  Must have been back in my granny's little country church because I could swear I haven't heard it much in the past few decades.   But this morning, those words flowed through my being like the balm of Gilead and the more I sang, the more I could let go - of my anxiety over my husband, over my concern about his job, over all the "what-if's" that have been plaguing us since this intermittent (now constant)  nerve pain started three weeks ago.
    The hymn?
    Leaning on the Everlasting Arms ...
    Truly, we are.
    Because there's nothing else we can do at this point.
    And we're finding, oddly enough, that while this is a hard place - really hard at times -  to be, still, it's not necessarily a bad place.
    I guess you don't lean until you have to.
    And right now, we have to.
    And that's maybe the one good thing we've found so far in this journey with pain: that He gives a song at the most unexpected times and that He's always there for us to lean on... when we're willing to do so.

   What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


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