Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Leaning

So, here it is. I have prevaricated and procrastinated for long enough. It's time to tell about that experience. You know, the big one, the one where I wondered if I'd see 2012 through.

What a fellowship, What a joy divine
Leaning on the everlasting arms
What a blessedness, what a peace that's mine
Leaning on the everlasting arms

This is me in the 2nd week of December, or thereabouts.

I suddenly went down with pneumonia in both lungs and went straight into hospital. I was there around 2.5 weeks. I don't have an awful lot of memory of the first week, it's a tad blurry. I remember being really, really scared. I was on constant 02 and still couldn't suck enough air in. I felt like I was drowning.


Lord I'm leaning, leaning
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning, leaning
Leaning on the everlasting arms

I only remember calling out to God once. 'Why?' The answer was in the silence and the struggle for every breath. In the recollection of Jesus' own agony. In the ministrations of the staff, in the love of my family and friends. No awesome glimpses of heaven or visions of angels. But a God who was next to me, in it with me, who knew.

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

This was the worst exacerbation of my disease in at least 12 years. I cannot remember before such a desperate fight. I would wake up and be unable to move. The pain came with the lack of breath. I'm still recovering from that bit.
Lord I'm leaning, leaning
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning, leaning
Leaning on the everlasting arms

I'm aware that this is sounding somewhat melodramatic. But it's cathartic to get down how it was, exactly, and come to terms with that. I was too busy battling to reflect an awful lot, and then too busy recovering. I think I wrote on Facebook after the first week 'I feel like a piece of driftwood washed up to the shore.' I felt exactly that - like I'd been bashed around on the rocks for a week or so, and now it was time to rest. I'm still there, really. I've left the house a few times now, but normal life is still on the housebound side.

Oh how sweet to walk in the pilgrim way
Leaning on the everlasting arms
Oh how bright the path grows from day to day
Leaning on the everlasting arms

It puts a lot of stuff into perspective, something like that. Obvious stuff like the importance of good relationships, like being so very grateful for the love of family and friends. And less outward stuff like realising the importance and even sacredness of each moment. No point trying to live for the future. I could be straining for when I am 'better', whenever that may be, without taking each day for what it is, for the beautiful moments therein. For the laughter with my children over daft YouTube clips, for an evening with Adventure Bloke watching a favourite programme. For each moment with friends who visit. Life doesn't need to be so quick, so furious. Slowed down things can be appreciated.
Lord I'm leaning, leaning
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning, leaning
Leaning on the everlasting arms

I'm pondering on contentment at the moment, and what St Paul meant by 'the secret to contentment'. A lot of people seem to base it on circumstance, on health, on relationships. When one of those things is stripped out is it possible to be content? Is it possible that contentment could be to do with the moment, and finding God in the moment? More on this to come as I ponder.

So I'm Leaning. I was Leaning in the hospital, leaning further in than I had perhaps done ever before. The everlasting arms were there, as they always are and always will be. I think that in leaning, far from losing my own independence, I gain all that I am supposed to be, and the further I lean, the further the truth of this is revealed. Try some leaning yourself :)

With thanks to the amazing David Crowder Band.




 

4 comments:

  1. This picture tells a story like words cannot convey, Love and hugs Liz,please take care, I hope you recover and return to living life to the full soon, be thinking of you,Kelvin.x

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  2. Sad to see you so unwell, I hope that every day gets you closer to what we call "well". Love Carole.

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  3. You take me back to when I did my most desperate leaning on the love of God. There are times still when I move a little away from His love and you have reminded me of what I miss when I do. Thank you Liz and may God keep you and bring you through xxx

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  4. Gosh powerful words Liz, I am so joyful that you are well currently. Mich x

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