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Lessons from suffering

Sam made it home from his little trip...sick.

Ahhh...a fever.  I guess I wasn't too surprised.  He was sunburned, tired and coughing.  He looked miserable.  Other than that, he did okay.  He said the hiking was fine but he did get winded several times and had to take a break.  All in all...he did great.

Today, the news of Mike is still sinking in.  I don't think it will seem real until his funeral.

Today, I cleaned a house for an older couple.  Such a sweet couple.  They are always so thoughtful and kind.  The husband has been quite sick.  Today, his wife told me he is being moved to Hospice.  So sad.  I wish it wasn't so.  Tomorrow, I am going to take them donuts for National Donut Day.  It's a small thing to do, a meaningless thing really but the smile on his face was priceless when I told him it was National Donut Day on Friday.  The relief in her eyes that I will be back to spend time with them was almost more than my heart could handle.  I recognized those tired eyes.

Sunday, I had a moment to visit with my friend who recently had open heart surgery to replace a valve.  He commented on how bad he feels for bringing 'this' onto his family.  I knew exactly what he was feeling.  I know all too well the feelings of shame and guilt and even embarrassment that you have to admit to more setbacks, more trials.  As he spoke those words, it dawned on me...how is it that HE brought this upon his family.  His heart problems weren't a result of poor choices it was a result of God's trial for him; for them.   I gave him my one minute reprimand about that thought and figured, I could use a little reprimand myself.

Often, it is hard for me to admit to another doctor's appointment.
Another disease.
Another disorder.
Another fever.
Another infection.
Another test.

 I view it myself as something I must have done.  I have grand thoughts that others must look at me and think..."look at all the problems she is bringing upon her family.  If she would just stop."

Maybe others don't judge me as harshly as my inner critic does but, it's still a battle that goes on in my head daily, many times a day in some cases. It's the very thing that urges me to isolate and use words like, 'fine'.  'Great'.  'Hanging in there.'  'This too shall pass.' 'Oh, we are use to it.'  'It's no big deal.'  On and on goes the lies in my head and spill out so easily, even without thinking anymore.

The truth is, the truth scares me.  It's too real.  Too harsh.  Too unbelievable. I don't want to own that kind of story let alone have a life like that.  So, I pad the truth, coat it in sugar, roll it around in my mind to knock off a few sharp edges and then let it fall ever so gently from my mind until it almost drifts far enough way, I hardly recognize it as my own.

There is so much to be learned from suffering. Not just my own, but others. There is power in the very thing, for good or for bad.  It can energize you, or quiet the roar that facilitates a forward motion. Either way, there is no way around it, only slogging through.

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