Sunday, April 8, 2012

One Stroky’s Journey: Resurrection

Yosemite photo borrowed from the Yosemite National Park site here

Hope you are having a blessed Easter! Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays, filled with joy from several sources:

1--Joy flowing from the monumental love behind the divine sacrifice and resurrection;

2--Joy from loving my immediate and extended family and their loving me, even when we are not physically together at Easter; and

3—Joy that God granted me a resurrection into a full life after my stroke on Good Friday 2011. The days since Easter 2011 have been filled with life’s challenges and triumphs, sadnesses and joys.

I am thankful for the assurance that God has been with me in this continuing journey of recovery. During these months I have often thought of an Easter message I heard in 1978 in a rustic chapel in Yosemite National Park. The chapel was nestled on the valley floor in sight of majestic peaks carved out by ancient glaciers. I don’t remember the clergyman’s name, but I remember his sermon about going through life’s valleys, even the valley of the shadow of death.

Thirty-three years later, I spent Easter 2011 in the intensive care unit in Ocean Springs Hospital in our hometown. It must have been several days after Easter, still in ICU, that I started thinking about that Easter message. The speaker offered three words as a game plan for living through life's valleys with a determination to trust and honor God.

I could remember two words, “thankfulness” and “thoroughness”; but as much as I love alliteration, the third word always seemed just out of reach as I floated around in my post-stroke sea of tranquility. That was okay, though.

The idea of going through my personal stroke-induced valley with thankfulness and thoroughness kept me busy. Visitors may have thought I was unconscious, and I was told I was asleep most of the time. But I remember the calm and peaceful place I was floating in as quite active. Thinking was an absorbing, highly pleasant activity, occurring as my weightless body floated in that sea that was around me and somehow was me.

It was joyful to think about the professionals who had come into my life because of the stroke. How rich I felt, savoring the compassion, skill, humor and casual conversations that were amazingly life affirming. And then there were visitors and cards and flowers and thoughtful gifts that brought so much meaning, encouragement, comfort and pleasure. Floating around giving thanks was a joy to be experienced, not a duty to be filled.

During that time, I determined that I did not want to forget a single person or experience from my journey. I spent pleasant times, writing blog posts, still in that sea, squeezing the essence out of every encounter and experience and putting that essence into words, sentences and paragraphs. I couldn’t wait to get to a computer. Of course, once I did, I realized that new limitations in my physical, mental and visual abilities as well as lower energy levels put using the computer somewhere further along in my recovery.

My wonderful, carefully crafted posts dissipated. And now my memories have probably even changed somewhat. Others are gone, perhaps permanently, perhaps to resurface. But that early “in-the-sea” composition did start me on the “thoroughness” part of that Easter sermon that I heard so long ago.

A couple of months ago, I finally thought of another word that might be word Number 3: thoughtfulness. I am still not sure that is the word. But it seems to fit. I need to exercise all three, thankfulness, thoroughness and thoughtfulness, to learn all God wants me to learn and to experience all the blessings he has planned for me on this stroke recovery journey.

And one of the biggest blessings is that He has been in charge of the itinerary all the way and has also been the ultimate tour guide! 

8 comments:

Glenda said...

Your words are such a blessing! What a beautiful testimony to God's faithfulness! Who knew that a message heard so many years ago would be woven into your life, giving strength and purpose? Thanks for sharing this beautiful and well-written Easter story!

LC said...

Glenda, thanks for your visit and encouraging comment. And I have been appreciating the uplifting images and thoughts, both yours and others, that you share on your blog "He Gives a Song," http://listentomyheartsing.blogspot.com/.

Ginny said...

Hope you are having a wonderful Easter. I guess this is like a new life for you, so this Easter will be more special then ever!

gigihawaii said...

I am glad you have recovered enough to blog again. I bet your readers missed you very much.

maddie/cadesmimi said...

Linda, I hope your Easter was a blessed and happy one (and much more pleasant than last year!)

I, too, am thankful that you are able to blog and share your experiences with us. You are an inspiration to me!

You continue to amaze me with your spirit and determination. May God continue to bless and be with you.

Sandra said...

if only we could all practice those three words, what a wonderful world it would be. you have come so far since that Easter in ICU, God is blessing you with a steady recovery.

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

I lost a lot of my memory after the stroke, but through blogging bits and bobs keep appearing on the surface of my mind. Keep on blogging.

I love your connection with the Resurrection. The Valley of the Shadow has been with me many times, but my better angel has lifted me up lest I dash my foot.

Thank you for the reminder.
Love to you, Dianne

photowannabe said...

Beautiful 3 words of God's work in your life and in my life too.
Wishing you a blessed belated Easter Dear Blogging Friend.