Friday, September 18, 2009

Patience is a virtue

I'm an over-planner in recovery. My natural tendency to plan things down to the millisecond. I'll admit I have actually refused to make a rest stop on the side of the road because the rigorous family vacation schedule did not allow time (I guess I forget that others are not as fortunate to have a very trained and obedient bladder as myself). So far, I haven't been able to locate a support group for those afflicted with this disorder, but I am learning my...slowly.

Recently, I had a lesson in the value of patience and allowing time for God's plan, not my own. Our original plan was to leave for our mission Honduras in August. Of course, I was really disappointed when the combination of my surgery and lack of financial support made that impossible. I guess "disappointed" is a little bit of an understatement. Once I make up my mind to do something, I hate waiting...for anything. It sort of feels like putting life on hold and the hold music is an awful remake of an '80s rock ballad (since when is Bon Jovi classic rock, anyway?). For Labor Day we went to visit PK's parents up north - about a 6-hr. drive. We left after work for the familiar road trip and we laughed and talked and sang with the radio (yes, I do recall some Bon Jovi). We arrived shortly after midnight. PK's parents were waiting up for us, along with his brother and nephew. After saying our hellos, my well-trained bladder and I headed for the restroom. As I stood to pull up my pants, I looked down to see blood gushing from the scar on my stomach...a lot of blood. It wasn't painful, but very messy and soaking through the rug and every piece of clothing. I screamed for PK. The look of horror on his face confirmed that something was seriously wrong. PK's parents live about 20 minutes out of town, so I wrapped a towel around myself and scurried past the gawking family to the car. I don't think I've ever seen PK drive so fast. He even swerved around the "Road Closed" signs in order to take the quickest route to the hospital. We didn't talk much on the drive. We were both too scared, I think. What would you say anyway? It's important to note that my surgery was more than six months ago and I had fully recovered. So, this was quite unexpected and terrifying. As it turned out, I had managed to tear a suture and there was a small hole in the incision. It was a minor complication that didn't even require a stitch. I just had to keep it covered for a few days while it healed. Nevertheless, as we waited in the ER, it occurred to us both that we could have been in Honduras. In fact, in our minds, we should have been in Honduras. How much scarier would this episode have been in a foreign country miles from the nearest hospital, in the middle of the night, where no one would speak English? Sure, the wound would still have been minor, but the fear would have been devastating.

Since then, I've been thinking about our mission and my growing frustration at the delays. I'm reminded that we've been called to do God's work and we are blessed to be on His schedule. I am humbled and grateful for this valuable lesson in patience.

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