There’s nothing like breathing in a full breath of Colorado air. Clean, crisp, tainted with the smoke of marijuana. The latter being unpleasant, but bearable for the sake of the first.
On a day of sunshine and lack of wafting pot smoke, I decided to lay out in the sun. 70 degrees in February characterizes Colorado to the tee. 30 degrees one day, 70 the next, tarantula migrations in the fall. All things unexpected.
I had just stepped out of a hot Epsom salt bath. The magnesium of the salt helps my pain. I asked my mother to spread a blanket in the backyard. Anticipating sitting in the sun gave me hype similar to what I think normal people would feel going to their favorite concert. I’m not one for concerts. Plus, sunshine is free.
I stepped outside and made my way slowly, slowy mind you, to the blanket. I laid down. It was pure bliss. The birds were singing, chasing one another through the trees. The sky was a vibrant blue without a wisp of cloud in sight. I laid there and soaked it in, in as if at any moment I would never see the sun again.
As I heard the familiar songs of birds who had already come back from the south, I was taken back to my childhood. I loved to play outdoors. Chasing bugs and lizards around the perimeter of the house. I reflected on middle school, where I was a miserable being in all situations except for the outdoors. I was happy. Connected to God.
My mind brought me to high school, where summer days were spent outside in our pool. Where warm spring days were spent at the park doing pushups, or cruising in my sports cars with the windows down. That last sentence makes me sound like the female equivalent of a high school jock. I was.
As my mind reflected on all the lovely things I used to do, my heart was also sad. I gazed up into the unending blue sky and refrained from asking God why I couldn’t have it all back. Instead, I praised God for His beautiful creation and His wondrous character.
I was only outside a few moments when my whole body was suddenly engulfed in goosebumps. I had just stepped out of a hot bath and had been roasting in a breezeless summer of spring. Nonetheless, my autonomic nervous system decided I was cold. So, I was cold.
My body’s sudden reminder of my frailty caused my soul to say a prayer much different than my mind would have prayed. “Thank you, God, for the pain.”
I was reminded that despite the noise of life and the unending noise of illness in my body, the spiritual realm is the only thing of lasting value. I thought of the people who have been following my journey through my writings and pictures on Facebook. I thought of a few who have said I Have shown them how God applies to real life. I hope they meant it.
Through all of these years of pain and sorrow, if only one soul came to God because of it, I would be a happy little invalid. If all of this suffering is to show one person the love of God and bring them to an eternity with Him, it’s worth it. Every last doctor’s appointment, restless night, and scary seizure.
This isn’t about me. It’s never been about me. Life is about God and bringing glory to His name. I could only hope God would count me worthy of bringing a soul to Him. I hope even more He grants me the honor of bringing many souls to Him.
If my pain is God’s way of showing people His love and faithfulness, I’m all in. Even if I get goosebumps in the sun.