-Written by Stan-
When our daughters were infants, still in the crib, I remember how difficult it often was to get them to go to sleep. Standing and clinging to the guard rails of the bed, they could scream and cry for hours on end, refusing the rest they so obviously needed. I remember how I would sometimes gently but firmly force them to lie down, pressing my hand against their backs, pinning them to the mattress! If my timing and touch were good, they would soon drop off to sleep.
David testifies that there were times when God treated him in a similar manner. In the 23rd Psalm he writes: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down…”For both Katy and me, this experience of two surgeries, stroke, recovery and now rehab is a time when it feels like we are being forced to “lie down.” It seems that our heavenly Father’s firm yet gentle hand is pressing us rather hard against the mat. “Stop trying to save the world and just lie down for a while!” he seems to be saying.
But when rest is forced upon you it doesn’t feel very restful… at least at first. As we enter the second month of this journey, Katy and I are both asking for the grace needed to just lie down and be still. For Katy, this is a season of almost complete inactivity, being bedridden because of the paralysis on her left side. As for me, I’ve temporarily reduced my hours, activities and schedule with FAS so that I can care for Katy. I hope to gradually take on increased responsibilities in the weeks and months to come as we establish our new normal.But in the meantime, “He makes me lie down.”
While visiting with Katy and me in the hospital, a friend shared a small bit of wisdom that is making a big bit of difference in the way we think. Jerry is a man of many talents but is perhaps best known in Wilmore for driving a horse and buggy around town. Commiserating with us over how our lives and ministries have been curtailed by Katy’s stroke, Jerry said: “You know, people who ride in a horse and buggy go a lot slower than people in cars but they see things along the way that folks in cars don’t even know are there!” Thanks, Jerry. Your wise counsel is helping us to see that our current pace is not just a burden to be endured; it is an opportunity to be grasped! Spending 8 -10 hours a day sitting (!) with Katy in rehab is a divine invitation to see things along the way that we would have completely missed were we maintaining our previous schedule:
- The joy of lengthy conversations with each other, with family and with friends.
- Learning about the lives and experiences of those around us (nurses, therapists, etc.).
- For the first time in 38 years, I clipped Katy’s fingernails (an impossible task for Katy until Wilson is healed).
- Jeopardy is a pretty good TV show.
- A calendar with no appointments is actually a good thing.
- Though we are temporarily out of commission, God isn’t. He is using us as much now in our inactivity as he used us in our activity (maybe more!).
- I’m not nearly as important to saving the world as I like to imagine I am.
I’m a slow learner and at times I still kick and scream at my circumstances, but I’m learning to cooperate with God’s grace when he decides he wants to make me lie down. This is a lesson I don’t want to miss.
Update on Katy – Thank you for your prayers! Katy had a better night and a better day. Still battling nausea but it was waves today instead of all the time. She sat up by herself for ten minutes which was a big step forward after several days of barely noticeable baby steps! Keep praying! You can also pray as there is an important meeting tomorrow between our doctor at the rehab facility and our insurance company. Insurance wants her discharged in the near future while the rehab disagrees (we do too!) and is working on our behalf. Can you pray with us for that meeting and that God would work a miracle so that she can receive the care she needs.