Last night was my first night home from the hospital. My dear, sweet husband took me on a date. I wore a pretty dress and high heels and a cute wig and because I am a good and grateful wife, I decided to endure my eye-lids being glued half-shut and apply some false eyelashes. As I got ready to delve into my SAM’S CLUB supply of eyelashes ( you need several back-ups when you thrash an eyelash or two trying to glue them on…), I got close to the mirror and noticed, to my amazement, that I HAD EYELASHES!! On top AND on bottom ( in case you didn’t know, they don’t make eyelashes for your bottom lashes so you always are a little off-balance in the lash department)! Of course, I immediately lathered up my eyelashes with mascara and then found Blake. Batting my eyelashes like Betty Boop, about an inch from his face, I fluttered, “Look! I have EYELASHES! And they are MY EYELASHES. On top AND bottom. Aren’t they pretty? Aren’t they thick? Did I mention that these are REAL? Like not fake? Do you LOVE MY EYELASHES?”
Just last week I had purchased a 6 pack of eyelashes. I didn’t even check to see if I NEEDED them before I bought them because I assumed they were still missing. While I was busy trying to patch the problem, I had grown fresh, new, CURLY eyelashes. It makes me wonder what other blessings I have been missing because I am focusing on the struggle.
I have to say that my radar for catching the blessing in the suffering has gotten much more acute. The turmoil of loss and grief that happened in my life a few years ago changed me in this area. Make no mistake, many of the early days of coping were not pretty. Ugly, in fact. But, as God healed me through His grace and through a wonderful Recovery Program and the amazing people in it, I slowly learned how to see life differently. I am sure many of you have done some sort of “gratitude list” to help you remember all the good in your life. Well, mine involved a gratitude list of PEOPLE. When I started to feel sorry for myself for all the friends and relationships I had lost, I would start listing all the people I have met since my life was turned upside down. I could/can list at LEAST 50 people whom I would have never even MET had it not been for that upheaval. My life is richer now as a result of that period of suffering and the beautiful people God brought alongside me to grow through it. I was ready to package up that period of life and move forward when God decided that I could use ANOTHER group of amazing people to help me love life and grow even MORE. The people I Have met since i got Leukemia have blessed my heart and life in ways I could NEVER receive without this “suffering.” Anyone reading this BLOG is on my list. Dozens of nurses and doctors and other Leukemia patients and men and women and teenagers from Springfield all the way to Canada are also on my list. My life is fuller and more precious because of YOU. Because God does not WASTE anything. BUT, we have to CHOOSE to see it that way:
Are you are walking around with FALSE eyelashes, your eyes glued half-shut, when the reality is that YOU ALREADY HAVE EYELASHES? They are REAL, and they’re SPECTACULAR!”