/ / What I Woke Up Thinking…from an uncomfortable couch

What I Woke Up Thinking…from an uncomfortable couch

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Recently, a seasoned guest writer shared wisdom about her writing journey inside a new writing community where I recently became a member. She offered many great tips, but one has stuck with me. She suggested that a writer needs to write about whatever you wake up thinking about. She said with joy and conviction, just start there—write from that place.

Today I woke up having barely slept. Who could sleep with all the beeps, buzzes, knocks on doors, whispers in the night, and worries weighing on my heart? Never mind, I woke up thinking about these words after I finally fell asleep—writer life. The Holy Spirit does some mighty work at 3:00 a.m.

I woke up thinking about the circumstances of my day yesterday (Friday) and the events that led me to sleep on a small couch in a hospital room again.

I woke up thinking about what could be next.

I woke up thinking I was thankful for another day and praying for a miracle.

I woke up thinking how I wish things were not so darn hard or so dramatic and wondering when things would get easier, even though I know that suffering brings us closer to Christ.

I woke up thinking about the writing mentor who understands the suffering we endure can become part of the stories we write to give glory to God, the great Author who loves to write and tell stories, especially the greatest love story ever told.

I woke up thinking about how we can choose whether to react or respond to difficult moments. It takes practice with intention and reaps splendid fruit. I am grateful for those who thoughtfully and calmly respond rather than react.

I woke up thinking about being in my warm, comfortable bed rather than on an uncomfortable chair or couch. Thankfully, sometimes, people bend the rules and let love and support matter more than rules. They say rules are meant to be broken anyway. I say we need to attend to the matters of the heart. Breaking the rules is better than breaking hearts. Kindness wins—I won a night or three on the uncomfortable couch to give my guy the best support. I managed to get some healing sleep.

I woke up thinking how things could be different, but we are exactly where we are meant to be, even if on an uncomfortable chair/couch. I exhale with great relief that I am acutely aware of many things; I am wired to pay attention and am a fierce advocate. Even though I am often mocked or criticized for these things, I notice details—noticing things at this moment may have prevented a catastrophic event.

I woke up thinking I’m grateful for where we are, not why we are here but that we are in good hands. I am thankful for our medical team. And “where we are” on this journey in life has given us countless graces and blessings so we can continue to find joy and never ending laughter—the best medicine.

I woke up thinking by the Amazing Grace of God once again, Jon’s story reveals it is good to believe in miracles and prayer. Jon IS A walking miracle; I am convinced of this. I will never stop believing in the value of prayer and that miracles exist. May you believe it, too.

I woke up thinking about the roads we have traveled that have been part of our story, including many familiar landmarks and streets that weave below us, the buildings that stand at attention in front of us, and those we can barely see in the distance along the horizon.

I woke up thinking I love this city and these memories and the ones where our lives began to intersect on some of those roads below. For a brief moment, I felt a tug on my heart about many things, including some distant memories and the streets not being filled with fans to celebrate a win with a parade. I have always loved a parade. Jon held my hand, guided me, and kept me safe through many parades along those streets. Today and throughout this journey, I hold his hand to guide and keep him safe through this medical parade.

I woke up thinking about the beauty of the sunrise that stirred me from a measly slumber and of the magnificence of a sunset that magnifies its’s glory as it casts beams and reflects a beautiful light across the harsh, neglected, worn city. I so get this; I am always searching for light. We paused to catch a glimpse of the sunset and the light it cast into the reflection of the mirrored edifice. It was simply breathtaking.

The Events

I woke up thinking about the events the last few days that started with “this seems off,” “let’s rule this out,” “get a CT Scan,” a call from our doc, a rapid response that escalated to the ER, and eventually admittance to the hospital room in the very, very wee hours.

I woke up thinking about and wrapping my mind around Jon having a large pulmonary embolism and multiple DVTs. Blood clots come with the territory—cancer and its treatment—it takes its toll on many things. I say, how can Jon possibly endure one more thing? He has endured so many big things already. I also say Jon is my hero, and they don’t know this man’s strength, endurance, resolve, and faith.

I woke up thinking I had become medically literate—though I never chose this—with each new challenging diagnosis and more medical jargon added to the long list we have seen these last incredibly surreal several years. I may write a book titled Stories from hospital bathrooms and uncomfortable chairs. You have only heard a small sampling of these stories.

I woke up thinking we continue to be tested and are enduring some of the most challenging things we’ll ever face. I know God is STILL writing this story. We said today, “He isn’t finished with this story.” There is so much beauty in the healing and restoration taking place.

Where I see God

I woke up thinking about where I saw God and the prayers He has answered over the last few days. It is clear He was already preparing me for such a time as this. The details and timeline fascinate me, and I am glad I pay attention to the Holy Spirit. It’s in those details we can find the greatest story.

I woke up thanking God for the abundant prayers wrapping us in supernatural grace and mercy and how those prayers lift us and give us hope when despair tries to steal our peace and sleep.

I woke up thinking how tired and hungry I was and how unplanned fasting becomes an offering— it seems like a fitting way to unite my heart with the one who was nailed to the cross to save us from ourselves and from sin and death. Lent is coming, friends. Then Holy Communion shows up at our door after asking with a whisper in my heart. He hears the deepest desires of our hearts.

I woke up thinking that surrounded by a concrete jungle known for its filial love, it all feels more like a desert. I am desperate for a 40-day retreat to quench this thirst, cure a hunger, and shed a cunning snake’s lies as I search for that agape love.

I woke up thinking I would prefer to rest my head on a familiar soft place to land, but this is where I am called to be. Lord knows we die to ourselves in the least comfortable place.

I woke up thinking about the magnitude of our story and the grace needed to help us continue this journey. Please give me grace as I focus on Jon’s care and matters of the heart while caring for our kids’ hearts and mine, too. Truth is, I know God holds mine tenderly.

I woke up thinking about how we need others to come alongside us without asking and expecting much in return. This is offered with kindness and charity because we have so little reserve. We need others to hop in their boat and grab an oar. May we be carried in the current of others as we remain in our full, but broken vessel. My oar was lost in the turbulent sea. So I let it go long ago; I watched it wash up on the shore. Besides, I decided it was time to exchange that oar for a cross; my human hands can only hold so much.

I felt the Spirit lead me to write today (Saturday), but I didn’t know where to start. I thought of the seasoned published writer’s advice, so I thought about what kept me up at night, what I woke up thinking about, and what continues to be the focus of my very stormy and extremely beautiful life. There may be a story in this.

Please pray

Please continue to pray for Jon and our family. May he be strong for this leg of the journey and allow his heart (and mine) to continue to beat with all the love we have received from those who continue to embrace and surround our family.

As always, please pray for our kids as they carry a lot of weight on their shoulders and worry in their hearts. They continue to humble and amaze me as they embody unconditional love and support for each other and us. Make no mistake, though, they need abundant love, encouragement, and support too. I woke up thinking about the need for unconditional love from those who continually support them without hesitation through this scary, uncertain journey.

We are doing mighty hard work in scary, uncertain times. Likely I don’t need to tell you the quandary of managing a body plagued with clots while living with an active brain disease—GBM. It’s a precarious place to be. We are in good hands with a medical team that does not react but responds with expertise, care, and heart.

GOoD NEWS: We have seen Jon respond well to the treatment. Depending on when you read this, a positive discharge goal and plan will be in place or we will already be home. But I will continue to shout from these rooftops what a miracle Jon is.

Please pray for healing, surrender, peace, courage, comfort, and strength. Please pray for all these things that I woke up thinking about.

What did you wake up thinking about today? I will be praying for those intentions with you.

A note on taking creative liberty (it was not poor editing) by writing a title with lower case letters. Those lower case words very much illustrated the “low” feeling while writing from the uncomfortable couch.

Edited to add to leave you with this video of a song that kept finding itself playing in our hospital room throughout the weekend. Amazing grace for a broken vessel without an oar who carries a cross instead.

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  1. On a day when I was lamenting, even wallowing in my worries about a suffering daughter and letting envy of other people’s apparent good fortune consume me, I read this post and was blessed by such faith, trust , and acceptance of God’s Will and Presence in your difficult, excruciating journey. Thank you for sharing your light once again. Praying for you all.

    1. Wow thank you for this message, and I am glad you found a message that God was sending to you.
      I am grateful they resonate with you & grateful for your prayers

  2. Only God knows for sure, but I cannot help but think that the blood clots are one way Jon’s body is trying to heal and recover from the cancer. As a believer in miracles, I cannot help but wonder if this is the final stage before God fully reveals the miracle of Jon’s total and complete healing from cancer.

    With love and continued prayers for healing,

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