Guest Post by Miriam Harkness
“Completely horrible.” “Heartbreaking!” I can almost hear what others think about the major surgery I will go through this week.
That is not how I see it. This marks a new chapter in my life, but not the end of my story. A chapter has ups and downs, sudden plot twists, and sometimes bewildering character interactions. But a new chapter is not the ending to the story. That only happens in the final chapter, and that one is a very long way off in the future for me.
So when you see me smiling and happy, it is not because I am in denial, or that I lack understanding or even ‘faking it’. It is because I see life differently.
This cut does not define me. Nor the condition that triggered it. In fact, I won’t let it. I will not be defined by what will be removed. I have not allowed that in the past. I will not allow it now, nor in the future. What I do have completely eclipses everything else that I do not have. I am loved. I have some of the most supportive friends and family ever. And I have a peace that surpasses all understanding.
When I meet with my friends, their first reaction is not worry or concern. Smiles, hugs, and ‘high fives’ greet me – joy that I am there. It is not because we are ignorant of what is to come in just a few days’ time. It’s because we understand what it means to live in the moment; when what matters is saying “hi” as if we have been separated months instead of mere hours. The special moments when we talk about things that have happened and dream about what amazing things we will do in the future (often peppered with jokes); simply unique times to focus in on the joy in our lives.
So if you visit and see me lying on the hospital bed while my friends are cracking jokes around me, do not be surprised. And do not feel too bad if I manage to laugh and then wince in pain when I feel the stitches strain. Neither should you feel sorry if you happen to visit and I am in tears because I need more pain medication. I am not superhuman, after all.
However you find me, just welcome my choice to bring those around me along on the journey of my not-so-ordinary life, for the good times and the bad.
Inspired by “Her Father’s Eyes” ~ a blog post by Joyce Harkness
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (The Bible, NKJV)