Major Ups + Major Downs = Life
It has been an up and down few weeks.
Major ‘ups’ actually. And major ‘downs’.
I guess that seems to be the kind of life that’s been handed to me. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m thankful for the life I have. But lately there’s been more than a few days where I’d have been happy to trade in the roller coaster journey I am on for a much more subdued and flat-lined kind of existence.
Maybe there’s no such thing.
These downs are making me relate to the Old Testament Job by the day. The biggest down of course has to do with my health. On top of being hospitalized a few weeks back due to MS, there is yet another health complication that’s making me kind of angry and sad. It’s my breathing. I’m short of breath for the first time in my life. At first I thought it might be a heart thing. But thankfully that got ruled out. Then my doc noticed my right lung wasn’t working and thought it might be collapsed. After an x-ray, the news is that my right diaphragm muscle is elevated and constricting my lung making it impossible to fill up. This is livable but the reason this sucks so much is that it’s affecting my swimming. Having a lung that doesn’t inflate makes me feel like I’m going to sink. That, or course, is not good.
I was beginning to really love swimming too. I hated it at first. But because MS took my cycling away (a massively tough pill to swallow at the time), swimming was the only way left for me to exercise. And I was getting into it. Then this.
Thus far I’ve seen a respirologist who had me do a sleep test the other night to rule out fears of not being able to breathe in my sleep. (Trying to sleep with 50-ish wires stuck to my head kinda sucked) He thinks the issue is MS related. That would be the worst outcome (so if you’re praying, pray it’s not that as it’s not fixable). I’ve also seen my MS people who don’t think it’s MS related and are sending me for tests to confirm that. That’d be my wish. My prayer. That way it’ll be treatable and once it’s fixed I can get back in the pool. Now we wait and see…
I questioned God on this one. “Really God? Don’t I already have enough stuff to deal with? Can’t you spread it around a little? I think I’ve got enough health problems so as to learn whatever it is you want to teach me.”
Other downs in a nutshell;
-My friends and family being evacuated from Fort Mac; some of whom having lost everything they own.
-Car died. Cha-ching.
-Fridge died same day. Paid a repairman to come in and spend 5 minutes with us to tell us the fridge can’t be fixed. Cha-ching.
-Had to buy a new fridge. Cha-ching.
-Mobility scooter old and dying. Cha-ching.
-Exploring buying a wheelchair van. Cha-ching.
I hate letting money stress me out, but it does. Thankfully my wife rolls with these things relatively stress free which is helpful and calming.
On top of celebrating a nice Mother’s Day for my mom, mother-in-law, and my wife, and a few days earlier celebrating the amazing person our daughter has become thus far at her grade 8 prom, there’s 2 major ‘ups’ to finish on;
1. I was honoured with a pretty cool award last week at Wyclffe College. The letter I got about it said “We award this honour annually to the alumnus or alumna who has given many years of service to the college, to the church and the community. This award acknowledges your exemplary ministry over years of service…” Receiving that thing really mattered to me and came at the perfect time in the midst of these storms. Sometimes when I just want to pack it in, I am reminded that my work actually does still matter and I’m motivated to keep on trying.
2. I got accepted into the ‘Spiritual Direction’ program that I so desperately wanted to get in. (http://www.hadeninstitute.com/training/spiritual-direction-ca/) So starting in September, Lord willing, I will begin the 2-year journey towards becoming a certified spiritual director. I am so excited about this. It feels like I am in sync with the Spirit’s leading here and I think it’s a great next step for me.
Life is a crazy mixed up hodge-podge series of ups and downs that no roller coaster ever made can come close to, and I’m glad to be on the ride.