Monday, June 20, 2005

i want to learn the easy way

I'm feeling precarious.

My life is so carefree and easy and full of joy right now. My immediate family, though flawed and strange-with strained relationships at times, is full of love, warmth, and honesty. I have a loving, strong, funny, intelligent, dashing husband who loves me and respects me and lavishly shows his affection for me. I find great fulfillment in my job, teaching music, helping students love music, and love their creator who gave us music. And right now, I am enjoying a VERY light work load...enjoying simple pleasures of life-reading, soaking in the sun, friends, contemplation, yard-work, rest, running....

I know that life is full of joy and pain, relief, rest, fear, sorrow. it's complicated. we are becoming who we are because of the complicated, messiness of life. But i feel like i've gotten to enjoy the easy part for so long. that maybe i have grown flippant, apathetic, too self-assured, too unaware. that maybe it won't last forever. it can't. what may be coming? this feels too easy.

...on father's day, we found out that my grandpa andy, my only living grandpa, who is closer to ninety than eighty, was feeling chest pains due to blockage in his heart. About two decades ago, he had a heart attack, open heart surgery, and a prognosis of only a few more years of life. But, i've been blessed enough to grow up with him...healthy, active, and full of life. He's had multiple complications and operations over the years, but he's always been fine. tomorrow he will have a heart cath, a new stint installed, and angioplast? i don't understand all the medical procedures, and the risks involved, but i know that his veins are thin, and he's not in his seventies anymore.

i'm worried.

i shouldn't be fearful, but i do feel precarious. i want to be understand the lessons that i am supposed to learn from the darker, difficult side of life, but i don't want to have to go through loss to learn it.

whenever i recognize that i am worrying, i think of matt. 6 "do not worry..." and i try to twist it into some sort of quick comfort that "it's all going to be okay. don't waste time worrying...just focus on the positive"

but i don't think that these words of Christ were meant to keep me from considering the possibility of loss. i think Christ's message there was more about worrying about temporal things, seeking to gain wealth and things...clothes, food, "for the pagans run after all these things" (v. 33) "but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness"...take care of others needs, live as part of his kingdom...reflecting and generously pouring out his love wherever you go. i think that's what its really about.

do i have to suffer loss to really learn that? please. no.



oh, ang. I am praying for all of you right now..
as someone who wrestles with worry/anxiety to a degree that's sometimes paralyzing, I've also wrestled with that passage of scripture..and am learning that being free from worry doesn't come from a mind free of the possibility of loss; but from looking directly at loss, and what it means, and what it costs, and accepting God's grace in the middle of that scary moment. You are an instrument of God's grace. It will flow through you in your times of ease and in your times of loss.
I love you.

Kim said...

It is so hard to know what to say when situations like this come up. My first instinct is to think of some really great, insightful words and hope that they will make someone feel better about what they are going through. But there is nothing. One thing that I do know is that I am encouraged by your thoughts and honesty. Thanks for sharing!

Ang said...

thank you katie & kim-
the doctors determined from his blood tests that he had another heart attack yesterday morning right before his heart cath. they've just been upping his meds and keeping a very close watch.
we're still waiting to find out if he is going to have surgery or not. his heart is very corroded and his veins are very thin. so it is possible that the surgeon may say that he's not a candidate for the surgery. but if the surgeon is willing to do the operation--even if it is very high risk, they're going to do's kindof the only option left.


I love you, still praying for all of you and each medical professional who keeps care over him..

Lindsey said...

I understand what you are feeling. I will keep all of you in my prayers. It is so encouraging to me how aware you are to God's voice and how honest you are with yourself.