Strong Standing

I ease up slowly and turn to plant my feet, sockless, on the floor that my husband warned of germs. I don’t sleep well in socks, have to have space for moving my toes, can’t be entrapped.

It is not lost on me that the day before I lose my footing, I listen to a podcast about trees, about God’s plan for trees to be meaningful, have significance for us like they do in the Bible.

To not be cut off. Like hope in God, rooted deeply, strong and reaching.

It is not lost on me that I’d been pondering how mysterious is our God, how necessary my dependence on Him is, and that for days I’d been encircling the word “Surrender”.

It is not lost on me that I’d become a little entitled, sure and pompous over my good and strong health.

Everything happens to have us consider the lesson of it.

Yes, I believe everything does happen for a reason.

On Tuesday morning, vertigo came like a hurricane.

I was leveled. Sick, panicked, scared. I was unable to regain my footing, I was swept away on the waves of nausea and sad, sad frantic anxiety.

You’ll maybe laugh over the simplicity of my conclusion.

I was humbled.

Two nights in the hospital to be sure the panic wasn’t cardiac related chest discomfort.

I fell asleep aware of my standing.

Across the hall, a man with dementia who kept prompting the nurses with the erratic pressing of his button.

He cried loudly through the night.

Maybe next door, or close at least, another loud shouter, violent and a threat due to mental condition, he prompted announcements across the hospital speakers of a particular code.

The man with dementia had a visitor with a peace lily in hand and then later a quiet uncertain visitor, looked to be his same age, he knocked timidly and then entered. A third visitor told the cafeteria people the door was closed because we were praying.

I listened. I considered my condition.

Somehow the other man calmed down eventually.

At night I pray for my family and friends. I recall them by using the alphabet and I include all the M’s I know for example, before moving to “N”.

It’s not lost on me that until the scary vertigo episode, I’d never included my well being in the “L” request.

I never pray for my own health other than in a way that always calls to account how I’m certain I don’t deserve to be here.

Or is it because I felt others needed it more? A bit of pride, a big mindset of control?

So, I prayed God would help me navigate this new condition and that He’d forgive my thinking I was “all that” because “I’m 59 and all I take is melatonin!”

Yay me!

Don’t you wish you were so lucky, so fortunate, so fit?

It’s not lost on me that for weeks I’d been getting closer and closer to really seeing that

I’m not able on my own.

Don’t you see it all comes together?

God has been weaving my path to this current understanding for longer than possible for me to comprehend.

You can be strong but you can’t stand alone. You can be stubborn in your perseverance but you’re not without vulnerability nor are you invincible.

You’re not completely well all alone, independence, a fault.

The sunrise on the second morning of hospital waking was so splendid I just waited. I postponed my experimental testing of my balance, my rising to stand and walk and I simply stared, gazed, considered.

You’re still standing. Still standing strong.

Even if you had to be shaken to attention.

God holds out as long as possible to teach an important lesson.

He’s more patient than I deserve.

The lesson? Rest and trust.

Slow down, Lisa. Your body cannot keep up with your erratic physical schedule and not enough rest mind!

In the book Reforesting FaithMatthew Sleeth, a former medical professional, atheist, carpenter discusses trees and their significance in the Bible. He shares his seeking and beginning to believe in God on the Annie F. Downs podcast. You can listen here:

Dr. Matthew Sleeth

I can’t decide if my favorite part of the conversation is that he stole a Bible and began reading with Matthew’s book or the quote that describes how God had been with him all along even when he didn’t believe.

If you don’t believe in God it doesn’t mean God doesn’t believe in you. Matthew Sleeth

I woke at home this morning having slept okay after falling asleep with a Proverbs verse.

“In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭24:14‬ ‭NLT

I walked with puppy, back on routine and I paused at my little spot with one chair under the pine situated in the corner.

I hadn’t thought of it until this morning, this not so grand pine is growing, enough for shade and to be the arm outstretched for a bird feeder.

This very pine, the source of me questioning my husband to myself. Why does he insist on replanting, why is he putting that puny little branch in the ground…I mean, the whole back yard is filled with strong pines?

Why can’t he stop adding new growth? Why does he insist on keeping every tree?

But, now, now this one is mine and it is still growing. It is not towering; but it is strong.

Strong standing, after all and welcoming the surrender to sun and rain and whatever wind might blow.

Strong standing.

Planted a long time ago and quietly surrendered.

Walking on level places, not stoic in the steadiness of my own feet.

Strong standing because He made me, kept and keeps me.

Continuing to believe.

Your hopes will not be cut short. Proverbs 24:17

Able, just not on my own.

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