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Age creased the hands of the surgeon. A large build, tall, athletic, a picture of health. Without even the knowledge of his resume, his deep voice accompanied with a warm smile, he demanded the upmost of attention. But in this moment, weakness consumed him.
His knees, clothed in scrubs, bent on the surgical floor of the hospital. The bright lights produced a spotlight, the beep of the monitors was the soundtrack. His healthy body held all the weakness of the world in his hands.
Place your two fists together and you see the size of your heart. Held in his large hands were two small fists placed together. In his hands he held a red bleeding muscle. In his hands he held a heart, the human heart of a four year old little girl.
Little heart, beat. Little heart, live. Grow and smile and meet new people. Sound out words, graduate from kindergarten, and draw a flower for your Momma. Little heart, hold hands with your BFF, kiss your aunt when she comes to visit. Little heart, open Christmas presents, play with neighbors, and learn to ride a bike. Little heart, hug your Daddy’s neck and throw a tennis ball to your puppy. Little heart, beat, please beat.
No one wants to speak of the gone wrong.
“Be positive. Focus on the good.” Hide in humor, watch TV, focus on number one, purchase therapy and live. COEXIST.
My favorite novel of all time is Les Miserables. I hate the setting of the dirty streets during the French Revolution, therefore setting the perfect scene for “The Miserable.” Oh Fantine! Oh miserable Fantine, brokenhearted, abandoned by your love, never able to mother your child, raped, and dying in starving agony. What do positive thoughts have to offer to Fantine. Fantine is real! She is the modern day Syrian refugee running for her life, she is the Father held captive awaiting his execution in the hands of ISIS, Fantine is the broken hearted wife uncovering her husband’s Ashley Madison account, Fantine is the child leaving his overdosed mother behind in the dirty government housing as he walks on the bus to face the daily cruelty of his peers, Fantine surrounds us! Oh, I have been Fantine!
Oh cruel world! What is our weapon to face you? How do we survive our dreams that can not be and the storms we can not weather? Life has killed the dream.
Oh Allah, where is your extended Jean Valjean hand? Your scales condemn the downtrodden. Hollywood, have your riches given you peace that is beyond understanding? Tell me atheist, what is your hope for the bleeding heart? Is your own heart so wise that you have become your own god? Are you the answer to the broken heart? Or maybe your heart is callused and you just don’t care at all.
My Jesus stepped down from perfection and walked the streets of the rejected, he touched the sick, and he accepted the outcast. He is the only God that steps down from his power and serves the hurting. He is the only God that pursues me! He is the only God that does not ask me to earn my salvation, he offers me a world beyond this hurt and the price is paid.
A man, unscrubbed and unapproved, entered the room. He took the unbeating heart from the hands of this world and it began to beat. There was nothing worldly wisdom could do, in all our riches and all our knowledge, the heart was dead. Jesus took the heart of the child and she was alive. But even more than her, MY heart was unbroken.
Instant bad mood. I search around for my screaming phone on the floor under my bed. The damn alarm clock continues to scream at the top of its lungs. Slowly gaining control of my sleeping body, I step out of bed, pick up my phone and turn off the alarm. The pain of waking up. In heaven, I will roll over and enjoy the waking up process just as much as snuggling into bed and drifting off to sleep. (That is if we sleep in heaven.)
My world runs about me in fast forward. Honking impatiently at the slow moving car, spending what we don’t have for the newest item that hits the shelves, driving around our children to some place other than home. Why do I join the insanity of the crowd? I do believe in busying oneself with hard work, but that is not what is happening here. We are all consumed with what does not matter.
Now. What we want is now. The admiring stares of those we don’t know. Now. The praise of what drives us around. Now. Winners of the race. Packed pantries to overflowing. Fashonable jewelry on our bodies and extra in the closet. Fancy modern restaurants. Everything that our neighbors have. Our neighbors that we want to be like, not the ones outside of our neighborhood.
But all we think about is now and we laugh at anyone that suggests otherwise.
Ted Turner is famous for a lot of things, one of them is stating what is on his mind. Hey, I can respect that. He likes to chose his words so that other people listen. He doesn’t just fit into the crowd. I respect that also. But I wish that someone would tell him, and a whole lot of the rest of the world, that they are on the wrong train. When Turner quoted, “I’d rather go to hell. Heaven has got to be boring.” I wish someone would have asked him, “What do you want most in life?”….”It will be in heaven.”
Heaven is better than being a billionaire. There is money to spare, Hey, let’s pave these streets with gold. Heaven is better than pornography! THERE WILL BE PERFECT BODIES WALKING AROUND NAKED! And it will be a good thing! No one will be embarrassed! (There will be no sin in heaven. Pornography is a destructive, cruel sin. The point is, naked bodies will be good….and everywhere.) Heaven is better than Hawaii. All the food will be paid in full! Heaven is better than Christmas! That baby Jesus, he will be with us! It doesn’t sound boring to me!
And what will not be in heaven? Babies without mommies. Wheelchairs won’t be needed in heaven, or medicine, or hospitals. There will not be divorce, no one’s heart will be broken. What have you been through? What hurts? What tugs at your heart and makes you cry out, “That is not right!” God will end it. He will make all the wrongs undone and he will wipe away that tear.
“Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we want is coming.” Tim Keller.
So, look at this world. Read the Bible. Take a look at what is good in this world. LORD, FIX MY PRIORITIES! SET MY MIND ON THINGS ETERNAL! Get ready. It is going to be the best party of all of eternity. Don’t throw away your invitation.
For the most part, heaven is ignored from the very pulpits of our churches and when it is spoken of, there is a respectful (or not so respectful) thanks to something that must be pretty great (but who really knows?), and the words spoken still leaves you with the angels on clouds kind of picture in your mind.
What in the hell is heaven?! Well, I’ve got an idea. Was it spoken to me in a dream, do I believe I have a prophecy, do I have a special message to pass on? Sort of….but so do you. What is heaven? It is woven into my very core, it is in and of my being, everything that was ever lacking is found in the perfection of joy completed.
There are things in this world I want and long for and desire from the shouting of my alarm clock until I curl back up in my bed. I want rest. I don’t want to be tired anymore! I want peace. Peace from mistakes I’ve made, peace from hurt and trouble in this world, peace from fear of evil. I want LUXURY! I want a huge freakin swimming pool in my backyard, in the backyard of my mansion. The kind that is half inside and half outside, flowing under a glass wall. I want a brand new car, that is always a brand new car. I want to sing with the voice of Lauren Daigle and my lungs never tire. I want to swim and bike and run in the Hawaiian Ironman and then get a red IM tattooed on my muscular arm. I want to sit at a piano, violin, tuba and then play and just have fun but sound really awesome. I want my daughter to always obey and I never want to worry about her because there is no possibility of anything bad ever happening. I don’t want my husband to go to work because we are beyond billionaires and money will never run out. And I don’t want to be the only one! I don’t want there to be beggars on the side of the road. I don’t want to read about murdered grandparents and aborted babies and hungry children, because I don’t want hate and hunger to exist!
I want all the answers! I don’t want to have a debate, I want to listen to truth, ultimate truth, and nod my head in agreement. I want all my questions, all my worries, all my doubts to be laid at rest. I want to know WHY!
And I want MORE! I want God! God himself! The everything that makes it all complete, the perfection in my dream, the one who has loved my soul from the formation of my infant body in my mother’s womb, to the scary days in middle school, the one who was there, was always there for better and worse. I want to see him! I want to know him! I want to fall into the arms of my Father God that loves me and that I love so much and I have longed for my whole life long. And I want to fall on my knees out of praise of my soul and worship the King that is above all earthy kings.
I want to see the fulfillment of my favorite verse ever!
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!
I want HEAVEN! I was not made to be complete in this world. Things are not as they should be!
I have a great idea of what heaven will be like. And I’m ready! Hey, I get it! “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” NO! I don’t want to die, but I am ready to LIVE FOREVER!
This article was published in my book, Beautiful Life with Cancer, Hope During the Hard Times in December 2014.
As I lay down in my bed, I am out. I almost always hit the pillow and it takes me about three minutes and I am asleep. Often times, parents of little babies and young children teach them bedtime by setting a routine. Baby gets a bath, read to them, sing one song, and hugs and kisses. Well, (you can call me weird but I already know that) but I believe I have done this with myself. Ofcourse I have the getting ready process. I will spare you that. It is not as simple and soothing as the baby’s routine. But I hit the pillow and I start running a list through my head. My two most popular lists: 1. What are the decoration changes that I want to make to my house? 2. What would I change about myself? Fifteen. No fourteen. There are fourteen things I would change.
1. I wish my hair was a little thicker. 2. No contacts. Perfect vision would be nice. 3. No scars around my neck. 4. No itchy back. That is right. No itchy back. See…I am the lucky one million billion that has a rare condition within a rare condition of MEN2A in which my body deposits protein on the top of my back. It drives me insane! It itches all the time. All the time! Almost daily, I scratch it until it bleeds. I have done this since I was a baby. I wish I did not have that. 5. Stronger arms. I work on it. I do. I go to the gym when I can and lift weights or as of now, or recently, I have been trying Yoga. But I’ve been a little weak lately so I don’t push it by going to the gym. So, I wish I wash’t sick. Wish I could go to the gym. And wish I had stronger arms. 6. No scars on my stomach. 7. No stretch marks. Nah. I look at those and wish they weren’t there and then I remember why I have them. Actually, call me crazy, I’ll keep those. Worth the memory. So, 7. Thinner legs. (Reinsert gym explanation here and add to it that I do not eat sugar. Ok. Yes, I do eat fruit. And yes, I know that carbs turn to sugar in my body. Restate that. I do not eat desserts. Why? There is one reason to eat desserts: They taste good. There are four reasons not to: sugar makes me gain weight, not good for my teeth, makes me, and everyone, sick more often by weakening my immune system, and lowers my energy. Yes, that was absolutely too much to say within parenthesis.) 8. Perfect teeth. I hope you think my teeth look perfect, but the front two have crowns from chipping them on the swimming pool. 9. No veins on my legs. 10. Better singing voice. (If I could insert a clip of me singing here, you would agree.) 11. No scar on the back of my leg. 13. No Addison’s Disease. 14. No cancer.
There is my list. Sure. Everybody has a list. But I do try to be really content with my body, but these are the things that I hate. I really do hate. And about 12 out of 14, at least, are here for life. Nothing I can do about it. About half of these nobody sees. And the other half, I try to hide most of the time. Prime example: You will not find me in any singing group or trying out for American Idol. But, I go to buy life insurance, and I can’t. I go to the doctor for allergies and I have to continue my medication list on the back because it won’t all fit in the lines provided, and then the doctor wants to send me for scans and tests and chat extra long because of my history, but excuse me doctor, I have a sinus infection. But they don’t want to give me anything for that. And then I go to pick up Prednisone at the pharmacy for the one hundredth time in a row and the pharmacist feels the need to tell me that I shouldn’t take so much because of the side effects. Thank you, I know them well. But the alternative isn’t so good. It’s death. And then I read an article in the newspaper in the medical section from a doctor that says no one can survive with both their adrenal glands removed. Well, he should do some research, or I should introduce myself because I am going on ten years now.
I try to find light in my rare condition. It is a little neat when the student intern at Duke is so excited over meeting me and reviewing my case that he can not hide his excited giddiness. It is kinda cool to be able to carry on a medical conversation, using all the right jargon, with friends that are doctors and surgeons, but If I got to pick, I would choose a different claim to fame. What can I really do with, “a really extremely rare form of MEN2A” and always being the exception even within the rules of the disease? Pretty cool to be the exception in the medical handbook or the specialists’ conference? Ehh.
Well, I am asleep by now and I never go through the explanations with myself while I am laying in bed. But if I didn’t have that, I’d be pretty pleased with myself. If I didn’t have all of that, it’d be great to sit up in the morning and be able to see what’s going on without popping in those contacts. And I’d probably join some band, just for the fun of it. And I’d sing to more people than just my seven year old. And my husband. And my sisters. And anyone else I get comfortable with. And anyone else who is around after I’ve had a drink or two. And I’d wear skirts, not just in the summer time when I’m outside, but also when it is a little chilly outside in the Fall to show off my legs. And I would be in and out of the doctor’s office with my sinus infection medicine. And I wouldn’t always scratch my damn back. And who knows? Maybe I would be a whole lot less content. And maybe I would have less joy. And maybe I wouldn’t appreciate my family and the days that I’ve got. Because it isn’t really myself that makes me happy anyway. So, ehh, I’ll just keep it all. So, I am oh so sorry. Please exude my oh so messed up body. That’s just me.
Caroline is published! I have entered my novel into a contest and for a short time you can download it for the low cost of FREE! Please click on the link below to read the book Spiritual Flesh and Blood for free, which also gives me one vote when you download. THANK YOU!
All readers gather here. To the Momma late at night, propped up on her pillow and promising herself just one more page. To the college student that is cramming for class because she could not peel away the romance novel. I am writing this to the man sitting in his car flipping the pages that needs to go into work.
I hate to give away my personal love life details, but here it is. James and I fight sometimes. I know, I know, but it is true. And maybe, just possibly, we had a little bit of one yesterday. But do you see that I said yesterday? As the day ended, I was at his side holding his hand and I thought, “If I would have known this morning, this is how it ended…”
Well, I think that a lot. HOW DOES IT ALL END? Does he get the girl? Does the army invade? Is there a baby in the future? Who wins the election? What’s she going to grow up to be? Do they ever find out? What does she decide?
Well, I’m not giving any spoiler alerts here. Click on the link below. Chose your method of reading and enjoy a free, yes free, book on me. Then get back to me and let me know what you think of the ending! http://freeditorial.com/en/books/spiritual-flesh-and-blood
“Gabriel, you have been to earth. Explain the humans to me.”
They could see, the angels could always see us. Our limitation to one dimension is an earthly boundary. Before them, around them, were people (of course, the people could not see the angels) and the people were driving here and there, busily going about their business.
“These little contraptions are called cars. They carry the humans from home to work or a place to eat or to visit with another humans or to a variety of places. They can not fly or transport as we do. They take great pride in their contraption. If it is big, like that one, they like it better. Shiny, like this one, gives them more points. This one has smudges and this is not the preferred shape. This makes the other humans not like the person inside it as much.”
“These little flat devices, they hold to their ears and talk to someone that is not with them….someone with this shape is avoided….if you have less of this paper…..a smaller home to sleep in…”
Gabriel was interrupted by the inquiring angel, “But that is not their home, none of those things matter! Their time on earth is so quickly lived, why do they waste their resources that were given to them to help others enter heaven for such measly things that do not matter?!”
Sometimes I sit and watch this world and I find such humor in ourselves. I find humor in myself! Why do I care so much about these possessions that are outdated, broken, and useless tomorrow? Why do I care so much what other people think about me?
The big C word is a brand on my forehead that demotes me to a lower status. Oh, many use it for “pity me points” but I do not want your pity. I have seen some use my own brand and their association with me to be the one up story or the gossipy prayer request. I want to be free, I want to be low maintenance, take care of myself, independent, strong, and healthy.
And that is one of the very reasons that I believe that God gave me this thorn in my side, “Caroline, depend on me. You CAN NOT do this life on your own.”
So, for nineteen years I have lived having to explain my condition, lived with the secret and knowing when to share, just now being able to tell my story over Beautiful Life with Cancer, realizing that all these little habits that I fall into with the rest of the world, DO NOT MATTER! It is absolutely ridiculous when I take a minute to separate from this silly culture and this human life to see the sacrifices I make to “fit in” while I am walking right by someone in need or being selfish for the sake of things when I am called to serve and give.
I AM HEALED. Nineteen years of this thorn in my side means that I beat it! I have survived. If this story trails behind me and part of my purpose in life is to share it, and that is how I can help others, then I thank God and I beg of him to be the strength inside of this human that sometimes makes no sense at all.
If I go to nothing, cords of death entangle me. If this current happiness is all I experience, then pain and suffering are a mockery.
But if I go to eternal life, then even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, it is only a shadow and I will not fear.
Hope defeats even death. Where, Death, is your sting? Where is your victory?
My God chose death, even death on a cross, and rose again to life, conquering you forever. So that when I pass through death, you will only be a shadow, for I will then be more alive than ever!
When I am going, when my days are gone, let me be in his arms. He will rub my head and call me baby. We will sit and just be, just be in our old age and he will tell me one more story of our days together. I will close my eyes and smile and the happily ever after will have been lived between us two.
I’ll say walk me down the isle, a tear will roll down his cheek with the thought of giving me away. But because of love, he will rejoice for me. And he will give me away. I will pass from his loving arms into an eternal marriage. A love that will bring me away. Bring me away to a mansion. Bring me away to perfection. Bring me away to the arms of my Jesus.
I recently read an article about teaching your children how to grow up to be rich. Cringe, huh? Not really a PC title for anyone. But it was an AMAZING article and it started by saying that we all want to be rich (yes) but few actually know how to do that. And it goes on with a researched account of habits of the wealthy and the importance of passing these habits on to our children. Here are some things a high percentage of rich people do: listen to audio books in the car, floss, exercise, watch less than an hour of TV per day (and no reality TV), read, make “to do” lists, and lots of other stuff. Extremely interesting to me. I could care less if my daughter grows up to have lots of money, but I do want her to be rich! Rich in love, rich in success, rich in kindness, rich in joy…and rich with money is great also!
I believe, I believe, I believe in making wise choices. It is why we are here, right? There is a purpose for us on this earth. I want to know everything about everything. I want to know exactly how to treat my body, how to communicate well with others, how to learn, I want to see and do, and live and learn. Praise God I am not the same person that I was twenty years ago or one year ago or even one week ago. I want each day to count!
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming this! No, no, this world is not my home! The best is yet to come! My heart beating, my lungs breathing, my brain thinking, someone else holds that. I can follow his command to make wise choices and I can do my part to improve my life. But listen, I control so little!
Bombs fall on the wise and the foolish. Heart attacks strike the rich and the poor. Cancer does not descriminate against the young and the old. The healthy and the unhealthy, the ugly and the beautiful, we will cease to be.
And what then? Think about it.