Note to self: Just because I compose a blog post in my head while, say, in the shower or sitting at a red light or on a run with my dog, does not necessarily mean it will translate directly onto this computer until I actually sit down and write it. I only say that because this is something I've been saying to myself for awhile inside my pea brain, but haven't actually transcribed it to the written word yet. Until now.
So prepare. 'Cause it ain't pretty.
There's a 6-letter word that has become more profane in our family right now over most any given four-lettered ones. A word I detest. Loathe. Hate. Despise. You probably can guess it since I already gave you a big hint.
Such a simple word, really. It usually has pretty good connotations. A stroke could be associated with playing a fun game, like swinging a baseball bat or a golf club. Or how about tennis? Holla! Better yet, one I'm a little partial to: writing. A stroke of the pen. Or stroking the keys of my beloved laptop putting a long-overdue blogpost into written word. How about my favorite thing in the entire world: stroking my daughters' cheeks as they drift off to sleep? Perfection.
Well, that's all been ruined for me now. The word "stroke" has, within the context of one calendar year, singularly become - and pardon the melodrama, but it's how I roll tonight - the bane of my existence.
What once was an innocuous word has become a personal hell for my family, and it doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon.
I know, I know. I sound like a crazy woman. It could be extreme dehydration from the stomach flu a couple of days ago. Coupled with the rules laid down by the kidney stone doctor which include collecting my pee in a big orange jug for 24 hours and changing my diet COMPLETELY because apparently every single crumb of healthy food I consume "is contributing to my kidney stones". Peanut butter wheat toast for breakfast? Nope, no peanut butter, no wheat. Spinach salad for lunch? No spinach or leafy vegetables, no tomatoes. Handful of nuts for a nutritious snack? Fuggedaboutit, no nuts allowed. Apparently, the only thing I'm doing right here is water. Can you tell I'm a little bitter? You're probably thinking Sarah might have even had a little stroke herself, right smackdab in the forebrain, for suddenly turning a lighthearted little family blog into a rant. I get it, I really do.
But guess what? This ain't about me.
You probably know by now how this antagonistic relationship with the word "stroke" originated. The devastating stroke of unknown origin or etiology that felled my husband's vital father. It came upon us swiftly and deftly without warning, and we were left floundering, bereft in a sea of agonizing questions and fist-shaking.
Next, I was turned on to a wonderful professional mommy-blogger and fellow sister in Christ who is raising two beautiful girls (shout-out), is a runner (whoop whoop), and who happens to also be thirty-nine years old, same as yours truly. Tragically, this beautiful and talented woman was discovered by her daughter last week on their basement floor suffering a grand mal seizure secondary to a massive - you guessed it, stroke - in her beautiful and talented brain. Even though this woman and I have never met, her condition and her family are weighing so heavily in my spirit this week for reasons I cannot identify with words. I am beside myself at the thought of these two girls possibly having to grow up without their mom. If you would like to pray for Joanne and her family, I encourage you to do so, and you can follow her progress here.
Lastly, I received some news today from my mother that my grandmother Sassy has suffered a stroke and is deteriorating rapidly. Some of you may know that my dear, sweet, beautiful Sassy has been waging a brave battle against the ravages of Alzheimer's for the past decade, and truth be told, I think she has also been secretly quite excited for the day she can escape the bounds of earth and reunite with her Savior, but still, hearing the news today has been hard. Especially since those words included the unforgiving six-letter sacrilege, "stroke".
So now can you understand the reasons for my fanatical ramblings?
Here's the thing.....
Perhaps the craziest thing of all...
And it's a pretty BIG thing....
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF MY LIFE DO NOT CHANGE THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
Nothing. Not the strokes. Not the deaths of dear people I love. Not the kidney stones. Or the stomach flu. Not ANYTHING in my life changes my GOD. He is the same as He ever was. He is Alpha and Omega. He has never and will never change. I will change. The circumstances of my life will change. Some, I will be happy with. Others, not so much. I will move closer to Him and further away from Him. I will make mistakes and crawl back to Him on my knees. I will say things I don't mean, and probably even some things I do mean. I will take Him for granted. I will shake my fists and demand answers I may never get and pound the earth in vain, but He will still be Him. Steadfast, pure, faithful, resolute, unwavering, unchanging from the beginning of time until the end.
He will not change.
This, my friends, is what makes it all okay. This is what gives me the courage to get out of bed every morning and face a world filled with Alzheimer's, armed men who shoot children in parking lots, kidney stones, and yes, even strokes.
Okay whew, I'm done. My rant is over. Glad I got that off my chest. And thanks for listening.