Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What matters most for Jan

What matters most in your life, Jan? Some time ago, whenever I was asked this question, I used to go for the comfortable answer that it depended on the circumstances of my life at the moment. But you don't think so, and I agree. What matters most in life, you say is a matter of choice not of circumstances. This choice -you emphasized- comes from within, it reveals the true desires and values of your heart. Choices based on circumstances reveal a fickle soul, and you have decided that you will not be so. It is true, you didn't used these words I am using in this blog, and it took more than 30 minutes to translate, but your ideas came crystal clear for me.

Living in hospitals for 87 days in a row has certainly changed you Jan. Your physical substance seems to have diminished, you lost weight, your right side gives you grief; nevertheless, your mind and your heart seem to have expanded, they feel more coherent with your views and more complete, in spite of the apparent contradiction if you consider your physical challenges; this is a true paradox. But you have always been paradoxical.

What struck me tonight was the certainty of your faith, the depth of your convictions, the strong belief that God knows what s/he is doing, therefore, there is no need to fear or to worry. I know most of us say the same things when we are in a good frame of mind, but as soon as trouble comes, we quickly recant, doubt, blame, fill with anger and ask incessantly: why? why? why? I don't know any other person in a tight place like the one you find yourself in right now: tested to the limit mentally and physically, using the portion left of your brain to not only find the strength to go on healing and recovering what you can in spite of all the diagnosis to the contrary, forced to give up your job when all of your life you have worked, forced to give up your family and home life for an impersonal hospital room, forced to slow down, to speak less, to believe more. What is your core made out of that not even a bleed in your brain and all of the negative resulting circumstances can tempt you to give up, to become bitterm, to be cynical? Instead, in your slow voice, and fractured words, you clearly talk about your choices: you choose life, you choose thankfulness, you choose to believe that God is taking care of you.

I admire your soul and your faith. This was the spark that made my love catch fire for you. A real person, with no shadow of pretense. I know what matters most to you Jan and I baske in the strength of your faith.

Tonight you were frustrated for not finding the words for your shopping list for the occupational therapy class tomorrow. You told me that you needed to make a shopping list. You already had: meat, spices, oil, frying pan, rice and could not find the word broccoli! How frustrating to be able to see the picture in your mind and not be able to describe it. But this did not stop you from finding the right word. This is a new addition in your personality: patience.

What will the future bring? You don't know but you know who will be by your side. Thank you Jan for such a precious lesson.



Ret said...

WoW! Awesome post! And what an awesome God we serve! Your faith and determnation is inspiring. What peace and patience God has given you during this time of trial!
I was just watching Joyce Meyer before I sat down at my computer this morning and she talks about God allowing storms before a major victory in life, and about remembering past victories. Before David slew Goliath, people were discouraging him and telling him it couldn't be done, but he remembered the lion and the bear that he slew previously. Just as you've survived previous tribulations, you are showing people victory in the giant that you've been slaying, believing GOd for a miracle and surviviving and thriving in SOME FINE STYLE! You've beat the odds and believed God's victory, not man's negativity! You're doing great! You can take comfort in knowing that God loves you and he has blessed us both with wonderful friends who believe in us and are praying for and encouraging us.

I face my own battles these days with the new course I have been taking. Yesterday was my first good day. I have been facing extreme sensory issues with my Asperger Syndrome and sensitivity to noise and distractions during my first four days of class made my life a living hell. I was scared I'd have to quit the class because I wasn't coping and this new teacher doesn't seem to be as patient and understanding as Ardith was. But yesterday I got the ladies in my Bible study group to pray for me in this situation and I had my first REALLY GOOD day!

I guess people with Aphasia and Asperger's Syndrome both face various communication-related issues. FOr the first four days of this class I came home feeling so burnt out I couldn't stop crying, but yesterday I felt like God finally delivered me. I was able to relax, have fun and enjoy my class and create a beautiful brochure that I was pleased with.

It's nice to know that in HIs perfect time, God rewards us for our faith and diligence and as his word says in Jeremiah 29:11 he has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. That has got to be one of my all-time favorite verses as well as Romans 8:28!

sharon said...

dear Jan,

I am deeply inspired & touched at the depth of your faith, perservance, grace & patience. It's easier for me to talk the we have choices but sometime I live by circumstances; more so now than I did in the past. I continue to learn so much from you in spite of your physical & communication challenges your spirit grows stronger and stronger. Jan you really explemify what is really important when everything you have is lost that what matters most is the love you show for life, for your family, your husband & yourself. Your fearless beliefs that God will take care of you is the Jan I know & love.

Thank you for sharing your gift of faith. Jan you continue to live a miracle more and more each day I believe you continue to teach me so much as you would as a teacher in school and the sanctuary. You are still a teacher in my eyes. In a different way God I believe is blessing you with this Gift of sharing your experiences to help others grow in their life.

I too am thankful each day for your progress but also how much you touch my soul. Thank you for your friendship and being my sister in my heart. Today I feel the real Jan reaching out, challenging beyond belief the diagnosis that no one can take away your mind. I do have choices no what my circumstances. It's only me that can control my destiny. I can hardly wait to see each day unfold with you Jan.