Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

God Things

When the moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets… and love will steer the stars.

I’ve never been one big on astrology. Astronomy, yes. The stars and heavens have always fascinated me. The whole “What’s your sign?” thing… not so much. On the astrology charts, I fall into the Libra category. I must admit that some of the characteristics descriptive of Libras fit me to a tee. However, I find it impossible that everyone ever born on any given October 13 is going to share the same daily experiences. Should we all just stay in bed because the planetary alignment bodes for a bad day? Are we all going to find true love in the 3rd house of Mercury? Nah.. I don’t think so. I have heard of some folks who seriously plan their day around what their horoscope predicts. Gracious.

Seems to me that how our day goes depends far more on the decisions we make. For Believers, there is the God Factor as well. Without getting into a theological discussion/debate, I’ll just say… we’ll never understand it. I do believe that God orchestrates the universe, and I also believe that He loves me, and He is interested in my life. And I believe He has a plan for my life. I believe that He sees me every day, and He knows my every thought (yikes!) and deed.

Do I believe that he *controls* everything that happens? Well, that’s getting deep, and into murky predestination waters. It’s a hard concept. God set into motion the laws of nature, which quite often dictates events and circumstances. We ask, then, If God controls everything that happens, then why do bad things happen? Why do good people die, and not-so-good people live another day to do evil and harm? Why do tornadoes and hurricanes destroy the property and lives of good people? Why are loving couples unable to conceive, or give birth only to lose their babies? It’s an unending list.

These are age-old questions of believers and non-believers alike. For the believer, I think, it all boils down to faith. We accept the fact that there are issues we’ll never understand, and many circumstances that we do not, or never would choose. Sometimes it just sucks. We don’t claim to have all the answers. If we did, then we would be God. We are taught (and hopefully embrace) that tough times happen in every life. No rhyme or reason. The difference between the believer and non-believer is that our Hope is eternal, and God will carry us through the tough times. We are not immune from trials, heartache, or tragedy. But we have a Comforter who is with us, and will sustain us through it all.

We are not merely puppets, programmed to love God (or not), and to behave or believe in certain ways. Much of what happens to us is the result of choices we make, or choices made by other people. The food we eat, the activity level we choose, the environment, and heredity plays a large part in the state of our health. The educational choices we make often determine our financial future/lifestyle. To bring it on down, the type of car we drive and/or our choice to abide by the traffic laws, contribute to the likelihood of our getting a traffic violation ticket. The choice someone makes to drive while drinking can take the life of an innocent person. Was it that person’s “time to go”? Could God have stopped it? Did God know ahead of time it would happen? In our minds, it doesn’t seem fair.

But not all of our choices result in bad or tragic things. Just as often, our choices bring about good. And sometimes, things will happen for no apparent reason at all.  Not the result of choices we make, but for whatever reason, things just happen. Some call this phenomenon coincidence. I’ve never been much on the coincidence theory. I normally refer to what most people call a coincidence as a “God Thing”. Might be a good thing, might not. Lots of times it’s just crazy. Like the way Steve and I hooked up after all these years. You already know that story. How crazy was that? We both acknowledge that it was a God Thing. Not a coincidence. We’ve wondered about how it would have been if we had gotten together years ago. But we both know that the reason it’s so dang good for us now is because we are who we are. And we were not those people years ago. We each had to travel our own Broken Roads to reach the place that we were finally ready to build a good life together. That rocks. And it’s a God Thing.

After only a few months of being together, we realized that we wanted to be together even more. As in married. You know that story too. So we set about planning our small family-and-a-few-friends ceremony for mid-June. I was scheduled for time off work, the condo at the beach was reserved for us, and we started our weekly coupon-shopping at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, for my little DIY wedding. The little DIY thing quickly took on a life of its own, and it didn’t take long to become overwhelmed. As you also know, last Friday night we Just Did It. Can’t explain the reason why… but 10 days prior, we both just decided we didn’t want to wait, and after tossing about several possible dates (one of which was today, Sunday, May 1st), we chose Good Friday. No particular reason, other than it seemed to work out best with the schedules of everyone involved. (Except for BJ and Chris… and I’m still sad that they weren’t able to attend.)

The wedding went off without a hitch, and we were so very happy with how it turned out. Except for the BJ and Chris thing, there isn’t one single thing that I would change. It was perfect. Our first weekend together as married folk was fairly typical as most other of our weekends. (Honeymoon will be in June as originally planned.) On Saturday, Steve helped Hayley and Michael move, I was at The 409 packing some things. A typical Saturday, just doing what needed to be done. Sunday was Easter. We picked up Mary and Leyland and headed to church. Afterwards, it was my first official family gathering with Steve’s family, and we enjoyed a fabulous afternoon at his sister Jenny’s house. This was an extra special treat for me, as I normally work on Sundays.

As we were leaving Jenny’s, Steve told me that he had been passing blood in his urine since Friday night. Lots of blood. Typical of his sweetness, he hadn’t wanted to worry me. Though he had experienced slight bleeding a few months prior, and had intermittent occurrences with it, this time it was profuse. Once I saw it with my own eyes, the word *hemorrhage* came to mind. With my background, I immediately began to think the worst. Painless hematuria can be a very bad thing. While I was thankful he wasn’t in any pain, it frightened me more than if he had been. Monday morning found us fighting with a very difficult provider’s office trying to get seen and obtain a urology referral. After 2 ½ days of frustration, finally a referral was made to Dr. Blankenship’s office. Long story short, after radiology procedures, it was determined that my sweetie had a very large, 11 mm (7/16”.. almost half an inch!) kidney stone. The size and location of the stone precluded traditional hydro lithotripsy, and a cystoscopy, ureteroscopy, and laser lithotripsy with stent placement procedure was performed early Friday afternoon. We were happy to go this route, because it meant a good inspection of the bladder, whereas the hydro lithotripsy would not have included this. Thankfully, internal examination of the bladder revealed a clean examination, thus my darkest fears were alleviated. A noon surgery was successful, and by 3:30 we were enjoying garlic-cheese biscuits at Red Lobster.

Now let me tell you why this entire incident qualifies as a God Thing. As a self-employed contractor, Steve has been without health insurance for some time now. (I have often teased him that he only wanted to marry me because of my insurance.) It had already been established through the HR department at work that I would simply need to come down and sign some papers once we were wed, and that coverage would be retroactive to the date of the marriage. As of April 22, the day he started bleeding, and seven days before the surgical event, Steve was insured.

Wow. Does this mean that God had a purpose for us to bump up the wedding date? I don’t know for sure... But it totally ROCKS! Would it have been easier for God simply to have made the stone go away, or kept it from forming in the first place? Yep, probably so. Do I believe He could have done that? Absolutely, I believe it. So how come He didn’t do it like that? I have no clue. Perhaps He just needed to remind us that He Rocks! Because lemme tell you. In my book, this ranks way up there on my list of God Things.

Truthfully, I don’t always like the God Things. Sometimes I cannot see anything good in them at all. But one of my favorite quotes is “Never let me say, when things are going bad, ‘what did I do to deserve this?’ unless I am also willing to say it when things are going good.”

Becoming eligible for insurance on the very day he started profusely bleeding? You may call it a coincidence. I call it a God Thing. And this one was definitely a good thing.

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