I was sleeping so soundly, in that deep REM cycle that never quite hits until around 5am, regardless of what time I go to bed. Dreaming peacefully, when suddenly… What’s that? Someone is grabbing my arm. Why? Must be 7:30: infusion time. But OWWW!! Feels like a piranha took a nibble out of my arm. They said it wouldn’t hurt. They lied. Must roll onto back to relieve pressure. Then… Ugghh, legs are killing me. More pillows. Arms aren’t bent at a comfortable angle, but be careful with the right ar- OOWWWWW!!!! That’s it, no more moving. Sleep for a few hours. Get up, shower (my nemisis since I have to tape plastic wrap around my PICC line and we’re back to the OOWWWWW ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!), and throw pj’s on with as little movement as possible. Done, hallelujah, now transfer into recliner. I’m not straight, but DON’T TOUCH MY ARM!!! Finally comfortable. Feeling pretty good! Oh… Never mind.. Feel rough… Don’t even know how… Just feel sick. Eat. More infusions. Sleep. Repeat. Of course with my amazing family and some virtual coloring thrown in there, but yeah. This has been my life since last Thursday, when I had a PICC line placed to receive strong IV antibiotic infusions every twelve hours for two weeks because MRSA was making me very very sick. Like, so sick. I do feel some better for sure, of which I’m thankful. But I’m not better yet. Fighting this infection is very hard, and has taken a toll on me physically. This is my current storm.
Storms are really quite beautiful if you take time to stop and watch. Truly a work of art, they are both terrifying and mesmerizing. I’ve been blessed with a living room full of windows, and sometimes on stormy days I’ll position my chair so I can watch. Many hate storms, and admittedly it’s unpleasant to get drenched in a downpour, but what many don’t know is the many benefits that accompany storms. First and most obvious, storms bring rain, which brings life and nourishment to all living plants and creatures. When lightening strikes it converts nitrogen gas into nitrogen compounds which fertilizes plant soil. Storms also rid the world of impurities and pollution. Storms heal.
While they can be destructive and scary at times, storms are necessary for growth of all forms of life. Without storms nothing grows and production of every kind ceases. And it’s evident that life is meant to change. One thing always remains true: storms, regardless of how bad they are, never last forever. They may last a day, a week, even months, but eventually the rain will cease, and the sun will shine; and sometimes, if you’re looking hard enough, you’ll even see a rainbow. And in that moment, everything was worth it.
I love the story found in Mark 4, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Jesus and His disciples were out on a boat and a bad storm arose, and it was so destructive that the waves were beginning to sink the ship. Everyone was terrified that they were going to die; that is, everyone except Jesus. He was in the bottom of the ship taking a nice nap. Everyone rushed to wake Him up, shouting things like “how can You be sleeping at a time like this? We’re all going to die! Don’t You care?” The Master went up on deck and with only one word spoken – “Peace” – the waves settled and the sky cleared. The storm left with Christ’s instruction. Afterwards, He turned to everyone and said “Why don’t you have any faith?” Jesus wasn’t afraid of the storm because He knew His father had everything under control, and He could rest in that. The problem is, we humans tend to be very negative creatures, scared like sheep at any sign of distress. We know our Father loves us, but we’re so used to being let down by people in this imperfect world that we doubt He will always come through. But He always does. Even when things seem really bad, the Father is in control, using storms to bring healing and growth. We can trust our God, even when the wind and waves won’t stop and we’re tired of fighting. He knows what He’s doing, and the sun will shine again.
You might not understand this storm I am going through, and that’s OK. I might not understand what you’re going through and that’s OK. God knows how hard the storms of life can be, and if only we can trust in His plan, and trust that He won’t let the waves overtake us, we can learn to sleep in the storm.