Monday, December 8, 2014

Waiting . . . .

Today kind of sucked.  I really wanted to write something more poetic or even just more thoughtful, but I don't have it in me. In fact, I kind of feel like curling up in my p.j's and having a good cry.  And maybe some ice cream.

But advent is stopping me.

Until yesterday, I didn't really know what advent was.  Apparently, it is waiting with candles. Oh, and for someone to show up.  It is waiting with candles, and in the Christian tradition, for Christ to show up.  More specifically, it is the four weeks before Christmas where you wait, and light a candle each week, and, as I learned yesterday, read long passages about how sometimes, the waiting sucks.

I grew up in church, if you know anything about me you know this is not a "I went to church on Sundays" kind of sentence.  This is a "I was in church more than I was in my kitchen" kind of sentence.  I grew up in church.  But I don't ever remember celebrating advent.  We've been at our current church for 12 years.  I don't ever remember celebrating advent, until this year.

I'm 38. That's a lot of years of not ever celebrating something.

Apparently until exactly when I needed it.

If you talk to my mother, she may disagree that I didn't need a lesson in waiting before now.  I'm not, by nature, a patient person.  In fact, I am extremely impatient.  I frequently open the microwave when there are only 3 seconds left.  I have always unwrapped my presents before Christmas morning and then carefully re-wrapped them and placed them back under the tree (although I place the fault for this squarely on my mother for putting the presents under the tree before Christmas). I finish my husband's sentences, because I always know what he is going to say, and I rarely have time to straighten all of my hair, so there is always one little section that is still curly.

But the place I have been most impatient in my life has been my health.  In fact, my health issues were the reason behind this blog.  I coined The Waiting Room title after spending hundreds of hours in literal waiting rooms and thousands more in metaphorical ones.

My health issues have been random, to say the least, over the past decade, including several surgeries and more than one diagnosis that included the words, "Well, I've never actually seen this happen on a real person before . . ." But the most frequent and debilitating issue that has plagued me is chronic migraines.

My dad and brother both get migraines, and since they are genetic, it isn't unthinkable that I would get them as well, but I had never had one until after I stopped nursing Anna. During my first migraine, I made Richie call my dad, because I was sure it was an aneurysm and I would going to die right then.  I had never felt such intense pain, and I recently gave birth. In the ten years since then, I would estimate I've spent well over 2,200 days with migraines (I just actually did the math and it is depressing).

I know your first instinct here is going to be to send a comment that is something to the effect of, "I have migraines and I've tried XX" or "I have a friend who has migraines and she tried XX and it worked great for her."  I promise you that I've tried it all.  I've eaten and not eaten everything.  I've tried prescription and herbal.  I've done chiropractic and even acupuncture (yep, needles in the face). If there is a medicine on the market, I have taken it, shot it in my veins, snorted it (yep), or rubbed it into my feet.

I don't tell you this to make you feel sorry for me.  In fact, even though I still get them a few times a week, they are actually better now than then have been in years. Even so, I am impatient.  Every time I read a verse or hear a sermon about how God heals, I wonder why I am still sick.  I can't help but ask God why my time in the wilderness is so long. What else could I possibly have to learn here?  I know I should be thankful because there are so many people who are so much worse off than me. I should have so many days where I count my thousands and thousands of blessings instead of focusing on this trial.

But today, was not one of those days.

Today, my precious little boy had his first migraine.  And today my heart is broken.  Because as many times as I have prayed for my own healing, I have also prayed that this cup would be spared from my children. And I cannot stand the thought of him bearing this burden.

So tonight, as I was pondering drowning my sorrows ice cream and p.j.'s, I thought about advent. About waiting with expectation for Christ.  And I thought about yesterday's sermon.  How we were reminded that even in the midst of waiting we could find joy.  Because our joy is not found in our emotional state, it is found in who God is.  

And so even though today, I am devastated, God is still on the throne.  He is still good.  He is still faithful.  He is still wise.  He is still powerful. He is still in control. And He is coming.

And that is why tomorrow will be better.