Daily Archives: March 8, 2006

Testing times

It feels as though I am being tested to breaking point at the moment. I will not crack, though… God won’t let me crack.

My nice easy night has just gone for a burton. Lovely expression, that! I was planning to get Dad off to bed early (him being worn out from the hospice and still feeling really quite poorly) and then crawl into my bed myself. I felt the need to curl up and pull the duvet over my head. To say nothing of needing to rest my body which has finally started to tell me about the battle I had holding my baby tight last night so that he wouldn’t hurt himself or me.

It’s been a day which has really quite battered me one way or another, though the hospice were quite wonderful about Dad’s sickness (changes in medication and full investigations into the cause). I got the bill for the windscreen wiper motor for my car – £278!!!! And nothing to see for it, of course, as is always the way with cars. I must admit I felt quite physically sick myself when I got the bill.

The this afternoon the very nice window and door man arrived to measure up and give me a quote for a new door. It has to be a complete door, and the side windows to match, because the old door is basically losing its grip on life as well as not conforming to building regulations one little bit. I knew that. So Mr nice window and door man did his bit with tape measure and calculator and then told me to sit down and take a deep breath. Just short of £1000 !!! He was very nice, no hard sell at all, recommended I get other quotes and recommended a company that does very low interest loans for home improvements, and left me to think about it and get back in touch if I wanted to go ahead. £1000! I have shown Tiddles the estimate, just to make a point. Turns out they’ve been helping themselves to my money for quite a while. Looks like it will all backfire on them now as I think our annual holiday may have to be sacrificed to make a point. But I am reeling at the cost. I’ll find the money, and as I said, the cost of repair is only because I am fortunate enough to run a car and have a home. But I still feel shellshocked.

And now Dad has had a sort of collapse and I’m sitting here waiting for the doctor to ring instead of snuggling down under my duvet. It’ll be in the next two hours, they tell me. Well, it’s 10pm now… who wants to go to bed before midnight anyway?

I was supposed to be preaching on Sunday morning but have today rung my mentor and asked if she can do the service in my place. I haven’t given a thought to the planning yet. It’s a dilemma. It’s only fair, if I am not going to be able to do it, that I give my replacement as much warning as possible rather than dropping it on her at the last minute. And yet I feel wrong somehow. When I started this Local Preacher training, I was well aware of God telling me to trust him to find the time for me to do it properly. So by handing it over to another it feels as though I am failing to trust. Maybe if I had held on to it, then it would have come together by Sunday. Or is it that God is maintaining his part of the bargain by providing me with someone who I can ask without reservation to help me out at a difficult time. Hard to tell… but at the moment I feel as though falling back on my friends and on God is the only option and letting myself be carried through the tough time so that I can give back when things are easier.

Praise God for a good friend who sent me a text just as I was feeling at my lowest ebb and offered to come round (I was sadly too tired) and to loan me the money and to give me a shoulder to offload onto. That offer was worth more than a million pounds to me.

Eavesdropping

A conversation overheard.

Lord, give me a break. Please give me a break.

Why, my child. How many do you need?
Why will you have such a large bill for your car repairs when money is rather tight this month?
Well, might it be because you earn enough to have a car when so many in the world have to walk?

Why do you need a new door to replace the one where Tiddles has smashed the glass?
Why, could it be because you have a safe, warm home to live in when many are sleeping on the streets?

Why is your back aching?
Could that be because you are generally so well that the small aches and pains are noticeable. And could it be because you have such an excess of available food to eat that you overindulge and have given yourself too much weight to carry?

Why did Tiddles have a tantrum?
Could that be because you are blessed with two gorgeous children who hate it when you are cross with them and who feel secure enough in your love for them to let their pent-up anger out in your presence?

Why is it so hard watching your Dad suffer and caring for him?
My child, is that not because I have placed you in a family which cares for one another and because your father is someone you love deeply and who loves you? Would you rather be alone?

Why do you feel so alone sometimes?
Have you not looked around you and seen just how many friends and good family members you have who are there for you all the time? Am I not always with you? Don’t you feel me at work in your life?

Why is life so hard sometimes?
Oh my child, do you think I don’t know it’s hard? Do you think I don’t weep for you when you feel low and rejoice with you when you smile? Why do you think I sent my son?

Thank you, Father, for always being there for me and for the incredible richness of my life. Thank you for the beauty of the place I live, for the sanctuary of a country which is relatively safe and where I am free to follow my own faith and dreams, for a wonderful family and supportive friends, for the fact I don’t have to boil my water or carry it for miles from the nearest stream, that I don’t have to forage for food and I recieve (for all my moans) a fair pay for the work I do, that I have exceeded the life expectancy for many parts of the world, and that no matter where I go or what I do, you are always there beside me.

Training walk

I reckon the RAC website must be lying. It must have been more than 3.2 miles. That means I’m going to walking that distance four times – good grief! Still, it felt good to be walking the 3.2 miles home from going with Dad to the hospice. I planned to catch the bus but decided that, since I had gained an hour or two off school (and since I was going to need every penny for my new windscreen wiper motor and my new door) then it would be a good opportunity to see how far I could walk without getting out of breath. I had my pedometer on too, although it either reset itself when I dropped it or, and of course I go with this latter option, it went completely round the clock and started again from 0 as according to that I only managed two paces!

How kind of God to keep me cool on my walk and stop me overheating. The gentle rain was actually quite pleasant – though I must say it wasn’t really pleasant enough to warrent the downpour that dogged the last mile of my walk! And by that time I was really really regretting having had a cup of coffee at the hospice before I set out. I mean, walking with your legs crossed isn’t easy… running with them crossed is all but impossible!

The hospice nurses agree, naturally, with the Macmillan nurse so Dad will probably not be having a syringe driver fitted today but instead they’ll be doing some tests to see if they can get to the bottom of the causes for the nausea. If it’s a spread of the cancer then, to be honest, we’d rather not know at this stage but it could well be something easily treatable. It’s quite a relief to have that decision taken off my shoulders for a while, although I hate being the custard cream squished between the two biscuits of the hospice and the GPs! Dad looked so pathetic when I left him at the hospice today – small and pale and lost – and he didn’t want me to leave him. At least I know he’s in the best place and can make the most of being at home alone today.

Ian, I can’t believe your friends visited the Isle of Wight and didn’t wave. Mind you, it’s a long way from Australia to here just for the weekend! Why didn’t you come with them?