In situations that drive you down and place seeming limitations on your life's possibilities, there are three routes to survival:
2. Inner Strength
3. Being surrounded by people who pick you up and help put you back together again
Two weeks ago, I picked up a heavy crockpot and threw out my back. It seems ridiculous. But a history of back problems and a genetic predisposition to degenerative discs makes even the simple things dangerous at times. I have been down this road before and the end results were not ideal. Fifteen years ago, I lost the use of much of my left leg and foot so the prospect of heading down a similar path with my right leg frightened me beyond words.
So I did the only three things I knew how. I prayed. I remembered that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And I called on my friends and family who have visited and talked and laughed and cried and eaten dinner with me.
I could not have gotten through the last two weeks without the people with whom I've chosen to surround myself. Even a short phone call or a voice mail has brightened my days trapped on the couch. (For a social butterfly like myself, bed rest is like prison.) My mom has done my laundry, my sister has taken out the trash, my ten year old nephew calls me to FaceTime almost daily... And my friends have been wonderful.
The diagnosis is two herniated discs. The treatment is a long list of drugs and therapies before surgery. And I will be just fine. It could be so many other things. So many more devastating things. But... This minor setback has demonstrated how truly blessed I am.
My cousin called on a day last week when i was feeling particularly sad and lonely and she said, "but you are not alone Michele. You are surrounded by family and friends who love you."
Yes, I am. My back may be down and out right now but thanks to all of these wonderful people and the man upstairs (as the Catholics like to say), I won't be for long.