So here it is, my very first attempt at blogging. I’ve loved to write all my life, even won a state writing award once. My favorite class in college (besides my nursing courses) was a writing class that I took. So you would think that I would’ve kept it up. But, like a lot of things I “used” to do, it got put to the side. My husband has been encouraging me to write now for a while, but I guess I had nothing to say until now (that’s a joke-if you know me then you know that’s not an issue for me).
Deciding what to write about though has been my problem. I just didn’t feel “led” to go in a certain direction and I wanted something specific to focus on. I LOVE reading blogs that other people write and I thought, “Why can’t I just do this, too”? But after my whole life got turned upside down in April, 2005, and hasn’t been the same since-what to write about now is one of my easiest decisions. Also, my wonderful, amazing sister (well, she’s really my sister-in-law but that’s just a technicality) just published her first book that started from a blog that she had written a while back. It tells her “story”. It is a story of pain, sadness, hope, renewal and joy. So while I will share a lot of my “story” with you, I’ve decided to focus on Chronic Illness. Some might say that is my story now, because that’s what I face daily. But I’ve learned that it is only because I took my eyes off the One who is the ultimate author of my story and zoomed in on that one particular area. Anybody who suffers from a chronic illness (or illnesses) can attest to how hard it is to NOT concentrate on that constantly. I probably won’t share my entire story in one blog (unless you want to read for hours, lol) but I had this thought that popped into my head a few days ago and it won’t leave me alone so I knew that this must be my starting point. That’s where the name of this particular blog came from, “I Call that One”.
My husband and my 3 boys play this game in the car all the time. They try to find the coolest or priciest cars and “call them”. Sometimes that’s the only conversation in our car. But they pick out the Porches, Camaros, Mustangs, etc (never BMW convertibles, which is my favorite, because it’s an “old lady car” J). This game eventually trickled down to their friends who would be in the car with us and now it is almost like a rite of passage to ride with us-you have to name the cars. In fact, it had gotten so competitive, everybody started calling out almost any kind of car you can think of (except for the old clunkers of course). Even police cars and firetrucks were called out. I had to pull rank on them eventually and tell them to go back to the original form of the game because half the time I don’t think they even looked closely for the “good” ones anymore.
So on Monday morning on the way home from carpool, I was thinking about this game, because of course I had 5 kids calling out cars the entire time. Why, I wondered, was it so very easy to pick out the “fancy”, high priced cars (and really anything that looked “new”). Sure, they don’t get a kick out of calling out the clunkers, but they don’t look good enough. But a car is a car. Even the Porsche we pass one second might go on down the road and have some kind of engine problem and totally break down. However, they are none the wiser because all they see is the outside-a nice, gorgeous, shiny car that they think will run forever. How very much, I thought, is that similar to the way others look at those of us who suffer from some form of a chronic illness. A chronic illness can be anything at all-a long term condition that the person has to live with daily. It’s often called the “Invisible Illness” because no one sees it. But that’s only from the outside. Someone might have cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, even high blood pressure that affects them all the time. But just because you don’t “look” the part of someone who is sick, people don’t think that there is anything wrong. It’s a common assumption that just because you look okay on the outside that you must feel great on the inside. That is so far from how it really is. With women, a little makeup and styling your hair goes a long way into turning you into that Porsche that looks great on the outside but what they don’t realize is that eventually, (and it’s usually at home with family or alone), that the engine messes up and you totally get stopped in your tracks. Sure, the outside still looks good, but underneath the “hood”, there are all sorts of bad things going on. And you don’t want to tell anyone because what would that do to your reputation as being “the cool car”? So you sit it out on the sidelines and nobody says “I Call that One” because who wants a car that doesn’t run right?
Thank goodness there is One who will always want us, no matter how we look on the outside or the inside for that matter. He meets us where we are and he pursues us until we put all of our faith in Him and trust Him to be that “Great Mechanic”. I know that’s a crazy term for Jesus Christ, but He did promise to be what we needed. Does that mean that He is going to completely fix everything that is wrong? Nope. Sometimes the thing that is wrong can’t be fixed but merely repaired or tuned up so to speak. He also promises never to leave us or forsake us. And He doesn’t. He’s always there beside you in the passenger seat. Sometimes it’s just hard to see through the smoke coming through the car from the engine. That’s when we have to trust and take that hand that is reaching out for us through the smoke and just be still and let Him handle the problem. And He will handle it. It might not always be the way we want or fast enough for us, but I promise you this: He won’t trade you in for a newer, better model. He takes what you already have and He lovingly cares for it until you can start up again and move on, even if it’s just for that day. One day, we will all have the perfect “cars” that my boys and my husband call out all the time. We just have to give our hearts to Him and let Him guide us. Trust me, He will. On the days when all I feel like is the old clunker nobody wants and I feel like I’m totally on my last few miles, I know that my Heavenly Father is looking down, reaching for my hand and saying “I Call that One”.