One of the nice things about being in the hospital (in addition to having nice pain meds and nurses to help wait on your child) is that it really gives you time to think. I used to blog a lot. But then I began working full-time, and singing with a local choral ensemble, and… you get the gist. I don’t get the time to write very often, and it’s almost like my brain doesn’t even have enough time to process what I’d LIKE to write. Being tired = a lack of creativity, at least where I’m concerned.
But this weekend I’ve had lots of time to think. To see things and chew on them… to focus on all the ways I see God and His principles in the world around me. They’re always there… if we take time to look and think. So I’ve been looking, and thinking.
Because the donor site for Jasmine’s harvested skin is under her hip, they put these gauze pads under her to absorb the drainage from the spot where the skin layers were removed. Today I noticed that there are two types of pads. One is smooth and a little shiny, while the other is more like typical gauze – white and scratchy. I asked the nurse why the difference, and which she preferred to use. I found her response interesting.
She told me that while the smooth and shiny pad is more comfortable for Jasmine (the wound doesn’t stick to it), the other is actually better for her. It’s rough, and can make her itchy as she lays on it. As her donor site drains, a crust is formed between the pad and her skin, which means that when she has to get up, the pad has to be peeled back carefully – and it HURTS (think the worst sunburn you’ve ever had times ten). Sounds better to me… how about you?
Actually, while the smooth pad feels better at the time, because of the material it’s made out of, it doesn’t allow the donor site to dry out – a step that’s necessary for healing. As long as the site stays wet and mushy, it won’t heal. While the rougher pad is tougher to handle in the short term (itchy to lay on, and a royal – and literal – pain in the butt to remove from her skin when she needs to get up), it’s what is best for her healing.
I think God works like that sometimes too. I surely would have chosen a much simpler – less painful – set of life experiences for myself given the chance. I probably wouldn’t have asked to experience years of aimless wandering, experimenting with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity. I’d not have chosen to nearly lose a child at 30 years of age, or to walk through much of what this life has dealt me. I wouldn’t have asked to be sobbing with my girl at 1am as she cried through her pain. There were times that the circumstances of this life have left me feeling as though some scratchy piece of gauze had been stuck to the open wounds of my heart and then stripped away in such painful fashion that even breathing seemed next to impossible. Yet as I look back, I understand that there was a purpose in every bit of it. That it was necessary for my healing. That it ALL served to help me become – through Christ – the woman I am today. A woman that, after a long time (I haven’t always felt this way), I’ve actually grown to like. In each of the “fires” the Lord has led me through, I’ve learned things – about myself, and about Him… about what He asks of me, and about what I am able to accomplish through His strength. He has used it all to shape me into the woman that HE designed me to be – to cultivate my character and teach me how to live for Him. Do I have it all together? HA! The closer I come to the cross the more I realize that I am indeed the wretch the song Amazing Grace was written about… but it’s ok. I don’t have to have it all together (and you don’t either!) I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, following after the Lover of my soul. I need only to move forward, trusting Him to handle each day, and trying to find ways to make sure that I don’t waste any of it… not the trials or the triumphs or the teachings.
Smooth and comfy might be nice in the short-term, but THIS girl would rather be HEALTHY than happy. It takes what it takes, and regardless of what that means for my life, I’m not walking it alone. Once the gauze is ripped off, the Great Physician is there, lovingly tending to my wounds and washing them with His tender mercy and grace. There’s a reason they call it recovery. He is in the business of redeeming it – every moment. I’m blessed.