I have written blogs, I promise. I wrote them and saved them and promptly deleted them and wrote loads in my head but never posted. I wrote about the Susan G. Komen walk with W and the joy and sorrow of it all. That was when I thought surgeries and hospitals and sickness were over. We were ready to celebrate the end of a very long journey and the end of cancer. I found work to keep me busy and fill up my dwindling bank account in the form of a shopgirl as I wait on new directions, next steps and the doors I keep pushing on to open.
But then the final surgery went bad and we were back again, to a quiet house with a sick patient. It all happened so fast and it was like a horrid flu that you think is just a cold and it will go away. When you don't realize how sick you really are because you go about your day like normal and push and pretend. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I knew she was very sick. This Southern girl is tough as nails and it is hard to tell sometimes, but when she refuses Thanksgiving dinner something ain't right. She developed an infection and it resulted in a surgery that resulted in a mastectomy and this is why I don't blog. This isn't my life, but someone else's and it's her privacy and her story and I go mum. But there you have it. I worked my shifts at the shop and an afternoon nanny job and came home to the patient and she has healed. I have too.
I tried to join a friend in Brazil to pursue going there full time but strangely my passport of all things was lost in the mail and I wasn't able to get my visa in time. The door slammed so loudly I cried.
I've grown into my retail job and even though I don't really like it, I assume that door opened for a reason. Each day I psych myself up. Yet, no one dies, no one goes to jail, there is no searing sun, no dead bodies, no Dengue fever or malaria and there's running water. I was sharing with a fellow missionary recently about how hard it was to still be here sitting and waiting and feeling so out of sorts. He reminded me that there is a joy in working as a "pencil salesman" and told me of heartache after heartache he had recently experienced in China. And then I remembered the pain and heartache and struggle that was every single day in Africa. I am ultimately living quite the life. I am living in pretty much the greatest city in the world right now. Nashville is where it's at. The greatest food on the planet is in walking distance. Donuts, tacos, farm-to-table bliss abound. I work at the sweetest little discount designer shop where I can get $2000 shoes for $20. It happened.
This is where I am. Living the life. Trusting there is a reason I am a shopgirl, not needing to know just why, practicing gratitude, daily. W is better and cancer free and grows stronger every day. We leave for London the fifth of April. I am excited to see what happens there and meet her friends and spend time with mine. I will push on doors there too and see if London might be my gateway back into development work. I will get to have tea with my hero Ruth Alexander, my friend and neighbor while in Mozambique. So the pencil salesman life is pretty grand too.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
― Thomas Merton,
― Thomas Merton,