If you’ve been to this blog or my FB page or anything – you probably already know I share stuff from time to time 😉
Quickly typing rambling thoughts is cathartic for me. Maybe it’s also helpful for someone else sometimes. So this is the first of a couple posts I’ll be using to go through some lessons I’m learning after a very recent – like 2 day old recent – diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS.. Looks like there are two important MSs in my life. The one who makes the technology that has enabled me to have the career and life I have.. And one that stands for a disease).
Not sure what I want to get out here. But basically a few quick lessons I’ve been reflecting on the past couple days 🙂
1.) I am good at not sweating the big stuff. I sweat the small stuff too much… I’m a control freak with little things. But I roll with the punches with the big things. I guess that’s okay. But it’s also a sign of some spiritual maturity I lack. The big stuff is easier to just accept – because it is the stuff that is clear that I have no control over.. The adoption. That was big stuff.. We did our part but God had to lift more. This diagnosis? I just had to show up and get the MRI and complain of the double vision symptoms to cause the avalanche of tests and appointments that resulted in that simple “So.. You have MS” meeting last week. But I fight and wrestle for control in other areas where I think I stand a chance. I’m a shepherd. I think it’s cute when my sheep think they know what’s best and try and do it. I let them eventually, but then they get themselves cornered and find themselves in my crook, or tangled up in the wire I was trying to steer them away from. To be honest? I laugh at them a little. I wonder how many times God shakes his head and laughs at this stubborn sheep. (See the most recent post for a good example there.. All we like sheep have gone astray..)
2.) I can’t be all things to all people all the time… People pleasing. I have a lot of interests and wants and desires. But I have a few positional responsibilities. To my Sovereign God to praise, Worship, spend time with and read love letters from.. To my patient, loving, forgiving, emotional rock of a wife. To my beautiful children. To my church family. To my customers, colleagues and teams I help manage.. I spread myself too thin. I think I’ve known this before. MS is sort of a neon light flashing in my brain saying “Here’s your sign”.
3.) I fight too much. Well I don’t. I mean I think it is fine to share the hope that lies within my heart. I am never going to be silent about oppression. Whether it is halfway around the world, in a prison down the road from us, in an abortion clinic, in a family that has to decide to choose feeding their kids or paying the light bills. Silence is the dark and damp that the mold of decay rots in.. But I can be less boisterous with that. I have friends and family of all beliefs and walks of life. I need to do a better job balancing truth with grace and love. But that doesn’t mean that truth loses its truth. Or salt its salt. or Light its light. Make no mistake – I believe we serve a sovereign God. I believe That the truth of God is known in every heart – but most ignore it and run from it. I believe in common grace. But I believe that that means that we are given time to live and enjoy life even as sinners apart from God. I believe we are shown much about our God and ourselves through our hearts and nature. But that doesn’t mean I need to use this like a pick axe. I have friends of many interests. I have a whole SQLFamily and FamilyFamily and Friends who don’t believe like I believe but have much else in common.. This past week has reminded me of frailty. It has reminded me that time is precious. That time in our right minds is precious and a gift. I ought to do something about that.
3..) Count the blessings!! Listen – I am still learning more about my case. And in the coming weeks with more tests I’ll learn more. It’s definitively MS. Multiple lesions in the brain. Some active. Some old. Different areas. Symptomatic with this annoying double vision thing that makes me dizzy and nauseous in crowds or feel off when looking in my left side view mirror without winking one eye.. It’s sort of a pain in the butt. I have four beautiful children who I should be spending so much more time with.. And this is a crushing reminder of that fact. Most cases of MS and the majority chance is that that won’t be affected. But I don’t know for sure yet. Only time will tell. While I have contentment, peace, joy and feel blessed (as I’ll list below) – I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a slight bit of apprehension. About my kids. About my wife. About my work life balance I put on myself. About the time I waste from both work and life making both suffer at times. So this is a chance to wake up and see the blessings. Wake up and take stock of what I have. Of the awesome blessings I have. More in another post some time later. But just a few blessings from this Dx alone:
– Where I live.. I live in the cradle of advanced medicine. Specialists abound. Information abounds.
– I’ve found an amazingly patient and kind Neurologist who I can already tells cares deeply about his patients.
– I’ve found handfuls of people I know have this disease and they are doing great for the most part.
– I have a career that allows me time to get tests and treatments.
– I have a history of enjoying medical knowledge and applying it in EMS and Paramedic school. The new words and treatments aren’t that new. The concepts in the risks of the treatments are understandable.
– I have been diagnosed at a great time. So many treatment options. With more coming on the market. So much research. So much help.
– I Serve the sovereign God of this world. He holds my life in his hands. He formed me out of clay and he called me to himself for no cause in me. I’m his and nothing can change that. Even if the mind goes. Even if the physical goes. I’m his and that CAN NOT change.
– My children are mine sure, but they are HIs. What peace is it to face uncertain times knowing that my kids are his. That the God of this world caused them to be born into or adopted into a family that has two parents elected by Sovereign Grace. I know that they’re futures are not shaped by me alone. That they are not only loved by me.
– My wife. I’m not the greatest husband all the time. But she is an amazing wife. She gives me peace. Strength. a Reason to fight. A reason to smile. I’ve known this. But this Dx? It shows it to me even more clearly.
– I’m seeing what’s important more than ever. I saw that some during the adoption as I blogged about here. I see that as I go deeper with God. But this is a warning sign in some ways. And a refocus. A reshift. WIth time allocated to make that shift.
– Linchpin People – my business partners, my friends there. What a caring and loving team. God has me right where I need to be. And when I bump into my SQL family at the next SQL event, that’s going to feel great also.
More later 🙂 No edits yet. Just posting.