Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter Journeys

And so it is winter.

Well I guess it is not officially here till December 21, but at least in my world it has felt a lot like winter. One might think I am talking about the weather but one would be wrong. It was into the 70's today at one point.

I've been experiencing a personal season of winter.

As you might have been able to tell from my previous post all has not been well. Sorry to have left you hanging but when I am troubled, I am speechless. And when I am speechless, it's difficult to type.

I've been reading a book the past few days entitled "Grace Grows Best In Winter" by Margaret Clarkson. I found it at a thrift store back in the good old days of summer. If grace grows best in winter, I must be growing by leaps and bounds! Winter is everywhere. Winter is before me, winter is behind me, winter is above me and winter is below me. I can't get away from winter.

The day before we left to go on our trip to New York my husband found himself jobless. How do you go on vacation without a job? How do you stay home when you already have so much invested in a trip that you won't be able to get back if you don't go?

Stay at home and be sad, troubled and perplexed? Or, go to New York and be sad, troubled and perplexed?

We chose to go.

Our first day there we were determined to have a good time. Knowing we were now on a VERY limited budget we decided we would walk everywhere and not spend one dime on taking subways or cabs. We must have walked ten miles that day.

Enter chest pain.

By time we got back to the hotel that evening I felt like my infant grandson was lying on my chest. I've never felt that type of pressure in my chest before. I could feel my heart pounding and skipping beats. The anxiety that came with all this was almost too much to bear.

Where do I go to the hospital? What would be the cost? Do I have insurance anymore? Am I going to die while on vacation?

Does anyone know how much Continental charges it's passengers to come home early? I do. It's obscene-- I won't even say. After talking to the Continental people I decided if I was going to die, I would just have to die in New York.

But I didn't die. I didn't go to the doctor in New York either. I just rode it out. I had these episodes the entire time I was in New York.

Two day after coming back home I had another episode and my family doctor sent me straight to the emergency room--full cardiac work up with all the bells and whistles.

Seems my D-Dimer was through the roof. What is a D-Dimer? I asked the same thing and I am a nurse. Seems the D-Dimer detects blood clots and the ER doctor said I had blood clots in my lungs and sent me off for a CT of the chest. Shortly thereafter he comes back into my room and says no, it's not a blood clot in my lungs because my CT was normal. And oh by the way, I can go home now.

Never mind by this time my children and husband are planning my funeral.

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike ER doctors?

And so, after thousands of dollars worth of test, which may or may not be covered by my husband's former employer's insurance, and visits to the cardiologist, I now know I have a leaky valve, a heart murmur, and anxiety.

The cardiologist that I ended up going to was born and raised in New York city. He came to live and practice in Mississippi because he found he loved it here so much.

Oh the irony!

There are other winter journeys I'm on as well-- but they are too numerous and personal to blog about so I will simply ask for your prayers. I know that many of you may be experiencing colder, deeper and darker winter journeys than I and with that in mind, know too, that I will be uplifting you in prayer as well.

And if grace grows best in winter--well then, my dear blogger friends--may winter abound!

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" 2 Corinthians 9:8

(Photos by me; Mississippi snow day Feb. 2010)


Sonja said...

oh Debra, I am so sorry to hear all this. I'm really glad you have shared your heart, it will help us to pray with specifics for what is going on.

New York, having just lost a job, and then the chest pains... wow. No wonder you feel winter all around you. So would I!

But you didn't end your story there, and neither will He! I love this verse and His supplies of grace to us are bottomless. Be encouraged my friend, this is one chapter, and there will be many more, and His grace will continue to supply. Praying for you both.


Finding Pam said...

Debra, I lift you both up in prayer now and always. As my friends always say to me...Breath in and let this pass.

I am saddened to hear about your husband's job. I am more concerned about your heart and all of the stress you are under.

We have been where you are before. Just know that God will provide for you both. Gather your strength for the endurence of this challenge. I hope it doesn't last too long.

Love and blessings to you.

Travis Cody said...

I'm sorry things have been difficult for you. Hang in there and try to stay positive.

forsythia said...

Debra, So sorry to hear about all this. No wonder you are anxious. Who wouldn't be? You're right. Winter does not officially begin until December 21st, the longest night of the year. In a way, the beginning of winter is also its end, as the days immediately start to lengthen, bit by bit, beginning on the 22nd. May the Bright Morning Star arise soon in your heart.

Susan said...

Oh my Debra. I'm so sorry to read all this but glad you have shared so we can pray and know how to pray. Being in our own "winter" at the moment with our daughters diagnosis I know the journey is hard.

I read this on fb the other day and I found it spoke to my heart: "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. C.S. Lewis"

We had a guest Missionary speak at church today and his message was OUR GOD IS A BIG GOD based on Isaiah 40:12. Put things in perspective for me.

Father God I lift up my dear friend Debra to you right now. Envelope her with your peace that passeth understanding as she walks through this firey furnace. In my Saviors precious, precious name I pray. Amen


Anonymous said...

The same God that saves our souls can still heal our bodies today. So I'm praying for your complete healing!!
For the financial matters, and the family issues, and the work struggles - I know it seems like it's cold and bitter and that snow is just crushing everything - but I know also that your faith is such that you know God's in this and will work through it all. Praying that He will reveal to you how He is going to work all this out to His good.
Hugs and blessings and prayers!!

Isaiah 55:10-12 (NIV)
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Pat said...

Like every one else, I'm so sorry to hear this news. Plus all the stress you have been under just mulitplies how badly you feel.
He is with you every step of the way, I will be praying for you as well. We will get through another winter.

Grayquill said...

Well this all kind of sucks. I hear that under this job loss is a pile of other issues. If I had magic I would send it your way. Hang in there and I pray you will find God faithful.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Debra, this wouldn't have been the post I expected after your vacation. I'm sorry to hear about all ou're going through. My prayers go out to you and your husband.

Mimi said...

well not completely but you will be ok and NOT DIE
I think you are covered for 1 month or 2 under cobra????|
I sure hope so
Prayers are coming your way for sure today,
REST --take it easy,
God Has a Plan for you.That is a promise in the Bible and I claim it for you!!!If you need anything let us Know we are here to help you, now relax and rest and take care of yourself!!!
many hugs and much love,

Colleen said...

You are in my prayers. Hugs.

Yolanda said...

I think we all experience winters of the sould . I will keep you in my prayers and know that things will be better soon.

Patrina's Pencil said...

Definitely lifting you and your hubby up to the Lord - The winters can be harsh, can't they? I am praying that God deposits His 'Son'shine into your circumstance soon. Shine Jesus Shine - let your Glory be seen in Debra today.

Christmas Blessings
Patrina <")>><