Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Character Molding Day

As I was toweling off, thinking shuddering chills in 95 degree weather was not a good sign, I noticed little red hives creeping all over for midriff. As I watched, new ones popped out, mocking me.
"This can't be good," I thought.
I read the literature on the medicine I was on.
" Rash or hives indicative of possible severe allergic reaction. Contact your physician immediately."
I was having no trouble breathing so I knew I was probably not going to die at least in the next few minutes, but went in to review with Asherel the 911 procedure should I drop to the floor in the middle of emptying the dishwasher.
"They will talk you through how to revive me so be sure to stay on the phone," I said to the eye rolling girl who was not taking this as seriously as I would have liked.
The doc would see me in a few hours, but if I stopped breathing and they needed to cancel the appointment, let them know.

So as I had presciently warned myself in yesterday's blog post, rarely does everything go right. Almost always, God feels the need to work on some deficiency in my character and He unerringly uses trials and tribulations to get His point across. I had an inkling of the point He might be driving home.

"Are you sure you can't work me earlier in the doctor's schedule?" I asked, still calm and respectful,"Because I am pretty sure this is an allergic reaction and I am feeling a little scared."
This is the point at which I usually burst into tears and begin wailing and gnashing teeth. Woe to the receptionist that stands between me and my goal.
However, I am sick and tired of these lessons about patience and kindness and I know God is not going to stop sending them until I show some sort of growth in this area.
So instead of my usual begging and badgering, I simply said, "If there is a cancellation, can you work me in?" (If I am still alive, I will be there, I added mentally.)

Lo and behold, a few minutes later, there was a cancellation. I zipped off to the doctor, chills and fever growing, and rash still spreading.
While checking in, feeling pretty awful, I noticed the lineup of pictures on the office waiting area wall. The office sponsored a series of Harris YMCA Little league baseball teams in the mid 90s.
"Hmm," I thought as I gazed at them,"That is when Matt played little league."
I moved closer to look at the team of '96. There was my little gap toothed, bespeckled, grinning boy! My little 8 year old was smiling at me and the memories of that magnificent but also hard year when my 40 year old body was struggling with pregnancy, sick for every one of the days of gestation. I also remembered the big lesson Matt learned that year. He desperately wanted to be a fielder, either first or second base I think, but he was designated the catcher. He hated that position and was horribly distraught. But after a series of discussions with him and his coaches, he came to me and told me, "Mom, I am going to go out and be the best catcher I can be. I am going to bloom where I am planted."

I too was blooming where I was planted. My rash bloomed across my entire trunk like a rose.
But I thought about how easy it is to bloom when you are happy with the circumstances. But when you don't get what you want, when you are waiting or scared, how easy it is to let your character disintegrate, your witness of God's redemptive love dissolve, your happiness really only hinge on how successfully you can manipulate the world....and God.

The doctor told me my oxygen intake was 100%, no wheezing, so while this was clearly an allergic reaction, it had been several hours since the last dose and I did not appear to be in any danger. I was prescribed new medicine and sent home, with all the dire warnings should the condition worsen.

On my way out the door, I glanced at my 8 year old Matt, his smile blossoming on a dreary day.

1Peter 1: 6-7
6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

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