Want to hear something funny?
I don’t have Cystic Fibrosis.
Or so they say. They don’t really know what they say, actually, but whatever it is is clearly pointing my doctors away from the CF conclusion, and now into newer, hopefully smaller, more treatable things.
The day I left for Haiti the nurse called me and told me my sweat test results. They were high. Cystic Fibrosis high.
The day I returned from Haiti I sat in the doctor’s office, a team of doctors surrounding me, my eyes barely open, my face sunburnt, my mind still over the seas. They nodded and tilted their heads at me as they delivered their news, awaiting my reaction, my awareness that there’s been a mistake. That was a month ago, and it still hasn’t really clicked.
My sweat tests, the REAL results, were lower than the average adult female. My little lungs simply just aren’t doing it anymore. So now, each week, they’re trying different routes. They stripped me of my steroids, which only led to my oxygen levels dropping so low I couldn’t form sentences. So they quickly realized when I say I can’t go without them, I mean it. Now they are thinking I’ve had a fungus growing inside me for six years, which is cleared by steroids, and also creates mucus. That’s this week’s path, and I’m really praying it’s the right one.
So what else do you do when doctors tell you you can’t work anymore, you’ll be in and out of the hospital weekly, and need to focus all my energy on this, not on being around tons of little children? You go back to school, duh.
Finally, I’m in. I start Wednesday. I start with classes I’ll hate, but the necessary ones to move forward, to get my masters, to one day be able to provide (hopefully) for Levi the way my parents provided for me, so I could do mission and travel and see and most importantly, serve. If it doesn’t work out this way, that’s ok, but I’ve got to try. I have to get on a path that feels purposeful, and God led my heart so forcefully into Speech Language Pathology that I have to follow it.
I remember sitting in the back pew in Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University, and knowing, beyond any doubt, I was supposed to go there. Not that I wanted to go there or it’d be good for me, but rather I had just walked directly into God’s will for my life, was surrounded by exactly what He had painted out for me.
I never finished my degree there, I left at the end of my third year to move to Haiti. When I look back now it can sometimes feel like one big waste of time and money, but I know that’s not true. Debt can’t own me, and can’t undermine the fact that Franciscan did more for me than I could have imagined. My soul came to life there. How could I regret that?
It happened the same way, with going back to Haiti. While walking down the big hill at Franciscan I was stopped dead in my tracks, and my heart was struck. I knew I had to return to Mother Teresa’ Hospital, a place I had vowed to never to return to. So I went, because when you just know, you know.
I think it feels that way now, just with a much bigger picture. I still have all these wild desires in my heart, but they all boil down to one: serve my son. Be still and obedient to the vocation of motherhood. It’s not easy at all, it’s certainly not what “they” tell you it is, but it’s profound and divine and unlike anything this world could ever offer.
So I’m thrilled that I may be curable. That I may be given lungs again. That this may have been some strange happening I’ll understand only when it’s all over. So in the meantime, I’m still picking up the pieces. Slowly, but it’s happening.
It’s been over a month since Michel has been gone. There are worst things that could have happened. He’ll get here eventually. Pray with me? Levi wants his daddy back.
I’m committed to raising awareness still for Cystic Fibrosis. I’ll always identify with having your breath taken away.
But for the rest, it’s out of my hands. And what a glorious place to be. I’m stuck in the waiting, the unknown, the in between. Sometimes I love it here, to be able to sit back and know it’s over my head. All I have to do is be still, and He will do the rest.
“So who do you say that I am?” He asks me.
I laugh, 1,000 ways to answer this running through my head. “You are Jesus.”
And that’s enough.