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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

There but for the grace of God go I ...

First, quickly about me. I have three sleep deprived EEGs scheduled over the next six weeks. In other words every other Friday, starting this Friday, June 19th.

For me this means I'll not be sleeping any the night before and my husband and I will be pulling out to head to Winston-Salem at 5:30 a.m. to arrive for my 7:30 a.m. appointments. All pre-scheduled. As far as what else is happening with me and the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Wake Forest Baptist, at the moment suffice it to say, from a patient's perspective, I'm finding it necessary to exercise a great deal of patience and faith. However, the human in me is striving to be gracious as possible and am praying some very precise prayers. I know they're doing their best to help me. Just as i'm doing my best to help myself.

I talked with my nurse, Valerie, just a few moments ago and she assured me that even though my appointment was set for January, 2010, I'll see Dr. Sam again before then. Seriously, when I heard the 2010 date, it about blew my mind, yet, I held fast. I discussed it with my husband and mother and prayed some extremely precise prayers. God listened. He answered. Once Dr. Sam reads the three sleep deprived EEGs, she'll have a better understanding, and hopefully will arrive at a definitive diagnosis. Whether it matches my original diagnosis from February, 2006, I don't care, I simply want a clear diagnosis. Which in essence will be a starting point. Too much and too long for the purposes of this blog to go into any more detail.

The other things I wanted to share about are interesting answers to prayers I've received for divine appointments and divine connections. I believe God is opening doors in amazing ways. I can't go into much detail because in all cases these are real people. One here locally, I'll expound upon a bit, but will change "his" story to protect him. This happened the afternoon before we journeyed to my long awaited appointment at WFBH. I saw him in a parking lot with a sign that read, "Homeless, God Bless". Well, I asked my husband to turn around so we could give the man some money and talk with him. I wanted to hear his story.

When we got out of our car and approached him, he looked down but walked over to us. He was standing in the hot sun, so I encouraged him to step into the shadow that was being cast by our car. He mentioned his head was hurting and that it did often. When I got him focused, I asked him to tell me his story. Where he was from and how he got to the parking lot. He said he was homeless and was from a town about 20 miles from here. When I asked him how he got to the parking lot, he told us he'd walked. My husband and I both are very good at discerning deception, so we believed him. I asked him if he wanted to use my phone to call anyone, but he told me he didn't have anyone. No family. No friends. No one. Only an aunt living somewhere else, and that was it.

He had scars up and down his arms where he'd literally cut crosses into his arms. When I asked him about them, he admitted to me when he was young he self-mutilated himself. I asked him if he prayed and said he did, everyday. At this point my husband leaned in near to him and asked him if he knew the Lord... if he were to die that moment would he go to heaven? The man said very humbly that he wasn't sure. So, at this point my husband led him in prayer... a very simple prayer for salvation. The man struggled towards the end purely because he didn't feel worthy. We talked to him a bit more and asked him his name. His exact words "it's not a good name". He obviously felt ashamed but didn't hesitate one sec in sharing it with us. While we were talking to him another car stopped and a young man got out to give him some money. At first there were only a couple of one dollar bills in his hand, but as he got closer he pulled out a ten dollar bill, too. It appeared to be the only cash he had in his pocket. We didn't have much cash on us either and gave him a twenty dollar bill. He told us immediately it was too much money. Of course, we didn't let him give it back to us. As we parted he looked straight at me and told me he would pray for me every day for the rest of his life. To me, that's amazing. To me, that's God.

This is a person we very well may see again. And, in my husband's line of work... there's a certainly a good chance he will. But, we're praying that this man's life will be changed. That things will turnaround. It wasn't a situation where we felt led to do more, as in getting him some more help. Yet, we are praying it was a once in a lifetime encounter for him -- a divine appointment with a divine connection. There's a bit more to the story, how the other passer by plays in, but suffice it to say, my husband touched his life a year earlier and he's stayed straight. He was a gorgeous "kid" with a pretty wife and two kids in the back seat of their car. He was not driving, so that's proof he's being good.

The following day was my appointment at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. We had a repeat of the above with a homeless man and a dog named Scooby Doo at the on ramp to I-40. There was no place to pull off, but we gave him some money and his card board sign looked identical to the man's from the day before, except instead of saying "homeless" his said "traveling" with "God Bless" written under it in all caps. We'd noticed him earlier while driving through the area. He was walking his Scooby Doo on a hill where not many cars were. The dog was leashed and harnessed and looked a bit tired, but very happy. His daddy was very attentive to him and people had been stopping to give him bottled water. We didn't have any time to really talk with him, but we are praying for him and hoping he and Scooby Doo make it to their destination. I told him to be sure to buy Scooby Doo a Happy Meal. :)

We encountered three other people that day sitting outside the Whole Foods store at cafe tables. A couple, and then a extremely entertaining gentlemen alone who was by himself All three I believe we'll see again. The couple is into animal rescue in a big way. In fact they started the first animal ambulance service in the US, And very recently moved down from Michigan. Briefly we discussed the Buckeyes and the Wolferines. Living in Ohio for several years, I just had to. They do some incredibly difficult work, I'm not sure I could manage. We all have different callings when it comes to "rescue" work. One thing for sure, their hearts are into it and God works through them to help animals. It's their life work. And, they're into special needs pets like I am. So, I firmly believe it was a meant to be meeting.

The other person's name is Daniel and he was very spiffily dressed sitting a the cafe table beside us playing his guitar, a harmonica and a couple of other instruments. He truly was a one man show. When we came outside to enjoy our lunch, he was singing Amazing Grace with a "Blues" spin on it. The female half of the couple above joined in with him as he sang to add harmony. It was wonderful!! From Amazing Grace he went on to play some of my favorite Mercy Me tunes, without my saying a word! Totally uplifting experience and I was still coming off of my visit with my new doctor and sorely needed to refocus.

I don't see anything as random. I pray every day for divine appointments and connections and I believe with all of my heart that all four I mentioned above, along with a dog named Scooby Doo, we're answers to prayer. Forever those encounters will be etched in my brain. How do I know this? Because when emotions are attached to memories they tend to stick. Some of my memories have gotten a wee bit vague, or were blocked, but I've realized the only reason some have been blocked is that I've focused so much on the positive. NOT, the negative.

I don't have tons of close friends, but the ones I have are incredibly special to me. I also don't have many relatives, nor my own children, but God has blessed me with a close family even though we're stretched across a few states. I've been touched by some fantastic people during my lifetime. Ones that are still on this planet alive and some that aren't. They all have touched my life in ways that have helped to make me a better person. A thankful one. Truly truly "there but for the grace of God go I".

Hope to be including a bit more entries and come back and add some photos. I've had to take time away from this blog just to deal and spend time processing, on top of trying to live a normal life which admittedly, is very challenging. Yet, it's the life I have. So no biggie. I'm taking photos again, but really watching it. I've still a good number to process for various projects. I'm also starting another blog. Haven't quite got the full image of it in my mind as yet... but it'll come as I find time to work on it.

I'll be praying for all of you. If you would please say a few prayers for the special people I mentioned above and little terrier dog Scooby Doo.

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