Knowing God

IMG_2454I am approaching the 5 yr anniversary of my collapse, any of my loved ones would have saved me from myself if they’d known how. If they had, none of us would have known what the cost was.

It was several years ago now. My partner in life was an independent contractor for our state and the state was proving to be a very unreliable employer at the time. When we found out his check wasn’t coming it was the week before Thanksgiving. The state already owed him thousands of dollars and they said IF his program wasn’t cut it might take up to 90 days for him to get paid on what they already owed him, let alone what was accruing daily as he was required to hold up HIS end of the contract.

I went into stress overload. How would we have Thanksgiving? How would our son have Christmas? What recourse did we have? I had so many more questions than answers. I typically use therapeutic grade essential oils and corresponding supplements for health maintenance but I turned toward stress and away from what I knew that would support me. I didn’t rest well, didn’t supplement myself and didn’t feed myself well nor did I get the usual exercise. In short I let myself down in almost every way that I knew better than to do.

In my personal circles I’m considered the “go to” person when everyone else has fallen short so when it only took about a month for stress to knock me down it was shocking for everyone.

It was the day after Christmas, his check had finally arrived. I was talking on the phone with a nephew I hadn’t caught up with in years when I realized I’d better stop pacing on the phone and sit down. My hips ached and I felt like I was running out of steam. I said my good byes and went to lay down. Before long I was sick. My son was sick too so I thought maybe it was something we both ate and called his dad home from a holiday party because I couldn’t deal with both of us sick at once.

After a very rough night and another one to follow it became clear that I needed help. I called a friend to take me to the Emergency Room so my son could stay home with his dad and not be disturbed. I had no idea how long it would be before I saw home again.

No one seemed to have a clue what was going on with me. I was sent out by ambulance in the middle of a snowy night to the local university hospital where they had many more resources to figure out what I needed. Bottom line, I had sepsis, a blood born infection that was life threatening. I was lapsing into liver failure and kidney failure and I remember my partner telling me that if I needed to go be with Mom and Dad and my brothers that he would understand and he’d do his best to take care of our son. There were 4 days in ICU each with hours of dialysis to try to bring my kidneys back on line. No one thought I would make it except my friend Irene who stood as my staunch protector, telling the doctors that I was a healer and had helped so many people, that I was needed and that they were to treat me as a person who would recover, not one who was dying.

It seemed I was out of the woods and had been in a room on the oncology floor where they were equipped to deal with the intense care I still needed. Suddenly, a sinus hemorrhage started and immediately became life threatening. I was bleeding into my stomach and my lungs and bleeding all over myself. I knew that the ENT doctor beside my bed was going to be the person who saved by life or the last face I would ever see in this life. For those who are old enough, you will understand that I literally heard the robot from Lost In Space calling, “Warning, Warning!”. I knew that much more blood filling my lungs and not staying in my blood vessels was going to weigh the balance against me very quickly.

Obviously the doctor was successful at stopping the bleeding but I would have to fight to recover my blood supply and to breathe past all the blood now in my lungs. Somewhere in that process I found myself in the valley of the shadows, scared and feeling alone. I called out to God and said,”I need you to carry me because I can’t walk!” Very clearly at my shoulder I heard,”Darling girl, don’t you see there is only one set of footprints in the sand? I am carrying you already!” I turned my head from the shadows and saw I was at the beach! I told God that I was afraid and that I couldn’t make it on my own. He told me I had a choice, I could stay there with him, or I could go back to my life, if that’s what I preferred. He told me that if I chose my life it would be more wonderful than I had ever imagined. I felt comforted and fell asleep in God’s arms.

A Narrow Path

When I awoke I knew I still had a long road ahead of me but I had made it through the valley and had been carried in the arms of God. I wondered if it was just the morphine but my soul said no.

One night I decided that by 11 pm I would have myself prepped and slathered with lavender lotion, ready for a much needed night of sleep before relatives and friends would come the next day (Saturday) to visit. Just as I thought the nurse would be done with vitals and let me sleep she brought me some pills and told me to let her know as soon as I’d taken them because they needed to start my transfusions within half an hour. What? No one had prepared me for that, I was so tired I thought I would break in half. I’d already had platelets another time and this was whole blood so I knew that they would not let me rest for more than 15 mins. at a time without waking me. The nurse said that they might be done by 5:30am, just in time for the residents to make their rounds and the hospital to start getting busy for the day.

Inside I panicked. I called to God again and said, “Please, help me! I can’t do this! I’m so tired, please help!” As if on command this feeling of lightness and cooling came up under me. I felt calm and comfortable and like I was laying on an angel’s wing. I was able to drift in and out of consciousness as the nurses set about their duties. Miraculously in the morning I felt rested and at peace. I’ve had many challenges on this road and each time I have asked for help the answer has immediately, unconditionally been Yes!

Photo by Vicki Willoughby

I remember telling my Mom in my 20s that I didn’t believe there was a God. She said, “Silly Girl!” and enumerated all the times she was sure she would not have made it through what was on her path, if it weren’t for God’s help. I believed in my mother but I still didn’t know what all that meant. As I matured I began to believe in God because I saw evidence of miracles in so many places in so many ways. Now I no longer believe in God, belief would indicate trusting beyond a seed of doubt. In my heart and soul I KNOW God, there is no seed of doubt. That knowledge is priceless, irreplaceable and has irrefutably changed my life and perspective. If I had not nearly lost my life I could not have known the value of it or God’s place in it. God doesn’t want to be worshiped by me, he/she has no need of me or any of us to comply or conform. As any parent adores their child, so are we adored. I know that now because God and I are on a first name basis and he calls me “Darling”!

The message I really want to share from this experience is that when our loved ones seem to be going down a path of self destruction its important to remember that their path is their soul’s choice and perfect for them regardless of what our judgement might be about it. Many times the best we can do is keep love in our hearts for them and know that whatever they gain along that path will be priceless! My path was not easy, many times I had to fight for and claim my life, no one could do it for me. If I could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing!

For what it’s worth.

The next year, instead of a late pay, my partner lost his contract entirely and for a while I was sole supporter of the household. That was no less stressful than the year before but I had a secret weapon that had not been available the year before. Young Living had come out with Stress Away blend in a roller. I would roll it on my wrist, raise it to my nose, take a deep inhale and release a huge sigh which dropped my shoulders, and relaxed me overall. It contains vanilla and lime as the overtones.

I don't leave home without it!

I don’t leave home without it!

When vanilla was tested on people getting MRIs it was found to be more than 60% effective in reducing panic and at this point, 4 yrs later, I don’t leave home without it! I have literally found that I left it behind and gone back home to get it because you never know what stress life has to offer on the fly and I won’t be unprepared again. I can attest to how quickly stress can be a killer, but not for this girl, not again!

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