Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Season of Joy

One of the greatest gifts of grief is the awe in feeling joy. I feel joyful...and I cannot believe it! Though I held out hope that God really would heal my broken heart...I'm amazed that He really, really did it...that He's doing it as I write this...and that He will continue to do it.

With the birth of our savior fast approaching, the world is rejoicing...yet I believe my joy this year is sweeter than ever because God has granted me the most precious gift of grief.

Joy to the world! (Thanks, God.)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Once again, ashamed and embarrassed, I bawled my way through another visit with the good Dr. S. Each time I see this man, I PROMISE myself it will be different. I give myself pep talks. I pray. I breathe deeply. There is something about visiting this man that “triggers” a grief buried…waaaay down deep.

I see Dr. S. a few times a year. He treats my recurring trigger finger. (I should be thrilled with how easily I am getting off…diabetes for over 30 years and my only complication is trigger finger.) Yes, TRIGGER finger…perfect name. But first, the history...

Before finding the sweet, godly Dr. S who explained "how God designed my hand,” I visited a masochist. Note, I have been around needles for over 30 years...with few tears and virtually no anxiety. Enter Dr. I'm-Too-Busy. You see, the way you treat trigger finger initially is with cortisone shots. Somewhat painful…but when the area is numbed prior to the injection, no BIG deal. My first "hand doctor" turned out to be Dr. I'm-Too-Busy. Our encounter scarred me. His office was appointment was an hour behind the man skipped the numbing portion of the appointment (to shave off five whole minutes). I didn’t see it coming....I thought he was giving me the numbing shot…NO. He gave the real deal sans ANYTHING to take off the edge. He literally brought me to my knees. I walked away feeling completely violated...and just the tiniest bit afraid of needles.

Blessedly, I found Dr. S. He is so gentle and kind...visiting him used to cause me little anxiety. And then Chuck died. Somehow the two events are intertwined. I can no longer bear to get injected...not without a major axiety attack. I’ve not been able to go to Dr. S without a complete breakdown. Yesterday's visit left me in tears...POST appointment...meaning THERE WAS NO PAIN...the appointment was need for tears. TWO hours I cried. I find that hilarious...and odd...come on! It's not that big a deal. I think it has something to do with 1) being nervous about a medical situation; 2) knowing that I am at the mercy of someone else’s gentleness or lack thereof ; 3) being scared and NOT having Chuck to comfort me; 4) thinking that there's no way Jesus is gonna show up to comfort me for such a RIDICULOUSLY simple procedure; 5) realizing how TINY this situation is compared to the ones Chuck faced DAILY (for well over a year). I am just undone…humiliated, embarrassed, scared, alone…ashamed of my weakness...which leads me right to God's lap.

God brings me home during these breakdowns. These little episodes are reminders...reminders to cry...reminders to run to God...reminders to give my pain and my grief to Him. Yes, He has brought merciful healing, but there is buried pain...awaiting a safe time to come up...pain that I can pretend does not exist...that I can ignore for months at a time...until God brings them remind me that "time does NOT heal all wounds...God does." There are still lingering doubts and fears that God wants me to offer him...and He patiently waits until I'm ready. He gives me these ridiculous experiences (that make me laugh right through my tears) and whispers, "Yes...I know, Jan. I know how you feel about Chuck's time in the hospital. I know. I know you doubt my mercy. And when you're ready, I'll show you that I LOVED HIM MORE THAN YOU DID. Yes, I did. But before you can really know that, you've got to walk through all this doubt and sorrow. You have got to share these doubts...take them out, dust them off, and present them to me. So, each time you feel vulnerable and afraid, I am giving you the chance to remember your untapped pain. And each time you tap in...give it to me. We'll reach the bottom. And I will give you beauty for ashes. I promise."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Coming On Again!

If you are a runner, you know what it is to get that bless-ed second wind! The term "coming on again" for you may mean...alright, I can do this...I can finish! I think it means something similar for anyone, runner or not, who finds themselves weary...thinking they can't quite continue...or finds the race has changed mid-course. "I want to run another way, but God, I don't know how." get a hint...enough to get you to the next step.

My all-time favorite singer/song-writer is releasing his album "Coming On Again" this Friday, December 12. If you are in the area, I hope you can make it! Concert starts at 7:oo at Cibolo Creek Community Church in Fair Oaks Ranch. This album is a celebration of Greg's return to the race! In his own words:

I’m a prodigal…A son who took for granted what he had been given and threw it all away. My far country journey led me to alcoholism, losing my job, and nearly losing my family. Rock bottom for me was sitting in an emergency room with heroin addicts and homeless people realizing that this trip to rehab was my last chance. For me this was my Pig Pen moment…I realized that in my father’s house was life, hope, and blessing and so I started the long journey home. This journey for me was aided by love and friendship and a community of faith that cheered me on. Upon arriving I was free again. This album represents the songs of this journey from brokenness to awakening to celebration. For all of those who are coming home again…this album is for you. I hope you enjoy what you listen to and that it can in some small way make a change to your life. On another note, I am the Music Director out at a place called Cibolo Creek Community Church in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX. Come out and see us if you ever have a chance.

Get a sneak peak here at