Last month I blogged about “The Tale of Two Towers” and how I spent 12 days at Tower Health Hospital instead of 11 days visiting Paris and the Eiffel Tower (see Sept. 13 post). Today I want to share the joy of how Paris and God showed up bringing healing to my weary soul (FYI my FB friends have seen some, but not all of this story.)
So, when you’re in the hospital and don’t get to go to Paris as planned the month before, what does your family do for your 70th birthday? Of course…they bring Paris TO YOU!
If you click here IMG_9371, you’ll see a video of the Paris welcome at our youngest daughter’s home.
French flags everywhere. For Ralph, a black beret, and for me, a fuchsia one with matching scarf and sunglasses. A large wall hanging featuring Paris landmarks. An Eiffel Tower replica on the table. French birthday greetings.
And lots of French food–including delicious quiches and a cordon bleu casserole made by son-in-law Frank.
And to top it off, in came our Delaware friends Bud and Carol Russell, with whom we were supposed to have gone to Paris and on a Seine River cruise.
Yes, I cried.
I finally cried over having to cancel–on the VERY day we were supposed to leave–our long-anticipated early 50th anniversary celebration.
I cried because I’m so thankful to make it to 70 after surgery for a small bowel obstruction, and a long ago colon cancer diagnosis with only a 40-percent chance of survival.
But mostly I cried because I felt so loved by God and by family members who were excited to celebrate me in such an incredibly creative way. ( I later found out the Paris party was my son-in-law Josh’s idea while I was still in the hospital!).
I wouldn’t trade all that love for a ZILLION trips to Paris.
Before that special evening I felt quite traumatized by my hospital stay–especially the 10 days with an extremely uncomfortable nasogastric tube–and my emotions had really shut down. As you can imagine, having another colon resection brought back painful flashbacks to 1990. It was as Yankees’ catcher Yogi Berra once quipped: ” Like déjà vu all over again!”
In the hospital and eventually at home, I plodded along trying to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually. But that’s really difficult when you feel like crap–weak, no appetite, in pain, hoarse, and with poor sleep.
I honestly couldn’t even feel God’s presence in those dark days. Oh, I knew intellectually that He was there because He will never leave me. But despite the many prayers, I couldn’t feel Him.
Maybe you’ve been in this “pit” of discouragement sometime. Perhaps you’re even there right now.
My friend, do not lose hope that God will show up and that supernaturally you will feel His love–and even His joy–again.
I can’t promise that your family will bring Paris to you, but God knows exactly what you need to experience His presence. Keep asking Him…and keep believing He will show up.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3
Open in browser to hear “God is with Us” by The Afters. (My second choice of a song was Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To.)