Day 20, 21 & 22
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 23, 24 & 25
Santa Barbara – long weekend
Friday was tough. Glen was definitely not doing well and honestly neither was I. Either I was having an allergic reaction to something or I was just plain sick. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell. Glen was just plain miserable and spent most of his day and evening in the bathroom and the shower. I was just in pain that started in the afternoon.
The morning was ok. Glen and I sat around and I was restless – not an unusual state for me to be in. I need variety in my days or I go slightly bonkers. Most people can’t tell. Glen can though. I had a nice phone conversation with a beautiful sister named Katie and came away encouraged. Five minutes later Glen noticed me getting antsy.
“I knew you’d want to do something as soon as you were done talking,” he said playfully. I felt understood yet silly. Here I am a grown woman who needs to do…anything positive, just “do”. I have trouble just resting which is what the Lord told me to do while here. The problem is Glen’s resting is actually resting. My resting is moving because just lying still actually makes my pain levels worse much of the time.
“Can you go buy groceries and stuff?” he asked.
“Can you come with me?” I asked. I love being with him and still am not entirely sure where everything is here in Santa Barbara. Again, silly nagging fears of getting lost and ending up on the freeway unable to turn around.
Glen just looked at me with a grimace. I knew he wouldn’t be able to leave the bathroom today and it just made me angry. Angry with the situation. Angry that we couldn’t just take a holiday instead of taking a sick leave. Angry that we have spent so much money trying to get me better all these years only to have me be on the mend and Glen be not just sick but terminally sick. Apparently I was just a tad angry!
“Fine,” I managed. “Make me a list.”
I made myself a smoothie, adding some of the “Hercules” powder that the Issels Clinic had given to Glen. It was too much for his bowels so I may as well use it. After setting the “Whole Foods” directions in my google app off I went finding it with no problems at all. I found the few items we needed for groceries and then stood in the line-up where I spotted the same young man who had been my cashier the previous two times – Chadsay.
“Hi!” he said with a smile of recognition.
He was a nice young man and easy to engage in conversation. He was twenty years old and in Santa Barbara only the last four months studying kinesiology – a common thing for people that age to study. I think I liked him most because he reminds me of my boys whom I miss dreadfully. If they were here they would hang out with me at the beach and run in the waves and go exploring…yup…getting homesick thinking about it. Chadsay had enjoyed his Thanksgiving and was surprised that I had made a turkey. He was sad with me that I didn’t get pumpkin pie. Somehow when someone empathizes it just makes it feel better which would be why it’s such an important counselling skill!
I carried my groceries back to the Sante Fe and googled the CVS – the pharmacy where Glen was sending me for more required items. The closest one was just a bit down the road and I managed to find it. Because it was located in a bit of a strip mall I decided to waste some time and wander through some stores. I wandered into the Big Five outdoor store and seriously considered buying Glen some really warm socks for his always cold, nerve damaged feet. I reconsidered when I saw the price. Everything in there was exactly like at home this time of year – winter boots, winter clothes – so strange for being 20 plus degrees outside! I guess they have mountains with snow here too but it’s still strange. I then found the “Ross Dress for Less” store at the far end of my wanderings. My heart wasn’t into shopping as I’m truly not a shopper and am just feeling broke so I made my way to the luggage section to check prices on suitcases. With all the extra food and supplements we’re buying we will probably need an extra suitcase. Yup. They’re there. I left the store without making a purchase but at least knowing where to find it if I need to.
By that time the headache was becoming dizzier and migraine like. That annoyed me too as I had been doing reasonably well. Bad headaches but can’t we just avoid the migraines? Please? By the time I got home to the Casita I felt too weak to even go for a walk. The rest of the afternoon and evening Glen was in and out of the bathroom many times and I lay in bed. We watched more movies than I had watched all year! Oh well! I was “resting” right?!
Tomorrow, I told myself. Then the song burst forth in my head from “Annie” – “The sun will come out…Tomorrow, tomorrow! I love you! Tomorrow! You’re always a day away!”
Ah Lord, make our tomorrow sunny outside and inside please…
The sun dawned bright and warm. The skies were a beautiful blue. Glen said the magic words, “Let’s try to go out today. The beach? Which one did you want to try?”
More joyous words could not have been spoken!
“Carpentaria!” I exclaimed.
Glen rolled his eyes and groaned. “Carpentaria,” he stated more than asked. “You’re expecting a lot. I don’t think we were on the same page.”
“I only said about twenty times that I wanted to see Carpentaria,” I defended myself. “It’s supposed to be a really cool beach town that hasn’t changed since the 1950’s and 60’s. I just want to see it.”
I almost felt myself pouting and quickly did an attitude check. “But if it’s too much for you I understand and respect that,” I added.
Glen looked on the map and saw we had to take the freeway. His mouth was in a frown but his words said, “Ok.”
I decided to take it and just started packing a blah lunch for us to eat. Glen’s on a blah diet because we have to get the inflammation and bowels under control. He’s also on steroids. Monday morning he goes for blood tests to see if the cancer markers are down and the inflammation is down. They go hand in hand. His blood pressure has also been up which really concerns me. I pray almost continually for his healing.
Carpentaria was lovely. The beach was lovely. And the beach – the whole of the area really – was under a 50 mile per hour windstorm. We wandered onto the beach and felt sand pelting our faces. The waves were spectacular and reminded me of storms on Lake Winnipeg when I was growing up. I lived a few years on Matheson Island, a Metis reserve on Lake Winnipeg where my Dad taught school in a little two-room schoolhouse. I have very fond memories of Matheson and love a good storm with massive waves! This one was spectacular and different. There were very few clouds in the blue sky yet the wind was fierce. The waves coming into shore were at least four to five feet high! The sound was a beautiful orchestra of powerful water meeting shoreline and hitting my legs with ferocity. It sounded like a continual drum. Glen tuckered out after a bit and sat in the sand to enjoy the sun and waves while waiting for me to go a bit farther. I carried on another kilometer or so and then headed back. It was wonderful. I made sure my feet were in the water most of the time – it’s got to be detoxifying to have your bare feet on the sand and in the beautiful salt water.
We ate our lunches while listening to the symphony of the waves and wind like a wild cacophony of sounds blasting in our ears then headed back to the vehicle. We thought we were driving back to Santa Barbara, and did really, but we saw a sign that said “Chachuma Lake”.
“Did you want to keep driving to the lake to check it out?” Glen asked.
I looked at him skeptically yet with some excitement. “Yes,” I replied trying to contain my excitement so he wouldn’t feel bad if he wasn’t up for it. “But only if you are able to. I respect the need to go back as well.”
He kept driving. I’m not sure if you caught the significance of what I just said. We have been stuck inside for months with Glen’s overactive and painful bowels. I go out because I need to but Glen is stuck. Completely and totally stuck. His energy levels are also extremely low so I was in a bit of shock.
“You sure you’re up for this?” I asked with obvious genuine concern.
“I actually feel more normal and alive when I’m driving because I love driving,” he said.
I did a silent whoop. This was a good sign and praise you Jesus time! Was this the start of the seen miracle? We will take all the good moments along with the bad together yet we certainly enjoy the good one’s the most because they are easier.
We drove about forty minutes and arrived at Chachuma Lake. It was a big lake on the map so we were surprised to see how small it was. There was year round camping there but no one was permitted to swim in the water. Boats could only travel along the center channel because the lake was only filled to about 30% capacity – up from 7% capacity because of the severe drought here in California. The boat docks were at least 150 feet away from any water just sitting on dry ground. It made us feel quite sad. Always having sun, though it seems glorious to us, does not allow anything to grow and thrive. We need the storms of rain to make us grow just like we need the storms of life to make us grow and thrive. Without it, we become dry, barren and dusty. We become brown and dead on the inside from lack of nourishment and feeding. I guess that is why God allows trials in our lives. Sometimes a lack of trials would be nice but it’s not up to me what God allows in my life or those around me. It’s up to me what attitude I choose when the storms of life hit. It’s up to me how I respond. Am I going to respond in anger and fear? Sometimes, yes, I have those moments too. Yet by the grace of God, for the most part, I choose to grow during those storms and dance in the rain. For today, I am thankful for a reprieve where we can see some sun in our lives. I’m thankful for the growth I can see and the growth I can’t see. I know that this particular storm is creating new things within us that can only come from God when we submit entirely to Him. I can’t make it through this storm without God and without Him leading my path 100%. I get lost. We all do.
We had a lovely day and came back “home” to the Casita filled up with God. We then received three more phone calls and felt very loved. One was from a step- sister who would have loved to come and visit. Much as we would absolutely love that we are so busy here with Glen’s treatments and evenings filled with Glen crashing that it wouldn’t be worth visitors. We definitely feel loved because of the offer!
Sunday dawned bright and clear minus the fifty mile per hour wind. We were also feeling blessed to have a calm and quiet environment that had many trees sheltering us from the wind that was there.
Glen and I enjoyed having devotions together, something that is hard to find time to do at home due to me working a fair bit, and Glen working when he was working…strange how things change so quick. We did some Lectio Divina together on 2 Corinthians 2:9. In the Passion translation it reads like this:
“Things never discovered or heard before, things beyond our ability to imagine, these are the many things God has in store for all His lovers!”
It’s a beautiful passage of Scripture that holds so much promise. We don’t know what God has for us. We do know that it is beyond breathtaking, that it is beautiful, that it is full of wonderful surprises because no one has seen it or can even imagine it! That’s how much God loves us and wants us to be blown away by His goodness and His love for us. Lectio Divina is a process where you read the Scripture passage over and over, then meditate on what sticks out to you the most whether it’s a word, a phrase, or the whole verse. Then you talk to the Holy Spirit about what is standing out to you and then the most fun part – you listen to what He has to say to you personally. Listening to God is something that is done according to how you hear God. Everyone hears the Lord in his or her own unique way. Today I heard some wonderful things and according to what Glen shared with me in a lively discussion together, I think he heard some good things too. He just is starting to recognize that it’s the Lord. That’s the harder part – discerning between the Lord’s voice and our own thoughts… Anyway… Here is a snippet of what I believe the Holy Spirit was telling me:
“…Never lose hope. Do not waiver in your dogged determination to petition My healing for you and those you love. I love them too. Even more than you do. I love you and am revealing even greater things. Healing is coming – for all of you. For Glen too – here on earth and in heaven (and He clarified that heaven for Glen is not yet). Patience – healing of the body in completion to make him strong takes time. It is happening as I draw him closer and closer to Me. Do not doubt or waiver. Stay in your “Camp Hope” that I have made for you. It is the Heavenly Realm where you are already sitting with Me. It is the River that flows from My Father’s throne. Life. Stay firmly rooted in My Life giving power of healing waters. I have come to abolish sickness; migraines, Lyme, cancer. I come now, present day, this hour I hold the keys to healing and I give them freely. Walk through that door.”
I asked the Lord to please unlock the door for me. He put His big hand on my tiny hand and we melded together becoming one. We then unlocked the door and entered into the healing castle.
He said to me, “You have brought many here before. It’s My healing Castle made for you too my sweet.”
It may seem weird but then I “saw” in the spirit that Jesus was draining my blood in order to give me His blood. New life in Christ.
Today was a migraine day. Yet it was a beautiful day. Glen was able to go to the beach again today where we spent around two hours. I walked most of those two hours and played in the waves. Glen walked much farther than I thought he would have been able to and rested on the rocks and sand, soaking up the sun. I had to take a migraine pill but I am also reminded that I am filled with and healed by the blood of the Lamb of God. By His stripes we are healed and I am thankful for an amazing day.
As we were leaving the beach and almost had the sand off our feet we saw at least three dolphins popping in and out of the water very near the shoreline – less than 100 feet in the water from the shore. I ran back to the water and tried taking pictures, which did not do the dolphins justice. What an incredible gift that I will treasure forever! “Thank you Jesus for a day where Glen could venture out again. We are thankful and we love you with all our hearts. Thank you for the healing that you are doing in our bodies, in Glen’s body. If you are making him stronger in you and in body from the already strong man he was Lord you are making a mighty warrior who will do even more amazing things for you. Thank you just isn’t enough…thank you My Savior. Amen.”