I like ruts.
Over the last nine years I’ve carved out a nice, comfy, deep one for myself. Everything in my life had a place and everything was in its place.
Then, about this time last year, something kicked a honking big hole in the side of my rut and my life imploded.
With little warning, my son, Lance, who, as most of you know suffers with MS, decided to try stem cell therapy. Not a biggie, except it was in San Diego. But, because my rut was so organized, all preparations, passports, hotels, flights, were soon completed with time to spare. Or so I thought.
Six weeks before the treatment, it was moved forward a month, and all my well-organized preparations went out the window. On top of that, a wonderful man came into my life. From the first moment I saw him, I knew there was something very special about him. But this was not the time to be thinking about myself. After all, priorities are priorities.
The day before the therapy, Lance and I checked into our hotel room well past midnight. Lance was so weak from travel he could hardly sit up in his wheelchair. We got into our room and it hadn’t been made up from its latest occupant. After a lengthy apology, the hotel staff brought us clean linen, but had mistakenly brought all flat sheets and no fitted ones. We waited, and waited, and waited for his return. Lance’s head hung over his knees more, and more, and more. Almost to the point of a summer-sault position. I grabbed a sheet off the pile and made his bed myself. Then my own. Still no fitted sheets arrived.
I checked my email messages. At the very end was a one-line message from my new friend. I’m still praying for you. Too tired to think about replying, I crawled into bed and fell asleep.
The next morning, I noticed the diamond in my engagement ring, my tangible connection to Alex, my husband who passed away nine years ago, was missing. Devastated, I went into the bathroom where Lance couldn’t see me, and cried until my tears were spent. I removed the pathetic-looking ring and tucked it away in my purse. This was not the time to deal with the loss.
Later, as I lifted Lance into his wheelchair, a sunbeam came through the hotel window and something glittered in the pool of light on the floor. I investigated closer. It was my diamond. As I carefully placed it with the ring, the one-line email message from the night before wandered into my thoughts. My breath dried up. I’d been too tired and too preoccupied to respond. Guilt rushed into my thoughts, but it didn’t last long before a familiar comfort wrapped around me.
I zipped up the little compartment in my purse with the broken ring safely inside and closed my eyes. “Ok, Lord,” I prayed. “You have my attention. I’m stepping aside so I don’t mess up what you are about to do.”
That was ten months ago. My well-organized rut has gone on a permanent vacation. My life is all over the place now, but because I recognised the warm, cuddly feeling that accompanies a whisper from the Holy Spirit, it no longer matters. Two months from now, I will marry the wonderful author of that one-lined message that arrived during one of the darkest moments of my life.