by Christie Perkins
Wow. I’ve missed you. I’ve been on a couple of months of pain and sickness that I’ve just plain taken a break from the norm. I’m not really sure what that is anymore. Anyway, I’ve only been able to keep my head above water so most other things have just dropped. So much has happened.
I’ve been hoovering at a very hard and difficult state of well being for so long. I was tired of it. Tired of being sick, not having energy, throwing up every day, and generally not feeling great all the time. I was a dilapidated kinked-up crusty chromed car on the side of the road watching the freeway of Rolls Royce’s pass me by.
But I have not been without some amazing TLC. Of course there were so many helpful cleaners, home cooked beaners, and bright beaming gleamers that stopped to assist us. There’s been random money drops, sweet calls, and texts and visiting plops. I’ve cherished and needed them all.
But, through it all, I’ve felt so useless there being serviced and not helping anyone else.
Rescue Services: Pay it Forward
So one day after a horrible sleepless night I made a plan. Little Miss Dilapidated Dolly was going to drive my rusty old worn down self to a service station. No, not the kind where people serve you, but the kind where you initiate the service- a charity hot spot. I was tired of looking at this me only mirror. We have had so many tender mercies it was time to rescue someone else.
So I headed to my new chemo treatment with a plan and a prayer. You see, the week before I had an allergic reaction to my chemo and landed a suite in the hospital. (There’s no hot tubs there by the way, you have to have a baby to get one of those and well… that’s not happening.) I was still trying to recover from all of that and not feeling great. Emotionally, physically, and perhaps spiritually I felt like I was just short of the trip to the junkyard drop off.
It was time to change things. It felt like it was pay back time for all the goodness I have received.
So, on this day I said a little prayer as I drove myself in. “Heavenly Father, people have been so good to help me. I really just want to reach out and rescue someone today. Will you help me to brighten someone’s day at the cancer center.” My eyes filled with tears as this was the swelling desire of my heart. My heart was heavy. Heavy from personal burdens. And then I got really honest with Him, “I don’t know how I’m going to do it because I have absolutely no strength to give and I’m barely holding on. But I need to do this.”
Today I was alone. My buddy was home with my sick kid. Mom was bucking up with Mr. Up-Chuck. Poor Mom.
So I would think that after last weeks allergic reaction to chemo and hospital stay, this week would be a little more smooth sailing. But…
A Kink in the Rescue Plan
A complete overview of my new Eribulin chemo owners manual offset my mood. We read over the complete listing of troubleshooting and possible complications and before long this textbook reading had my windshield washer fluid running all over my face.
That’s an emotionally packed owners manual. Just two little four-lettered words killed the spark plug: hair loss.
So, here I am amid my strangers at the cancer center and I’m trying to hide the fact that I’m crying. Ah. Seriously. Then I remembered how I brought this onto myself. You see, when they told me my cancer was back (on Groundhogs Day) they asked if there was anything they could do for me. I told them “Yes, you can move the cancer center to the mountains and put a big waterfall next to it.” They said they would work on that.
And then I realized since they are lagging on their end of the deal… I was just compensating and bringing my own waterfalls. Ah man. I asked for it. And was now creating this awe inspiring waterfall. A quick glance around the room has some guy snoozing in the corner. Yes, the ambiance of my waterfall is taking its magical effect. I’ve always liked the sound of rushing water crushing the floor below you.
Splash , splash , splash, splash…. dart the eyes and dash eye contact. My nurse navigator hands me tissues and she cries with me. Ah, it’s more mountains and waterfalls and a little drive in a dilapidated car to get there. Why did I ask for mountains and waterfalls?
Dilapidated Dolly Gets Rescued
So out of the corner of my eye a kind and gentle man starts walking toward me. He stops directly in front of me. His eyes are kind and sparkle with concern. “I don’t know what you are going through. But, I want you to know that there is a whole room full of people here with their arms around you.” A complete
stranger angel rescuing Lil Miss Dilapidated Dolly.
I could feel the love of the room around me. I knew of his truth. And they windshield wipers get notched up to high. Oh my. Here I go again.
My heart swells. Thanks for the rescue. I actually did need that. When all along I wanted to lift someone at the cancer center Heavenly Father shifted my desire to someone else and landed it directly on me.
But the rescue of the day doesn’t end there.
My husband came on his lunch break, like he always faithfully does. Always skipping his lunch to be with me. He cried with me- he has his eye sockets locked to mine. Sorry man. I’m very blessed to have such a great compassionate supporter who feels my pains with me. Thanks for the emotional rescue.
When I get home I find that Mom has washed, folded, ironed and put away loads and loads and loads of laundry. I can’t tell you how much that was needed. It was heavy on my mind before leaving this morning. The to do list. Especially the laundry. I literally felt like I could just sit there in my clean home when I got back. Mom had it all picked up. I just needed that physical rescue so much more than she even realizes. It was a blessing to me that she was home with Up-Chuck.
And out of the blue, a friend dropped off dinner. And another friend, a 13 year old girl, and another friend fill in for dinners the next couple of nights. And the radiator started firing up again. And pretty soon little Miss Dilapidated Dolly wasn’t feeling so worn down, rusted out, and beaten. The junkyard excursion was far behind me with a little more twinkle and glistening going on. And I’m actually feeling so much better. Yay!
I guess in it all I just realized I needed the help.
Seeing and Accepting God’s Help
That day my prayer was to helps someone else, but God knew that it was me that needed the rescue. And somehow in it all my heart melts to know that He truly does know the times we have strength to give and the times we just plain need it. He knew I had nothing left to give… yet. That I could not lift when I was puddled on the floor of a crushing waterfall. And though it was not the desire of my heart to be rescued again it was exactly what I needed. He heard my prayer to want to help someone and instead placed it in the hearts of those around me. Oh he heard my prayer. Of that I am certain and very grateful.
My answer just came differently than I expected.
And then I realize something very important. Yes. Today I didn’t get what I wanted and prayed for. I didn’t rescue anyone. But, I got something more. Heavenly Father heard my prayer: He knew my broken down heart and He gave me what I needed. What I needed, not wanted. And what a better tender mercy is that? How kind and gentle and loving is our Father in Heaven.
So I didn’t get to help anyone out today. I didn’t get to rescue anyone. They all rescued me today, and the entire couple of months before that. I didn’t get to make someone’s day like I thought I could. And then it hits me. The sleeping guy in the corner. Yes, my waterfall widget worked on him. Maybe I did do a little good today.
If by chance today you think that you are not getting the desires of your heart. Look again. You will see that Heavenly Father is standing there handing you some very tender mercies disguised as things you probably didn’t want, but I guarantee they are the things that you need. My most difficult moments have been my greatest walk with God. Wouldn’t trade that for anything. He is there and He truly does know what you are going through.
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