March Mayhem

Anyone spot which one of my New Years intentions I might not be doing well at?

So my once-a-week blog intentions have failed miserably, but I'm okay with that at the moment because the reason is that I've been busy DOING things - good things. Lots of crazy things have happened in the last few weeks, and in March particularly, that have had me here, there & everywhere. A lot of it is other people's personal stuff so I won't go into details, except to say that several friends and family members have gone through really difficult life situations recently, and I've found myself in places I've never set foot in before as a result of walking through it with them.

One of these things has had a massive affect on the others, and that is that Richard has a slipped and ruptured disc in his back. He's been struggling with pain and strange nerve sensations down his legs for quite a while, but at the beginning of February it got much worse very quickly and he's now been off work and lying prostrate for nearly two months. Rest hasn't made it better (if it's just ruptured, sometimes it can eventually heal up) and now we are down the very long route of waiting for a scan and a prognosis, and probably surgery.

So I am doing the physical side of running home and church, while he is using the time to meet with people from his couch, write emails and proposals, and hang out with the kids in as many different ways while horizontal that he can find.

We've never done it this way round before - he's done for me during bouts of illness, and for several months during my last pregnancy, but he's never been laid flat by anything in his life before - he's always just found a way through and ploughed on!

The weird thing is that his immobility has actually meant that in some ways I've been more available to other people than ever before. Usually I have to juggle the kids around everything that crops up, but in the last few weeks if a call's come through that someone's needed a lift to a legal meeting, or a hospital visit, or emergency babysitting, I've been able to say yes without hesitation, because I know I can leave the house for a couple of hours while Richard watches the kids from the couch, so long as I'm around to feed them and put them to bed! The difference between this time last year, when I was completely dependent on other people to drop everything and help us out, to being on the other side of the equation is extremely striking.

The timing of it too, as always, is perfect. In my gradual growth and recovery through our own trauma, there have been marked phases where I feel like I’ve been transitioned from one to the other, and I find myself doing things that just a couple of weeks before I would’ve found impossible. At the beginning of February my mindset and expectations were starting to become firmly fixed, and I had built limitations around myself that I thought were healthy and sensible. March has blown that out of the water and I’m so glad it has. I’ve been stretched, challenged and re-energised in completely unexpected ways, and many words that were given to me last year are beginning to make sense. I’ve been given lots of opportunity to build positively into other people (four speaking appointments in one month – that’s never happened before!) and received lots of wisdom and encouragement that I would’ve missed if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone. In our church leadership, we’ve come across a few situations that had the potential to go very negatively, but instead have brought us on in leaps and bounds in relationships and vision for the future.

The kids seem to be paradoxically blossoming during this time too, maybe because we’ve had to be insular for such a long time and now they are aware of much more happening beyond that. Certain patterns of behaviour we’ve been struggling with for ages have suddenly been resolved (including bedtime battles – hallelujah!) and there seems to be a lot more harmony in the Scholes house at the moment.

So we’d definitely appreciate your prayers for Richard’s back, and for the people around us who are currently struggling with their health and with majorly difficult life situations, but we also want to acknowledge that things are going well in spite of it all and, as always, good is rising up through all of the bad.

And I really need to do a Disneyland update, because it was amazing! Stay tuned...


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