Me with beautiful, unexpected flowers from my sweet Clarissa Haymon
Change of Heart
In my mind today I'm thinking of a blog I read from another blogger with ALS. She's only 38. Her name is also Sarah. She has a 6 year old daughter. She, like me, still has her voice but her arms and legs are becoming useless. Her blog post was spurred from a fortune cookie that her daughter brought home. Inside the fortune said, "The best times of your life are still ahead." This stung her as I can totally understand. As I get ready to go to the ALS Clinic today, I think of the PALS (People with ALS) that I will encounter. We all have a story. We are in various chapters of our ALS journey. The ability to be independent has escaped most of us. As we roll forward, we leave behind mobility. It is a detrimental blow to us. I admit there are dark moments for me when I think of all that I've lost physically. I can't allow my mind to linger there. I know I smile more now than I ever did before. I'm so content with whatever comes my way. The motto "No Fear" is literally me. Am I happy? Yes, crazy though true, I'm so happy with what I have left: my voice, my mind, and especially my heart. Physical barriers are just brain teasers that I have to figure out a way around them.
As I was waiting on my coffee and oatmeal this morning, I started singing "Change our hearts this time. Your words says it can be. Change our minds this time. Your life has made us free. We are the people your call set apart. Lord, this time Change our Hearts." After a choking spell and getting my lungs cleared on my machines, I started reading and reflecting. Ironically, the first reading was about Jonah and those stubborn Ninevites. Remember our talk about the number 40? Well, Jonah announced to the people of Nineveh that they had 40 days to shape up or the gig was up. Well? Did they shape up? Those Ninevites had a change of heart and were truly sorry. How was God so sure? Did they begin talking and telling everyone they were sorry? Nope. It was in their actions. They had humbled themselves and their hearts were different, changed.
My fellow ALS warrior is hurting. I feel it in her strife and words she writes. Life is definitely not fair. The limitations of our disease shake us to our cores. When I start to think dark, sad thoughts, my mind summons up so much beauty from scriptures I've read, people I've met, places I've seen, and grateful for the life I've been given regardless if it's shorter or more limited. I'm here. I'm granted time and space to teach through my blog, my story, my relationship with God, and especially with you. People tell me often that I inspire those around me. I can't take credit because God has literally changed my heart. He is the one responsible for my words and actions. As I get on with my day, I'll pray for hearts to be changed as they were in Nineveh so long ago. This first week of Lent let's let our actions be guided by a pure heart.
Quotes of the Day:
"A heart contrite and humbled, O'God, you will not spurn."
"Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth."
Martin H. Fischer