I have really been struggling this past week. I started a Life Group at my church and we are studying a book called Victory Over Darkness. I never realized how tested I would be. This book is incredibly difficult for me. It challenges me to look at areas of my life and my past that honestly I would much rather just forget even existed. Sam and I both are doing the class together. Our hopes are to come out on the other side stronger Christians and most of all with a deeper intimate relationship with God. So far the spiritual warfare has begun and the attacks have been hitting my life like crazy. However I am clinging to this study with everything I have. I decided when I started it I would not back down and quit, NO MATTER WHAT!!
The start of this study could not have come at a worse time. My best friend Jill is in the hospital with pneumonia. This blog is really about her, not my Life Group. Jill and I went into the hospital together for the first time when we were about 7 or 8 years old. We became friends instantly and pretty much have clung together ever since. We both got pregnant around the same time also. Jill went on to have another child, a little girl, but I decided against having anymore. Jill and I have lived different lifestyles yet still remained so much alike. Almost all of the things we like mirror each other. We do have different opinions about things but still despite those differences remain closer than ever. We talk on the phone nearly every single day, sometimes for just a few minutes, and sometimes for hours at a time. We share all of our secrets, dreams and even the stresses every day life can bring. We rejoice with one another when life is going great, and we cry with one another when life isn't going so great. She has been a rock for me. I have lots of friends and people whom I can lean on however it is different when you are sick. You never fully feel as if your friends completely understand where you are coming from. Sharing the same disease Jill and I have a bond. Jill is really the only CF that I have made friends with and kept a friendship with over time. Back in the 1990's when the doctors made the discovery that we were sharing bugs and infections, I became extremely distant from my other CF friends and began to isolate myself from them on routine hospital stays. I always always always wear a mask over my face when I leave my hospital room and it has never been something I rebelled against, like so many other fellow CFers have. However my friendship with Jill really withstood the test of my anxiety and we remained close. We went from having sleep overs in each others hospital rooms (yes we did that haha) to talking on the phone and computer. Sometimes when I would feel gutsy we would venture out in the hospital together, but I still always wore my mask no matter what. Jill is this incredible ball of energy. She is such a free spirit. We both have walked a fine line of being a modern mom and a tree hugging hippie. She loves wearing flip flops, sunshine, playing in the rain, making art, Bob Dylan and just simply living. We were both born after our time. I could so see us at Woodstock, just living and loving. Jill is a mother to two beautiful children, Ethan and Rylin. They are in complete, her life. She lives for them. Everything she does revolves around their lives and she wouldn't have it any other way.
Right now Jill is sick and I am really at a loss for words. This past week I have been sickened with worry. Jill is currently in the ICU at UAB hospital. I am asking for each and every person who reads this to please pray for her. I don't care what you believe, what religion you are, or where in life you are at. I don't even know if you believe in God and I really don't care. About five years ago I was lost. I was so far off track of who and what God was. The amazing part is God did not nor does not NEED me to believe in Him to exist. He is there. So I don't care what you believe, if you know me and you care about me, close your eyes and just ask God to watch over Jill, to heal her, to bring peace to her.
A few days ago I really felt like I was going to lose it at any moment. I finally broke down when I went to Starbucks and after three tries they still didn't get my coffee right. I slammed my cup into the trashcan after one sip and ran out. That is so not like my character to do something like that. When I got into the car I put my face in my hands and started crying. Sam kept saying he was so sorry my coffee wasn't right and we could go to a different Starbucks up the road and try again. But the truth was out. The coffee was not the true issue, it was my best friend was laying in a hospital fighting for her life and I had no control over it. I can't help her, I can't talk to her, I can't even be there to hold her hand. I had had enough. A single cup of coffee finally broke me. I felt like I would never stop crying. I was so angry....so sad...so tired. So I came home and wrote my previous blog. I felt like if I didn't get it out then it was going to consume me. It was literally smothering me. I had to tell how I was feeling.
It didn't make Jill better, but it did give me some peace. I remember now that God is bigger than me, bigger than this disease, and even bigger than the monster Jill is fighting. It is His story, not ours.
I feel as if in writing this my words are not flowing. They seem so jumbled. But to be honest THIS IS REAL! It is messy, it is horrible and it hurts.
I am going to leave you guys with Jill's quote on her FB page. It soothes my soul every time I read it. It is almost as if Jill is speaking to me. It is just what she would say in a situation like this. She would be so optimistic and full of hope.
It simply says......"Even the sun has to fall to rise again in the morning."