Well.... turns out that Lent is REALLY LONG. And I am not very good at doing a certain something every single day. I'm more of an intermittent person. I like to rotate, change things up. It kills me to go a week or two without trying a new recipe. I'm that sort of person.
So... the reading and the writing didn't stick. But I can say that I really, really enjoyed the process when I did it, and I loved what I was learning about the Lenten season. It's Holy Week, and I really have no idea what that means except that it's the week before Easter. I'm not sure if we'll do anything to observe Holy Week or not. Maybe we'll make it to some services, maybe not. When Terri has energy, we're choosing to spend it on pure enjoyment: going out to run fun errands, sitting in the sun by the lake, dreaming about where we're going to camp as soon as she's strong enough. Somehow, that seems celebration and gratitude and worship enough. I think God understands.
Abrupt change of subject, related/unrelated: Today I talked to our old neighbor, from back at The Mold House. She said that she didn't think that the landlords did any remediation of the unit, and that when she asked about it, they were sort of snide and disdainful of us and the whole mold issue. You know, perhaps we made it all up. Right? Right. It made me so angry and hurt and upset. I didn't even want to talk about it. I don't want to think about that place any more.
Without going into a huge post about all this, but trying to pull all my thoughts together: I really feel like we're being led, somehow. Terri's illness is terrible, and it's so scary and really hard on us. But all along the way, we are being led to different places that somehow are exactly right, or we're being saved at the last moment, and somehow, all this feels... purposeful. Not that Anyone or Anything made Terri sick on purpose, as vengance or anything, but that this whole process is somehow... what is supposed to be happening. It is a Story. It's going to lead somewhere definite. Somewhere we couldn't have gotten to otherwise.
An example: On Christmas Day last year (the worst Christmas of my whole life), we were both feeling so miserable, tired from the move and stress, detoxing from mold, and almost beyond our wits. I was out working (petsitting for six hours, yes, on Christmas) and Terri was at home, feeling scared and horrible. She decided to go over to the local drugstore to get some socks (because our house was freezing and she had an infected toe and needed gigantic socks). She drove over, got the socks, came back to the car... and realized she'd left the lights on in her car, and the car was dead. She's sick, exhausted to the point of dropping, and freezing. It's Christmas Day. She forgot her phone and couldn't call me. And then she noticed some people walking towards her. Bad energy coming off them in waves. Their eyes, the desperate dead eyes of major meth/crack addiction, honing in on her in her extremely vulnerable state. Terri has years of working with this population and knew exactly how much danger she was in. Just as they got close, she heard... "Excuse me, ma'am, do you need some help?"
It was a nice, normal man, coming up to her with jumper cables. Terri gladly accepted the help, turning away so he wouldn't notice her tears of relief and gratitude. She said, "Are you from around here?" and he said (I kid you not), "No, ma'am, I'm from Paradise." Now, Paradise is a little town in Northern California, but at that moment, he truly was an angel from Paradise. He got her car running again and got her on the way, a little worse for wear, but safe.
Now really, if that isn't a message, what is? Hang on, and help will come.
So this week, we're grateful, and humbled, and joyful and I think God knows it whether we're in a church or not.