It's been a few days and for most people, with Christmas being yesterday, this might be attributed to the hustle and bustle and gathering with family. For me that wasn't the case this year. This was one of those rougher weeks, at least the last few days.
On Wednesday, at a doctor's visit to review my recent bloodwork, the news of my counts being way off was given to me and as a result more tests had been ordered to be done. The jury is still out on that until sometime later next week. I sometimes feel I am the most covid tested person on earth. And, yes, I know there are many who have the same experience as I do. Before I get anything done, especially treatments, I get tested. No one wants to add insult to injury with patients and there's no guarantee these days with fast spreading variants from one treatment period to another.
Thursday night I felt a sinus thing coming on...but wait, could it be? I knew I hadn't been exposed to anyone. Anyone that I knew of. I went to bed, rested and when I talked to the doctor the next day, he said it is normal for me to experience a variety of things from treatments, and as he had already told me numerous times, of course, I am susceptible to just about anything that blows my way these days! He reminded me, not that he needed to, that the test was negative the late afternoon before. Rest and relax and enjoy this time with family, he said.
Despite his assurances that I was either experiencing a slight sinus thing or common cold, I panicked. I was hosting Christmas. I had grandparents coming and my son's girlfriend's father has MS. I wanted to believe but I didn't want to risk anyone's life. So, I cancelled my duties at our Christmas Eve service and cancelled Christmas except for the boys and I, who live in the same household.
God bless my boys, who do so very much now to help take care of me and things at the house that I can't take care of. They went to get tested. But I still held my ground. It was going to be a silent night, just like it must have been for Mary and Joseph when baby Jesus finally emerged into our world. Only the silence of their night signaled the beginning of an awakening of joy.
I gave the boys one gift, a video game, on Christmas Eve so they could spend time playing together and take some of the stress and worry they have over me every time I sneeze or cough these days. They were up until the wee hours of the morning, laughing, giggling and playing together, and then they were sound asleep when I left for the hospital at O'dark-thirty. Yes, the only place you can get a rapid test on Christmas Day is at a hospital. I just couldn't settle it in my heart or mind until I had another test. It was piercing my heart and my brain was swirling with what-ifs. It makes my heart hurt when I think that every time we have a cough, sneeze, or headache, we immediately have to go to that place of stress and distress of what might be. But that is where we seem to live at this particular moment in time.
As I know God to be sooo good, He presented me with a nurse in the ER who happened to have formerly been an oncology nurse. Her comfort and reassurances were far greater than the doctor's had been. I cried and told her that I had to cancel our family plans to protect others and it would only be the two boys and I. While she agreed with him, she soothed comfort into the fact that my new normal is I am vulnerable to just about everything and that vigilance was my best friend.
I got home way before anyone even knew I had left, except of course for the dogs! I could have easily called everyone and said, "hey, we're back on, all is clear." But I still held my ground, realizing it was far more important right now to rest and not worry about being the hostess with the mostess. I knew if I was to practice what I preach, so to speak, I had to be willing to experience a silent night of my own.
But then something wonderful happened. When my boys woke up they began to fill the house with noise and laughter. They were as excited about their gifts as if they were 5-year-olds. They had gone grocery shopping the day before and had planned out dinner for us. They even put away their cell phones for the entire evening. They were thrilled I had started to buy old fashioned board games and wanted to play "Clue" after dinner. We talked and shared and laughed at dinner. And then when we played "Clue," one of the all time favorites of all my boys, we laughed so much my sides split.
And that is when I realized it wasn't such a silent night after all! I just needed to clean the lens that had become foggy because of things going on that were out of my control. I saw clearly that joy had not just come to this house, and had forgotten that it had come to the world, too! A world in need of the news of us being loved despite, and because of, all that goes on in our lives. We can all get through this together. We just have to be willing to experience a silent night awakening!
I hope this devotional reflection today goes with you not just this one day but throughout the coming year! Enjoy!
"Not so silent night,
Awakening inner joy,
A gift not hidden."