Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Writer's Ice Block and unexpected healing path

Cold does interesting things to the human heart and soul.  In my case, it has caused a serious case of writer’s block.  I am trying to flow in my blogging efforts and all I keep hitting is a thick, very cold ice block (haha…).

Minnesota proves to be an interesting state to pursue health.  We have many obstacles to health:  snow, cold, frozen soils, black ice, etc.…. it can be very challenging to find good sources of food throughout every season.  Freezing, canning, planning ahead become part of the tasks of finding health in every season.

One challenging situation that I experienced this year was the death of a close friend.  My friend, Terri, had been battling breast cancer for 2 years and died January 12th.  It was a shock, even though she had been sick for 2 years. 

We were in it together.  She decided that she was going to make it, she wasn’t going to die and that God would make a way for her to be here for her boys.  She left behind 3 beautiful boys, 9, 17, and 19 years old.  And she will be missed terribly.

I have never lost a close friend before and at such a young age.  We fought till the end for her to make it and yet her body failed her.  She didn’t fail, her heart was in it, and she fought harder than I have seen anyone fight.

I am still processing this loss and yet I have peace.  We had asked God to heal her and to restore her life.  We had prayed that God would provide for her and her boys.  I have never prayed as much as I did for my friend Terri. 

She was a beautiful person with so much spunk and fight in her.  She was passionate about truth and health and being a mother.  She was such a great advocate for her children.  She was an awesome friend and a great listener.  I enjoyed so much our conversations and time together.

It was a difficult, awesome, scary, and beautiful process to be with someone who is dying.  I was with her every day in the hospital/hospice care before she died.  I spoke with her about forgiveness, letting go of hurt and pain and trauma, and entrusting her children to God while she was in a coma.  I was able to say some things that were more difficult to say to her while she was alive.  I was able to laugh and cry simultaneously.  I told her that it was okay to let go and go to God and then in the next breath I would ask her if she wanted to live, if she wanted to fight to live.  And it went like this for the last 9 days of her life on earth. 

I let her go to God and then I prayed that God would raise her up.  It went like this.  I didn’t sleep for a week.  I didn’t eat for a week.  I just forgot.  It was an afterthought.  When I came home, I was too tired to eat.  When I went to bed, I was too tired to sleep.  But I would pray and ask for help, for peace, for healing for Terri.

The fourth day that Terri was in and out of a coma, I noticed some improvements and they encouraged me.  Her eyes were actually open and I could see that she was not completely in a coma.  She was severely uncomfortable in her bed, so I prayed for her and prayed for healing and peace.  She moved a lot and was flailing her arms and legs.  It was so hard to see her in this state.  I just wanted her to be whole, to be healed.

I went the next day and she seemed more comfortable because she wasn’t flailing anymore.  The 6th day, she was even more responsive and would look at me and other friends and family.

The 7th day, I arrived and the shock of my life came when my friend Terri said “hello,” like I was stopping by to pick up my raw milk or something equally casual.  I was elated, I was terrified, and I had hope.  Maybe she was pulling out of the coma?  She locked eyes with me this day and I knew that she completely recognized me.  She knew everything that I spoke to her the days previously.

There was a quiet calm in the room, a sweet presence of God, and a peace that started to flood my soul.  I became more relaxed.  We called her family and friends to come and talk to her.  She said hello and spoke to her sister and brother.  She even said, “hey you…” like she would normally say to me and she said “hey Meg.”  It was beautiful indeed to see the transformation.

The other transformation that was subtle yet still very apparent was the deep peace etched in her eyes.  She held peace, possibly for the first time in her life.  The deep, unshakeable type of peace seemed to lay itself on her broken, failing body.    In that moment I knew.  I knew that she had let go of hurt, pain, trauma, and rejection.  I knew that she had forgiven those people in her life that were the most difficult to forgive.  All the hardness and bitterness were completely melted away from her face and her eyes.  Her normally hard appearance was soft and full of grace and mercy. 

It was a beautiful transformation.  I was in awe of the moment.  I wondered what she had experienced in and out of her coma.  I wondered if she had spoken to God face to face.  I wondered if she saw the brilliance of light and of heaven. 

I look forward to the day that I can ask her all the questions that I have about her last days on earth.  So many things unanswered. 

The transformation was not for this life, but for the one to come.  The healing and restoration that we prayed earnestly for was not for this life, but for the one to come.  Terri received her healing.  Terri received her restoration.  It is more beautiful and brilliant than we can imagine in a broken and hurting world, but it is something to live and to hope for. 

I miss her, but I know that she is truly happy and at peace for the first time in her life.  It would be selfish of me to desire her to be here with me.  As I know that she found was she was searching her whole life for on earth. 

It was a privilege to be with her and to watch her let go and receive the peace that she needed.  It was the most difficult, beautiful, trying time.  I received and held onto the same peace that my friend Terri received.  And I look forward to that conversation that we will have one day in heaven, when I will ask her, “What did you experience during the last 9 days when you were in and out of a coma?” (Watch the video about Howard Storm's near death experience and it may give you an idea...)  I can’t wait to hear the response that I will receive from my friend.