I only saw one of the two docs these past few days. One canceled the appointment as I was on the way to the clinic. The other was with a pulmonologist. I had a chest x-ray the day after Christmas and it showed I had interstitial changes in my lungs. We are now in the process of determining the degree of changes going on. I will have pulmonary function tests the 24th and see the pulmonologist the first part of February. The hard part about this is there has been a progression of the Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). How much we are in the process of figuring out. Waiting for test results is part of the life of a person with chronic disease. It truly can be a trial but I heard something on a PBS show that has been helpful for me.
It was a show about a Benedictine women’s community. The sisters in this community are very aware that they are in a transitional stage in their monastic life. One of the sisters called it a liminal time. Liminal means being situated at a sensory threshold or being at that place where something is just start to break into one’s perception. Such a place can be a place of great spiritual growth if one is patient and open to what is taking place. The hard part is not knowing yet what is coming into one’s awareness.
A liminal time is a time of letting go of old perceptions or ways of being or doing, to open to the new thing that is coming forth. In terms of my concrete situation, this means letting go what I thought my health status was and opening to what it is now. The hard part here is one’s health status is really quite fluid. It takes wisdom and courage for me to face what is going on in my body. It is very helpful for me to have trust in God’s sustaining love at work in this process. Now it would be very nice if God would just up and heal me of this disease, but that doesn’t seem to be on God’s agenda right now.
The one thing I do know that is on God’s agenda is my spiritual growth and transformation in Christ. This disease is an exquisite opportunity for such growth. Working with my body and with this disease, learning to be compassionate to myself and extending to my body loving kindness and mercy is a foundational part of the spiritual path. It is not easy but working with disease from this perspective makes whatever happens a win-win situation. Really. The glory of the cross and resurrection is disease, tragedy does not have the last word in our lives. The Good News for those living with disease and disability is God can be just as glorified in the way we respond to the disease as those times when God does bring healing. We all love the miracle stories, and they are very real, but God doesn’t always choose to work through miracles.
I continue to pray for healing. I continue to do what can to be healthy. I find peace in my commitment to Christ and my seeking to do His will, whether that be great or small. It’s going to be interesting to see how this turns out, so stay tuned and peek back.