Friday, September 7, 2012

All the Pretty Zebras

It's been said that if you hear hoof beats, you should expect horses, not zebras.  While we've had our share of scares that have indeed turned out to be horses, I've come to learn that in our family, zebras aren't all that rare. 

I've shared in other posts about Jon's CSF leak.  Two surgeries - one major, one outpatient - later, it's back...again.  Early in the summer, he had a day of intense headaches and leaking, but when nothing followed, we thought that perhaps it had sealed on it's own (we believe it's done this at least one other time previously).

Last night, possibly brought on by the thunderstorm since barometric pressure causes him headaches, the leaking resumed.  Jon's surgeon has been hesitant to move forward until Jon could submit a sample to conclusively prove that this is another leak.  It took some hard work, a call to an advice nurse, and asking permission to jump ahead in line at the lab this morning, but we were finally able to submit a sample for testing.  Even if the lab cannot prove that this is CSF, we know without a doubt that this is what we're facing.

Part of me is shuddering at the thought of what might lie ahead.  I hate inconvenient doctor's appointments.  I hate hospitals.  I hate needles and surgeries and blood and all the other grossness that accompanies these things.  (The irony that I'm pregnant and will be facing much of these same things myself is not lost on me.)

And then I remember the promises found in God's Word, promises that the Lord will never leave me, that everything He does is for His glory, and that He will not send trials without giving us everything we need to get through them. 

I'm always amazed at myself when I realize that I so eagerly accept from His hand the blessings in life while simultaneously groaning over the things I consider to be a curse.  But should I accept the bitter cup with any less thanksgiving, knowing that He will never give me anything that is not for my ultimate good? 

This new baby?  A blessing!  The return of my health after a severe Vitamin D deficiency?  A blessing!  Yet another CSF leak?  Human logic would call this a curse.

But is it really?

I would venture to say that the CSF leak itself is NOT a good thing.  It jeopardizes Jon's health.  It causes him pain.  It frustrates us both.  It's a nuisance to the entire family.  It's just not fun.

On the other hand, if we have to live with it, I believe that it can bring about benefits that we would not have noticed otherwise.  It causes us to trust the Lord more fully.  It increases our prayer life.  It reminds us that life is precious and that time is valuable.  It makes us thankful for good health when we have it.  It's helped us appreciate the intricate workings of the human body and to see more clearly how only God could have designed us.  It teaches us to find things for which to be thankful even when it's tempting to gripe and complain about a given situation.

It teaches us to find beauty in the zebras even when the world insists that there is loveliness only in wild mustangs.