Wednesday, August 15, 2018

One very last time...

So, the CSF headache, also known as a low pressure headache, has the defining characteristic as being positional.  This means that the headache happens when sitting or standing, but is relieved by lying down.  I am still battling a headache, but it is really only relieved by standing up.  Lying down does not bring respite.  Sitting is the worst.  SIGH.

One of the things that I asked Becky to do whilst she is here is to go to church with me.  I do not like to talk about it, but I have not been in a very, very, very long time.  Getting where I was going was so hard and having the pastors come visit was ... well, one wanted to come and the other was not comfortable.  The one who wanted to come left to go to another church.  And, after a while, I thought that there was nothing connecting me to the church and the pastor really didn't want to come and then....

Then there is me.

I have better words now, for what I fear, but I no longer have a pastor to whom to speak them.  And, to be honest, I am not sure I want to do that.  I am not sure I ever want to try again.  After all, whilst I have not spoken them to God, I know that He knows and understands that I better know and understand what it is that I fear.  I believe that His knowing is enough, that I do not actually need to speak them aloud.

I'm not totally sure about that.

It is like with having my gown untied.  It wasn't until just this weekend that I finally was able to say what it is that triggers me.  I actually am  looking forward to therapy just so that I can tell my therapist.  We tried to talk about it when I last saw her, but I didn't have the words then.  So, it was a bit of a flop.  Now, I have the words.  Untying a hospital gown brings me back to the head space and place of having someone remove my clothing.  I don't know how to unpack everything behind and beneath those words, beneath that connection, but she will.

Not, mind you, that I am looking forward to working through that.

When I tried to talk about my spiritual fear, I kept having folk focus on "faith."  And I was oft accused of trying to measure my faith by my own faith instead of by that of Jesus', since His is what saves me.  But that isn't the crux of my concern.  It isn't faith.  It is belief.  What does it mean when Jesus says, "Believe..."?  What is it that I believe?

In therapy, we've talked a wee little bit about the fear.  In part, because she assumes that I have this great comfort in my faith.  And I have struggled to explain to her why that is not true.  And yet she's does a fairly good job of following me when I wax poetically about the Psalter or talk about the Book of Concord.  She has no problem with the dissonance between my doubts and fears and my tendency to spend eons talking about the Psalter and the Living Word and the power and efficacy of the Word of God.

Anyway, I started looking for a church where I might try one very last time to find a home.  My thought was that I could maybe go one Sunday a month.  Maybe.  And there I discovered a church very near to my house that has a regular evening service!  I thought the only other evening options in Fort Wayne were contemporary Saturday night services.  Alas, no!  This church has a service loosely based on Diving Service Setting III.

It was a smaller church with a smaller number of folk attending.  Becky and I stuck out like a sore thumb, but I enjoyed the service anyway.  At the end, there was a time for announcements, and the pastor opened it up to folk in the pews.  Sure enough, a woman had two thoughts to share and stood up right in the pews to do so.  I thought, that's just the way it would have been done in a non-denominational church when I was back in Texas and back in the 80s!  I felt right at home.

I definitely plan to go back next Wednesday and so on, to continue to search for a church home.  Plan being the operative word there.

The part of the church visit I wasn't expecting was the pastor telling me that it was not as important that I have a membership at an LCMS church, but what I believe about the true body and blood of Jesus Christ.  So, I was served the Lord's Supper in the pew.

It's been so long.

After the pastor finished his sermon, my pacemaker kicked in as I thought about finally having the Lord's Supper again.  I think the report from my pacemaker for earlier this evening would make for rather fine reading.

When thinking about going tonight, Becky and I listened to one of the sermons on the church's website.  I liked it so much that I listened to it a second time.  It could just be that it was because the sermon was about peace, but I felt like it was a Word that was just for me.

The thing about this afternoon is that, as it wore on, I felt worse and worse and worse.  I started to think that the devil just didn't want me to go.  And I felt that a foolish thought.  Still, this headache that I cannot shake is getting worse.

It both concerns me and it doesn't.  After all, there is too much hurting in my body to be truly worried about any one thing.  So, mostly, I focus on what scares me in the moment.  And, today, what scared me more than the ills of my body was the thought of actually going to church ... trying to go ... once again.

One good point about the church:  I can park right by the front door and be in the sanctuary lickety-split.  From an energy stand point, it is the easiest church journey, door-to-door, since I became ill.  That has to count for something, right?

Anyway, I really do feel a tad foolish for trying, one last time, to be a part of a church body.  I do not know if this is a place to do that.  I do not know if I can even ... follow through.  I mean, when Becky is here, the power of her presence excites me so much that I can do more than I would alone.  I am, of course, exhausting myself, but I simply do not care.

Today, I just couldn't keep going and napped for a short period of time.  I wasn't sure that I actually slept, but Becky confirmed that I snored, so there was that.  We were playing games, having a grand old time, and I just had to lay my cards down so that I could lay my head down.

Tomorrow, our plan is to see a movie and go out to eat.  To be normal at real places in real clothing.  Of course, keeping up with the Jones in the eating department might have my new outfit rather tight.  I know I've already gained weight since she's been here.  Today, I ate a bit less.  Tomorrow, I hope to eat a bit more normal.

And, of course, I need to stop eating freely from the stash of brown sugar oatmeal cookies that I made for Becky's visit.  Who am I kidding?  That I made for me to eat during her visit, so I would feel less guilty since I could pretend, at least, that I made the cookies for her.  SIGH.

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