Italy or Surgery
Back in May, I had a dream come true when I won a scholarship to a writer’s retreat. In Italy. They gave one prize and I was to leave this Wednesday. For 12 days I would see Paris, consume decadent food and wine, and live, laugh, write and love in Liguria, Italy. I had reserved a gorgeous room on the edge of a cliff in an Italian Villa. Heaven.
But, and there’s always a huge but isn’t there? If you remember back to this post,I had some interesting medical problems the day before I left for Mexico. While I was on the mission trip, I received an email from my doctor explaining my benign condition and told to make an appointment to talk about the options. I filed that email and put it in the “someday I’ll call them maybe” category.
Suffice it to say that although the condition is benign, it’s had it’s way with me. I’ve had a couple weeks where I felt kind of okay and the rest have been a battle to function. I wondered how I would trip around Europe; eating, praying and loving, when I couldn’t get out of bed. So I made the dreaded call and subsequently even showed up for the appointment.
Italy is now a thing of the past and incredibly, a chance trip in the future. And now I have surgery in December, one week before Christmas, which really, is what every woman wants. Am I right ladies? Sorry guys, I can’t prepare a turkey or even a honey baked ham. Decorations? Don’t think so. But opening presents? Sure, I wouldn’t want to get rusty on my love language.
What astounds me though is that God equips me for all things. This includes and is not limited to the ability to find joy in serving in difficult circumstances and in times where I’m not doing what I had planned. I always thought being joyful was up to me, and it’s a choice to be sure, but it is God who fuels me to experience joy.
Instead of the Italian coast, we venture as a family to a nearby pacific beach. The same beach house where we took our son Mason to the hospital when his appendix was going awry. We know the way to the two nearest hospitals and more importantly we know the only way to joy.
I’m trusting and choosing to find joy in all things. Italy will be there when I’m healthy again, so I’ll do my part to make sure I am!
What about you? How do you find joy when your dreams are put on hold?
Oh my gosh, Audra. Well, your heart is sure in the right place. Godspeed on the surgery and the recovery… and the trip (later) to Italy. Wishing your the very best, and thank you for sharing.
Thank you Susan! Should be a very easy surgery, so that is a huge blessing! Praying for your book.
Awww…I just have to spend a second poring & kicking the dirt on your behalf.
Okay. I’m back. You know, being long-suffering is so lauded in the Bible, but not so much in our I want/I deserve culture. I don’t even like the sound of it much: long-suffering. Sounds like…well…what it is, actually. But God. With God we are free to see a crummy situation w/new perspective. We are able to find & spread His joy, as we seek His face. Audra, I’m so BUMMED for you about your trip, but so glad you’ll be taking care of your body (as you rally your troops from your tuffet–I’m sure the men in your house will pamper & bless you this Christmas), AND grateful for the example you are as you live through this deferred dream, in Christ’s strength, & yes, His joy. You are amazing.
In answer to your question, my two potential joy wreckers are our (taking forever) adoption, & my husband’s (seems like forever) 🙂 travel. The short answer is: gratitude. Whenever I can follow Paul’s advice & focus on praying about everything, thanking God for what He’s already done, I really do find a peace (& joy) which surpasses any understanding.
Bless u, girl. Xo
Poring = pouting. Silly fingers.
Okay, so new prayer is that they call for surgery next week. Join me? I need to have it before November 1, as I start a CNA program on November 6. I never feel well and would love to have this done ASAP. We have had a lovely time at the beach and I’m so happy not to be off on my own half way around the world! I’m still in prayer for your sweet baby girl.
Great post, Audra. I know you’re disappointed about not making the trip, but that doesn’t change the important things; you obviously won the contest. And now you’re in a beautiful place, albeit in the states, but with your family… I’d say history will show you a real win/win situation.
I pray for a speedy recovery… and besides, who knows what kind of writing education and inspiration you’re going to get from this!
I’m beginning to think all women have the same love language… yeah, I caught that, clever girl…
I knew I would’t get the love language thing past you Floyd! Thank you for your prayers. Sorry we couldn’t meet up in CA, looking forward to next time in Scottsdale.
Wow, Audra, surgery?! You must touch base with me. We are keeping you in our prayers and trust this surgery will find you on your way to complete healing and restoration. The devil is a liar. You’ll have that trip to Italy and enjoy it to the full.
Yes, you bless me in finding joy through these moments. Thank you for putting my heart in check as I continue my journey.
Now I’m praying for a spot to open on the cancellation list for surgery this coming week. I really want to just get this done….so want to feel better.
Nothing yet! : ) Waiting, watching and praying!
I’m so sorry about your health issue…and about your missing the trip you won to Italy. You have a great attitude for sure.
You do know that Paris is not in Italy, right? LOL.
Are you doing the novel in a month for November? I might try it.
As for joy in the midst of trial, I can’t say that I always succeed. However, I do know in my head how to do it. Trust God, fall on Jesus, and praise Him!
All the best,
Yes, my first two days were going to be in France with the other 10 in Italy. I’m not doing the NaNoWriMo this year, because I’m starting an accelerated nursing assistant program on November 6. I highly recommend it though. Let me know if you do it!
Andra very sorry about the health problems that has caused you to miss your won trip…how exciting to win a trip of that magatude. I do hope they let you go later .
It’s those side trip sometimes we learn the depths of our Lord. He so understand disappointments…yet He kept His face toward heaven and endured the cross for us. There is nothing spiritual about surgery but you have brought the spiritual in with your sweet attitude. Keep us informed please.
opps, I spelled you name wrong, forgive me….
Betty, no worries on the spelling of my name, just so glad to see you here! Thank you for your sweetness and your perspective full of truth, how your comments bless me!
Audra, I was both shocked and relieved when I read this. Shocked at what you shared—relieved at your faithful attitude through something as trying as this. My blog surfing has been on the backburner for a while, so I didn’t realize until today what all has happened on your end of the writing universe this past year. No doubt a roller coaster as you described back in your July post.
It’s hard for me to swallow changes in plans beyond our control, what God is up to when He resizes our dreams. I often recall what James Watkins said at the 2010 WFTS conference, that God doesn’t take away our dream, He just resizes it. I admit that I don’t like the resizing process, because I can’t see immediately what He sees, and it always seems painful. Going through my own dream resizing lately.
Your faith encourages me. I needed this today.
Praying for you and your family today!
So wonderful to hear from you! Yes, I praise God that I didn’t go on that trip as I was very, very ill last week and that’s when I would have been there. I’m actually very grateful for the resizing this time. Usually I can’t stand it!
I’m encouraged by you as well. Anything new with your writing? As for me, a week from tomorrow I start nursing assistant school at a local community college. I’m very excited. God has already married my medical interests with writing, I sold a short article on medical tips and teens to Focus, last month. I’m excited to see all that He has for me.
Looking forward to a writing update from you! Thank you for stopping by. Every blessing to you and yours!