Monday, January 12, 2009

Speaking of Quotes

I know I just said in the previous post that I am not a big quotation person, but I have another one.

I like to read and I read a lot. I am not saying this to brag, because I only like to read non-fiction and I rarely read the same book twice. I will read anything if it is a story and I haven't read it before. So the majority of my reading has not been educational in the is my escape. So, anyway, once upon a time, my husband asked a BRILLIANT friend of ours (he taught at Harvard) one of the best random questions I have ever heard: "If you could read any book twice, what would it be?". As I mentioned, I am a book slut, so I rarely go back to the same book....but because I read so much, I know the difference between a well written book and one that is crap. But I have always had a hard time answering that question. Until I read a certain book that almost literally took my breath away: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

It sounds like a Christian book, doesn't it? But I am not necessarily sure that it is or that Mr. Enger is a Christian. But anyway, I am re-reading it for the third or fourth time (a record for me) and I always get my breath taken away by the same quote each time I read it. And it occurred to me when I read it this time that it really applies to a lot of things I have been going through lately. Here is the quote:

"It is one thing to be sick of your own infirmities and another to understand that the people you love most are sick of them also. You are very close then to being friendless in the world."

Somewhere along middle school or jr. high, I developed debilitating headaches. I had major jaw surgery that put me in the ICU, and I had more than the average flus, colds, etc. My sister and other family members who were never sick began to make jokes. I could see where they were coming from...what a bummer to be at Disney World and have to go back to the hotel because your sister suddenly couldn't walk because she was so sick. But I also had no control over it and was so hurt that they couldn't see I wasn't making it up.

A couple of weeks ago, our community group had our first get together of the new year. It was girls night and for the hundreth time, I sat down to write the email saying i couldn't go. I had Daniel's ARD the next day and I already knew that I would be using every spare minute preparing. But instead of writing an email talking about Daniel's ARD, I wrote about how I had told Alex he could go out and watch the football game. I had said he could do that, and there had been some talk about switching girls night to guys night because of the game....secretly I hoped it would be switched and then I wouldn't feel guilty for missing. Long story even longer, it didn't get switched and of course I didn't want alex to look like he was saying, 'you have to stay home so I can go out" when he was doing the exact opposite. So I had to write another email and say sorry, I wasn't completely honest because.....I couldn't fill in the blank. Why couldn't I say the real reason? It was a legit reason that would make complete sense to everyone. I think I found the answer in the above quote...and I think this is also the reason why I don't blog as much. To me, the most hurtful thing would be to sense someone doing the internal rolling of the eyes as I mention yet another thing about Daniel. (I am going to write another post on how I struggle with worrying too much about what other people think later....).

The beautiful thing about all of this is that with Daniel's disease, I don't have a choice. It doesn't go away and the grief and issues come up at such random times. I put myself in a predicament like I did with my community group, and then I have to come clean and say, 'here is what is going on'. and of course my sweet friends say, 'we love you and we need to hear what is going on or we don't know how to help you'. They show me the love of Christ, who loves me even when I am repetitive and am whining about the same things over and over again. And in showing me the love of Christ, they teach me that I will never be friendless. Because they are human and sinners just like I am...they could very well roll thier eyes (and probably be justified in doing so). But there is One who will never be sick of my infirmities. He knows more than me what it is like to truly feel friendless in this world...and He died for me.

Now, if I could just remember that fact every second of every day, life would be perfect.


Alex said...

Great post! Though I think you mean that you only read fiction, non-fiction. :)

Alex said...

Errr, fiction - not non-fiction. :)

amanda said...

Ok, I meant fiction. If anyone wonders why I had trouble just writing and not editing a miilon times, look at these comments and you'll understand. But I will stick by my resolution. 'I won't back down. Gone a stand my ground.'