Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.
Following such a long absence, and as I gradually return to my role, I wanted to give you an update.
I want to start with this verse, which has been a constant companion to me, through my Sabbatical and the illness I have been struggling with these months. There were moments there when I wondered if I would ever be in a place to be able to write to you again. I am so grateful to be returning to work, albeit in a limited capacity.
There are so many things I have experienced and learned this year – and much I am still processing. What bubbles up to share with you here is something about finding treasure in the most unexpected places.
During my sabbatical I walked 250 miles of the Camino, which was a deep and rich experience. It wasn’t the grand stuff that stunned me, but the seemingly inconsequential; a tiny flower quivering amid the snow and freezing wind, an elderly gentleman bestowing a blessing on me as I made my way through a rural village, a glass of water from a mother hosting her daughters birthday party and noticing me at the [turned off] public water fountain.
All of that helped me stay grounded when my world fell apart on Palm Sunday, hospitalised, terrified and in more pain than I can describe. In the ashes I began to notice resilient beauty, healing blessings and kind glasses of water.
And now, there are good days, where I manage to function pretty well, if not anywhere close to ‘normal’. When you see me you’ll see that I look ‘really well’! So here’s an idea of what is going on inside.
There are more days than now when my oxygen levels are extremely low. ‘What does that mean?’ Well, if your oxygen levels fall below 92% you should get yourself to A&E. Mine are regularly as low as 84% and sometimes down to 74%, which causes a great deal of pain, swimming head and exhaustion. Noone knows why this is still happening… Forgive me if I say ‘I’m fine’ – it’s sometimes just too awful to talk about.
I pray that, whether you are enjoying mountain tops and wonder or struggling in the valleys and despair, that you might find beauty, blessing and refreshment this Autumn.
With love, Kate