Puddle to Puddle

Fear. Despair. White knuckle praying. A raging sea, in a leaky boat. Lightning bouncing off the mast. Wondering if this time, I really am going to die. Often, in desperation, I whisper the sailor’s prayer,

“Lord, the sea is so big, and my ship is so small. Have mercy!”

Peace. Calm. Trust. Knowing that no matter what, God will be with me. These are the ideals to which I, hopefully, cling.

I’m attractive, at 57. My eyes twinkle. My hair is still a red-gold, and I still find life hilarious. However, the extra weight that I carry reflects a struggle with the effects of medications, that can suck the calories out of a piece of lettuce, and turn them into another five pounds. In spite of this, you are looking into the heart of someone who is thankful just to be alive.

Medications keep me going. They make my symptoms endurable. They assure me that when I turn out my light and go to sleep, I have a good chance of waking up in the morning. But what keeps me alive, is my faith. Arthritis. Fibromyalgia. Asthma. Diabetes. High blood pressure. These are merely excuses to give up on my life, and I refuse!

I look at it this way. Suppose life were a baseball game. Do I want to be the batter, who stands at the plate motionless, waiting for the pitcher to throw the ball easy? No! I want to take a swing at every fast ball, and if the worst happens, I intend to go down swinging!

I…will…not…give…up! I have every reason to live, and to live well. I have a husband whom I’m crazy about. I have children who adore me. I have wonderful friends. And, I’m the writer that I have always dreamed of being. I have learned much, in my 57 years, through triumph and tragedy. I have wisdom to share, and I hope to proclaim it. I am rich in the things that make life worth living. I AM BREATHING!!!

There is a fish that survives in one of the harshest environments on earth. In the rainy season, life is a frolic. There’s plenty of water. He is happy doing all his interesting fish things. But as the rains cease, the water begins to shrink. As the desert takes over the savannah, pools dry up, and all that are left are brackish puddles. Does this fish give up? Never! He swims when he can, from pool to pool. When there’s no water to swim in, he, literally, skittles across the ground from puddle to puddle. He does this continually, until he either dies or survives. And when the rains come again, he’s back to being a happy fish.

I am that fish. I live on faith, hope, laughter and love, and sometimes I live from puddle to puddle. I marvel at a God who provides all my needs, and who gives me the strength to endure my difficulties. He is my anchor, in the midst of a raging sea. He sends me laughter, showing me the ludicrous in my situation; and He sends me joy with each new sunrise.

New medical discoveries make life more livable, every day, for the healthfully challenged. I am grateful to a God who inspires both researchers who acknowledge Him, and those who don’t. I cling to Him, and He has never failed me.

I have to admit that I hate the storms of life. I love a safe and peaceful harbor. I excel at knee-knocking, gut wrenching terror, but I must not stay there. So, I persevere. I keep up with the latest medical research. I pray, and I laugh. And when life seems darkest, and the waves crash into the boat, I know that I can trust the One who rules my heart and the raging storm.

© Jaye Lewis, 2003

Jaye Lewis is a Heartwarmer Gem and Appalachian writer, who lives and writes in the beautiful mountains of southwestern Virginia. Jaye is writing her first book, Entertaining Angels, a collection of true stories, that celebrate Jaye’s unique perspective of the spiritual and the miraculous in her life. Jaye can be contacted at mailto:jlewis@smyth.net

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