Last week was tough. I was really sad and I was sick and then all of a sudden, I became anxious worried and afraid. I was sad for obvious reasons, but putting together a blog post of all our accounts of Mike’s last days took the sadness to a whole new level (that post is still in the works). I was sick with the flu, not terribly sick (I still taught my fitness classes), but just sick enough that a few tears from being sad made my head pound and my nose run, so I worked hard to keep the tears at bay, but teetered on the edge most of the time.
On Wednesday, right after I put an order in for my books, anxiety, worry and fear came. These three weren’t subtle, they weren’t kind or gentle, they came like bullets or darts or something. I thought, sure enough, here I am, the most vulnerable I’ve ever been, and the devil starts firing, that’s just like him.
Every step of the way, I have consulted with God and have committed my book to Him. Before and after I decided to write it, before and after I signed with Influence Publishing, before and after the introduction, before and after every paragraph, every chapter, before and after editing, proof-reading, typesetting…every single step, every single word—I consulted with God and committed it to Him. And then when I ordered my books for my upcoming book signing and other events, I freaked … I kind of froze inside.
All of a sudden I was gripped with fear wondering what have I done, and what if something goes wrong and what was I thinking in the first place? I’m no writer, what do I know and who really cares. My trust in God flew out the window and the negative voices swept in. I hate when that happens. When I shared my feelings with Elanna, she said she knew something was wrong. With tears in my eyes, I said, “I’m not an author.” She said, “Yes you are.” I said, “I can’t do this.” She said, “Yes you can.” Her smile and reassuring words brought me down from the ledge. Her prayers really helped too.
In the thick of it, I kept saying to myself, “This is where Mike would say every thing is going to be okay.” He’d say, “Don’t worry.” When I close my eyes, he puts his hand on my shoulder, he pulls me close and wraps his strong arms around me and says it’s going to be all right. Even when he couldn’t do that anymore, his smile held me tight, and everything was always okay.
I realize now the anxiety, worry and fear wasn’t just about my book, it was about my life. Moving forward without Mike is just so heart breaking, it’s disappointing, it’s scary. He always helped me, he always encouraged me, he prayed for me and he gave me such good advice. He helped me keep my feet on the ground and my eyes looking up.
Yesterday after my class I got a call from Wendy from the ALS Society. Wendy Toyer is the Executive Director of the ALS Society of BC. I told her it was funny she called because I was planning to call her to thank her again for the beautiful testimony she gave me for my book (I’ve only thanked her by email) and to tell her I wanted to donate Mike’s wheel chair to the society. She thanked me and proceeded to tell me she thinks about us all the time because our family picture is framed and hangs on a wall at the society office (a picture used in an article I wrote for an ALS Society promotion featured in the Vancouver Sun and Province news papers).
Wendy also wanted to ask if our family picture could be used in a magazine for something People’s Drug Mart is doing (they are big donors/sponsors). She also wanted to invite me to an event the ALS Society is hosting to honour volunteers, special donors and Tyler Gamsby. Tyler is a film maker who made a film about the ALS Society, highlighting what they do, how they help etc. Tyler interviewed me and Mike for the film (I write about it in my book). It was really quite emotional and I can only imagine watching the film will be as well. Tyler has offered to come and show it to me before I see it at the event.
A little overwhelmed, I heard God say, “Come with Me.” I put my Bible and my Oswald Chambers devotional in a backpack and drove to the dike. I didn’t go to the dike down the road where we usually go because there are too many people there, especially on such a beautiful day. I went north, toward Golden Eagle golf course which is actually in Pitt Meadows, but only a few minutes away. I drove all the way to the end of Ladner Rd, turned around at the golf course which is in the middle of nowhere but at the same time, somewhere very special and headed back. Nathan told me about the golf course where a short hike into the woods on the first of a series of mountains takes you to a beautiful lake.
Anyway, I stopped at a dike I’d never been to not far from there. I walked west on the overgrown path, the Thompson Mountains on my near right and farm land vast on my left. In the very far distance, on the other side of that land, you could see a wall of trees that separated the busy world from this wide open, quiet and peaceful world I was now a part of. The wall of trees was kind of hazy from the glow of the sun … I felt far from everyone and really close to God. I just walked and talked with Him. There were a few benches along the way and I thought I should stop to read my Bible. I felt God say that it was okay because His Word was hidden in my heart. And then I was encouraged as the Word in my heart spoke to me:
“We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7) “With God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) “If He is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) “He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20) “He will surround you with favour as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12) “He goes with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) “He knows when I sit down and when I rise up.” (Psalm 139:2) “Even the hairs of your head are numbered.” (Matt 10:30) “He hasn’t given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) “I will strengthen you and help you and hold you up with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) . . .
And on it went. I eventually sat down with the mountains to my back and my face to the sun. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) was the next verse to come, so that’s what I did. It’s the last verse I read when I sat with our old dog Isla shortly before she took her last breath. I thought of Mike and how his death reminded me of hers; so peaceful and they both had the same ‘stare right past you’ look in their eyes.
Heading back I felt refreshed, like my thirst had been quenched and my fear had disappeared. Realistically, when all those boxes of my books show up on the doorstep, a little fear might too. I may not be bullet proof, but God’s with me and He’s got me covered. From head to toe to the depths of my soul, He’s got me covered and right where He wants me. And with Mike’s positive influence, the prayers of family and friends, God’s Word hidden in my heart and His shield around me, there’s really no need to worry.
Enjoying a sunny day with Mike last spring
Here is the link to my book on Amazon http://amzn.to/1FFBkSS
Amazon pre-sales for my book continue to go well. The release date is April 2 and I have a book signing engagement at Save On Food on Lougheed Hwy and 228 St in Maple Ridge on April 4 from 12:00 to 4:00pm ... thanks Shelley at Save On for inviting me!