A while ago, I began a journal to record the tender mercies I saw from God each day in my life. I have been very sporadic, but whenever I do it, I am overwhelmed by what He has (& continues to do) for me. Here are some of the more recent “tender mercies”:
-there have been several days where I either needed time alone to process/understand my feelings, or to “catch up”, & one of my helpers was either delayed, or couldn’t come into work. I hate to say her trial is a blessing for me, but I know the Lord has a way of turning lemons into lemonade.
–people saying things that I need to hear precisely when I need I need it
–people doing things at a time that works so they can give me the help I need, exactly when I need it…though sometimes it has presented as a test or trial–& if I “pass,” I receive help emotionally, too…not just physically
–people are constantly being put in my life to help me in more ways than one. Here’s an example:
No cause was found for my stroke, but one theory is that my diet was a factor: pre-stroke, I rarely ate fruit (unless it had nutella), I hated most veggies (except corn), pasta was a staple in my diet (& it was often chicken Alfredo) & I rarely ate greens, so my blood was thick. (I tried eating healthier when I found out I was pregnant w/Zach, but that was a very bad idea to try to change my diet when I was pregnant!) Anyway, I hit my head a few days prior to my stroke, & the theory is that my blood was too thick to get through a skinny nerve I had at the base of my skull.
I was over-joyed (note the sarcasm) to learn post-stroke to be told to eat LOTS of leafy green vegetables. “Just my luck!,” I thought, & for years, I just ate what I wanted. (“I already had a stroke…what could make me worse?”)
But then I gained a lot of weight, & since Mark transferred me, I felt responsible when Mark kept hurting his back. So I replaced my stash of chocolates & Cheetos w/freeze-dried fruit, & gave myself other restrictions…& with some small, though difficult, changes, I lost tons of weight. As a bonus, I learned to like eating healthy, & then I got a new helper, who is the bomb at making healthy food super yummy, which was a tender mercy to be sure!
Over the years, this helper has helped me in countless ways w/physical, emotional, & social ways as well…& she is not the only person who has entered my life, & helped me in multiple ways. Many friends AND family have equally blessed my life!
–sometimes other people in my life will be the answer to a prayer or be given challenges where we can relate & strengthen each other
–daily events that have helped “mold” me so I am better equipped to face current challenges in my life
–During the past year, I have enjoyed being able to bite into whole pieces of fruit. It’s been almost 16 years since I’ve done that, so it is exciting every time I do it! I started w/a pear, & added other fruits: nectarine, plum, peach—even opening an orange & a banana. By October 2019, I bit into a soft apple! I can’t explain the joy that followed!
— The thing I have wanted to gain back the most is my speech. It has been a long journey (which is not over), but my speech has continued to improve — & even more drastically during 2019! Music therapy got me started (around 2006?), & when I began horse therapy (2014), it strengthened my diaphragm, & then music therapy could then focus on all the fine motor work & put the muscles (that I develop in horse therapy) to work so I am able to relearn speech. All my therapists hold conversations with me, which only could strengthen my ability to speak. By September 2019, I felt confident enough to approach someone on my own, & talk to them—something I haven’t done since my stroke, almost 16 years ago! & after almost 16 years of only being able to text & email my husband when he travels, in October 2019, he Facetimed me not once, but THREE times on a trip!