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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Like Living in a Goldfish Bowl (11/07/13)

TITLE: There But For The Grace of God .. .
By Judith Gayle Smith


I am exhausted. Totalled out. What doesn't hurt does not exist. My physical and emotional states display that I am flying upside down. And, just think - it is not all about me.

So glad I'm a preacher's wife and not a pastor's wife. Preachers holler. Pastors hug. Right now I don't mind having people semi-avoid us. I am in a poor state of stunned stupor.

I am being stupidly selfish. I tell myself that if I was a nurse during the Civil War nothing would faze me, whether pooling blood or oozing excretement. I would slap on my snappy cap, paste a genuine loving smile over my distraught distended nostrils, and have a bit of a go with the cleanup.

The preacher has fallen off the commode - while making a deposit, a very large continuing deposit (warning: for sensitive souls, this continuing lament may prove odiferous, whiney, self-centered).

If we had children, perhaps the diapering stage would have strengthened me for the knockout punch landed in my gut this afternoon. Adults, so much bigger, do so much more.

My shaky arms refused to function but had enough oomph to call 911. I could not hope to lift my sweetie from the convoluted position he collapsed upon himself. He was in the utmost discomfort and the foulest of tempers, understandably.

When the firemen finally arrived and extricated my suffering husband from his most uncomfortable untanglement, managing to lift him from the floor to his motorized chair (praise God), I was so relieved that I didn't pay close attention to their raised eyebrows questioning whether or not we would be okay after they left. Brain dead. Clean up? Shower? Of course we reassured them that all would be well.

Except my love had lost all zip - his arms would not cooperate. I wept quietly in my wheelchair behind his and prayed for strength I wasn't really convinced I wanted. After about an hour, we both had enough power (thank God) to complete his undressing and settle him in the shower.

I needed to apply myself to cleaning Mike's uniquely smeared chair - I will never again look at chocolate pudding the same. (Ouch. That grossed even me).

You may note that there are several thank You offerings to our Creator - beginning with firemen, continuing with soap and water, and into a warm soft jogging suit. His faithful power chair escorted him to a comfortable snuggle in our freshly made bed.

Life has its awkward moments. This is a grossly unpleasant subject I never imagined writing about. After all, I am a preacher's wife. I counsel folks, for Heaven's sake (literally). I am the cool head, the steady gaze, the clasping hand, the always available shoulder. How to tell myself I needed all those things for myself?

Praying for others is what we do. Being instant in prayer. We do not pray enough for our own desperate situations until we are thoroughly muddied in them. We do have a wondrous Father who hears and answers our littlest seemingly insignificant prayers. He keenly knows we realize this - He wants us to accept our helplessness and need for Him.

Thank you Father - for cleaning up our messes. For empowering us when we have been totally zapped. Because of You we survived this one day. We will remember Your help, knowing that there will be other days, but that You are always ready to strengthen our weakening hearts and limbs.

All glory belongs to You Father, for Jesus - our Heartbeat and for being the Power that electrifies and motivates our beingness.

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This article has been read 540 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 11/14/13
Loved this story and the intensely powerful message.

Excellent job.

God bless~
Danielle King 11/16/13
I know I've said this before, but you do have a way with words! The way you arranged them here had me creased with laughter. You managed to make a somewhat whiffy and hazardous situation sound hilarious. I could picture the scene in every chocolate pudding detail. If this is a true account, please know I'm not trying to make light of your circumstances, but the fact that you're so open about your lives suggests that you've got a great sense of humour. Keep 'em coming.
Liana Wendy Howarth11/16/13
Thank you for this very deep message ... no mess is too great for God ... He makes all things new ... nothing should keep us from lifting all to Jesus ... from miry clay we came.
lynn gipson 11/16/13
Thank you so much for this fine story. You do have a way with words and this conveys a simple yet strong message. God always provides a way for those who live by His will.

Very well written with just a touch of humor. Blessings, Lynn
LaVonne Wood 11/17/13
No matter how much we minister to others, there will always come a time when we need to rely on someone else in our time of need. I think the Lord wants us to grow together and depend on each other.

Well written story taking us one step at a time though your ordeal. Blessings!
Pamela Reed 11/17/13
Real life. That is what you wrote about - real life. No matter how much we minister to others, how we may have the perfect words; we still live our own personal life with problems of our own. Thank God that He sends special people to help special people. Well written and well done.
Colin Swann11/18/13
A really well written story about life in the raw. Very interesting again. Haven't we all had messes cleaned up by God?
Jules St. Jermaine 11/20/13
I loved your heartfelt story of pain and gratitude. Life can be so hard at times, but when we look, we can always find God's good in difficult situations. God Bless!
Catrina Bradley 11/23/13
Maybe the subject matter was a little "much" for the judges, but this reader loved the transparency of your well-written story. When our most private messes are made public, what else can we do except cry or laugh? And in either case, lean on God. Great job with the topic.