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Every now and again I manage to delude myself into thinking that I’m in control of my own life, and I’m doing a pretty fine job. Sometimes this feeling lasts for days. Sometimes it lasts for months. Eventually something happens that makes me see just how delusional that line of thinking really is.

I entered summer on a high. I’d written five books in 15 months. The first was already out, the fourth already getting good reviews based on the galleys, and I had the summer ahead of me to take some time off.

It was still June when I started having troubles walking and sitting. Then in hurt when I stood and when I spent time in bed.

Fortunately, it was a pretty easy diagnosis. I have sciatica and, as sciatica goes, I had a pretty mild case. But the funny thing about a mild illness is that, even if it is only mildly painful but keeps you from sleeping or being active, it isn’t long before you’re in the dumps.

It is amazing how willing I am at times like that to declare that I am not self-made. Yeah, I see the irony. Sitting at a desk, bad posture and not paying attention to the ergonomics of my work space. There was a lot I could have done to reduce even this mild sciatica, yet now I was willing to acknowledge God as my creator.

But God wasn’t done with me yet. What can I say? I can be a little slow to catch on.

Even as I got better, the depression got worse. But that’s when another irony hit me. I was now willing to admit that I’m not self-made and I am part of His creation. That means that I am part of the family of believers. I didn’t have to go through this alone, but that’s what I’d been doing. I hadn’t asked even my closest friends for prayer. In fact, I’d mentioned it to almost no one but that needed to change. A few people here and a few people there, I let my sisters and brothers in Christ know what was going on.

Honestly, for an introvert like me, the response was a tad overwhelming. Lori and Ruth have, not surprisingly, numbered among my prayer champions. Their encouraging e-mails have lifted me up.

Then there are the people from my church. One woman broke her hip this spring. She’s still using a cane but she managed to catch me in the hall. How am I doing and do I need the name of a good doctor? Then there’s the friend whose father-in-law just died. I almost ended up in tears when he stopped me at the wake to ask how I was doing.

Prayer after prayer, things are looking up. I wouldn’t say that I’m at 100% and ready to go it alone, but isn’t that the point? Going it alone isn’t something I need to do because I am His and we are many.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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