There are times that leave us humbled, quiet, and deeply touched with a kind of knowing that there is just no way we could ever expand wide enough, feel deeply enough, contain fully enough…all the Grace that is us. This is one of those precious times. I offer the following with a prayer that, within its telling, there is something that will touch each of you in a way that will best serve your journey.
As this is the Next Chapter, for those of you who may not know the original story, I tell it in my book, An Ordinary Life Transformed: Lessons for Everyone from the Bhagavad Gita, on pgs. 153-154.
What follows is a simple accounting of what has happened. Once in it, I started recording in my spiritual diary as I sensed I was in a story of Grace unfolding…
On November 21st, half an hour before the start of the Class of 2011 seminary day, I feel a strange sensation. I go to the bathroom and see I am bleeding. Being 5+ years post menopausal, I instinctively know this is not good. After making a quick run to the Mobile Station for emergency protection, I walk back into the Tree of Life and look at my guru Mother Teresa. I remember how she carried on, fully committed to her mission, regardless of what was happening within her. I would do the same – this day and throughout the weeks to follow.
That night when arriving home Mitch, my stepson, had come to visit so I knew it was not the best time to tell Doug. This was fortuitous as I would come to know that, for this journey, it was important I go alone – at least for the time being. That night, as I lay in bed, I rested my hands gently on my belly as I felt the full weight of the morning’s discovery come over me. All I could do was release…release… as every cell in my body surrendered into my soft bed. I knew fully this was not something I was going to figure out. My only prayer was to simply rest in the sweet care of my God – the only place I know is always totally and completely there even as all else feels so challenging and uncertain. I know this sweet womb. I have fallen asleep here before and will likely again. All I ache for in that moment is to rest in the full Love of my God. I am safe here. I am Home here. It is all that matters to me…
The next day I go out for some errands. When I get home, Mitch and Doug tell me there is a message for me on the phone from Dick (the barber). Except to wave through the barbershop window, I have not seen Dick to have a conversation in about a year and a half. (Doug gets his hair cut once a month so we stay connected that way.) He has never called me. In the message, he says he and his wife have just returned from Chimayo and that he has brought me back something. He asks that I stop into the barbershop sometime to pick it up. Then he says, “I love you. God bless you.” Although we are certainly deeply connected, he has never spoken to me like that. I know I have just received a message from God.
It is Thanksgiving week so I know Dick is closed and will not be open until the following Tuesday as he’s always closed on Mondays. I am also given an appointment with my doctor on that same Tuesday. At my doctor’s visit, she tells me that I need to see a gynecologist in Nashua for tests to rule out uterine cancer. After the visit, I go by to see Dick. He’s very busy with lots of folks waiting for haircuts. But, he is clearly glad to see me and hands me a Mother Teresa Rosary with hearts on it he’s brought back from Chimayo. I hug him fiercely as he jokingly tells me to take off. 🙂 But, when he turns his back to me I hear clearly from his subtle body, “Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. We put you in.” (Chimayo is known as a place of great healing as the Mother Mary was spotted there. There are crutches on the walls, notes, etc.) I know, in the same moment, that I am in trouble and, also, that I’m going to be ok. I’ve just received another message. And, of course, Dick would have had no way of knowing – consciously – what was going on with me.
I continue my healing daily practice only now I start holding the Mother Teresa Rosary against my belly for my entire practice. I fall asleep and wake up each night and day chanting with my rosary on my belly. I start play Amazing Grace constantly because I know that some Grace is surely being played out in my life. Every day I feel more and more strong, tender, and joy-filled as layers of new awareness flood my days.
A few days later I have my appointment in Nashua for an ultrasound. I am told by the nurse practitioner that I have a thickening of the uterine wall and a polyp. They don’t appear concerned about the polyp but say I need to return as soon as possible to see Dr. Maynard to have a biopsy taken from the uterine wall. An appointment is made for the next week.
Over the days that follow as I continue on with my healing practice, I begin to know, ever more deeply, what is truly most important to me and a kind of sweet acceptance comes. As a result, I know I am being blessed beyond measure.
When I go for the biopsy, I feel completely at peace. After the nurses prep me, Dr. Maynard comes in looking serious and focused. Then, as she looks more closely at the screen, I see her whole facial expression change. She clearly looks relieved and says, “Ok, this is good. I’m happy and happy for you. When I looked at your ultrasound last week I was concerned and coming in here thought ‘this is not going to be good’. But, now, your uterine wall looks thin and perfectly healthy. We should get the polyp out and we’ll send it for a biopsy but it doesn’t look like anything to be concerned about.”
She then asks if I’d like to have it taken out before or after Christmas. Remembering that Doug is retiring and I’m uncertain as to how our medical insurance will work, I say before. She hesitates saying she’s not sure she can get me in but will try. I’m sent down to the scheduling nurse who says she can’t believe it but has an opening the following Monday morning, December 20th. I’m not surprised as 20 is the most important number in my life.
On the morning of December 20th I have day surgery. On the 22nd I receive a call that all is normal.
While there are so many gifts unfolding on many levels through this journey, what feels most important is to have been so concretely touched, held, guided and supported throughout by my Beloved…the One to Whom I Belong…more real to me than all around me that may appear real. As I expressed in my Thanksgiving service, I am most grateful for the Mystery because only through the Mystery can anything at all really make any sense to me. And, had my outcome been different, I pray I would have had faith that either a purpose would have been shown to me or I would have been asked to trust beyond my understanding…Regardless, I know that when I’m aware of being held, steadfast and steadily by my Beloved, where I am going seems not so important as just the tiniest taste of sweet remembrance…of knowing God is here…God is here…that I am…and we are…most assuredly…already Home.
I wish for each of you the full experience of being held by your Beloved…by whatever name or way you came to know your Beloved…I wish for you the amazing Grace of sweet remembrance…
We are not called to be successful.
We are called to be faithful.