When Vacation Isn’t What You Were Expecting….

We had to learn how to bend, without the world caving in. I had to learn what I got and what I’m not…and who I am.”
– Jason Mraz

I didn’t go on vacation for self-discovery.
I got it, anyway.

This past week, John and I took our first vacation together, and we didn’t go alone. We enjoyed Charleston, SC & the Sunset Beach, NC area with our wonderful friends, Sara and her Business Man.

It was one of the best, and worst, times of my life.

No, the “worst” part doesn’t have anything to do with our company. 😉 If we didn’t absolutely adore them, we would have never vacationed with them – believe me. My husband is rather territorial about his space, not exactly one to invite just anyone to go on vacation with us, especially when that involves 24+ hours total in a car and 2 nights in the same hotel room. If I didn’t love Sara and my State Farm agent (her husband) before (which I did), I certainly love them now. As a couple, they’re our best friends and absolutely a joy to get to know more with each passing year we know them.

The “worst” part has to do with being sick on vacation. I’ve heard that being sick on vacation sucks, but now that I’ve experienced it for myself, I can definitely say…

it’s. the. pits, especially when your next scheduled vacation is years away. Worse yet, I’m still sick and probably will be for a while.  Long story short: my EBV (mono) symptoms decided to come back with a vengeance right before we left after years of laying dormant, showing up around the time I also got a double ear/sinus infection. I spent most of the trip on a lot of highs and lows physically speaking, many that I hid from the group, including my husband. Sure, they knew I had the sinus/ear infection (which now feels like it’s coming back since I finished my antibiotic Saturday), but the EBV symptoms were far worse and unpredictable. The Ambien I had to be on leading up to, and during the entire, trip to go to sleep due to the antibiotic for my acute affection didn’t help my cause fighting the virus plaguing my body.  I feel like I haven’t restfully slept in weeks, probably because I haven’t.  Thankfully, what I’m experiencing is nothing life-threatening, but it certainly is for a short season life-altering and, in the spirit of being candid, not fun – at all.

Now I remember why I had blocked the 2-3 months that I dealt with this before in late ’07-early ’08 out of my mind. I know the symptoms will go away, eventually…hopefully much sooner than when they first arrived. I’ll admit it. I’ve been spoiled. For a transplant patient, I have nothing to complain about; most deal with some health issue 24/7, while I sail through extremely unscathed. Right now, though, when the anger, guilt, sadness and disappointment of what is occurring want to harbor in my soul and fester like an untreated wound, that it easy to forget

Like my physical body right now, my soul is battered and can ultimately only be healed by the Healer, Jesus Christ. Fears I thought I’d given to Him still control me, still are held tightly in my grip.

and it took a vacation I spent sick to realize it. I get it now, Lord.

But I don’t quite yet, because if I did, I wouldn’t have crawled into bed tonight back when I thought sleep was a possibility, snuggled up to my husband and in tears said, “I’m sorry,” petrified of somehow disappointing him, my employer and everyone else right now…but mainly John, the one person in my life I care about pleasing no matter the cost. I would stop being so afraid to be a burden, a fear I’ve always had since childhood and one which has only intensified since marriage; it is one which has been exasperated by others, yes, but still is my fear, my problem. I would stop being afraid of ruining John’s life by just living my own, the good and the bad. I would view my marriage through the lens of partnership and not through the senseless lens of me never being worthy of my husband’s love for me because he married me, “despite” my condition, instead of for the simple fact he loves me. I would not view our union through a mentality that feeds into my fears of never offering enough. I would care more about being still and resting in Him during this time of trial than disappointing my employer. I would allow myself to once again admit when I’m weak, so that He can show Himself strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

Father, please show Yourself strong.

John took me to see my transplant team today in Columbus just to be safe. As I suspected, my lungs sound completely fine and my pulmonary function is stable and high. I am sick, though. I indeed have symptomatic mono for the first time in years, and my sinus/ear infection has returned (more antibiotics and Ambien – sad day). I’m on a mandatory leave of absence from work for a week and am to spend my time resting my tired, infection-ridden body. Please pray for a very speedy recovery and that I am open to hearing His voice during this time of trial. Thank you. 🙂


1 Comment

Filed under grace, Life, Purpose, Sanctification

One response to “When Vacation Isn’t What You Were Expecting….

  1. Oh Amber…sometimes this life is just so hard, even with The Love of GOD surrounding, enfolding. Rock of Ages, cleft for Amber…

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