The Split

11. February 2019 Blog Posts 14

My husband hasn’t always been the slim marathon runner he is today.  He was a chunky little guy growing up, Sears Husky jeans with reinforced knees cut down short.  One summer he invested his careful savings in a Styrofoam surfboard at Duckwall’s.  Even though his mother was skeptical about the quality. He held on to it all week, dreams of being pulled behind his dad’s homemade pontoon boat.

 

When the weekend finally came, he was still hanging on.  After waiting hours for his dad to stop the boat long enough for him to jump in, he wedged that Styrofoam board between his chubby legs and leaped boldly into the lake below.  Instead of surfing, though, he found himself submerged.  As he looked up at the surface of the water, he saw two pieces of Styrofoam headed in opposite directions.

 

I can relate to that feeling of seeing my life splitting in two, pre-illness and post-illness.  What I thought would last indefinitely was gone. As the mother of another cardiomyopathy survivor told me, “Everything is different for you now. For the rest of your life everything is a big deal.”

 

For months, I clung to the broken pieces of the Styrofoam life I once knew.

 

We all have something we value that comes apart, that breaks in two and we feel like we are drowning as we watch the pieces of it float away.

 

Reinvention strategist Marshawn Evans Daniels calls such times “split rock moments.”  Rocks split for Moses at Horeb.  Along with the curtain being torn and the earth shaking, rocks also split after Jesus’s death.

 

Such moments are always designed to pry our fingers from the temporary and reveal to us what is eternal. But often that means going from the familiar and expected, to the unknown and unforeseen.  God desires to separate us from our safe to prepare us for His glorious.  Just like the Israelites leaving Egypt and Jesus on His way to Gethsemane.

 

Splitting, breaking away, is freeing, and what God has planned for His people from the beginning. But floating in that broken space is a difficult place to be.

 

There is good news on the other side of the split.

 

Just as for the Israelites following Moses, and for us following Jesus, saving water comes through the divide.  Each time, after the rocks split, water flowed.  Life renewed.

 

Instead of looking at the broken pieces, at the jagged edges, we should focus on what’s coming through from the brokenness.  The rock was not the gift; the saving water was.

 

Grace has come.  And He is writing a new post-split story.

 

From my journal:

Yesterday we were moved to ICU.  A friend stayed with me, so Dell was finally able to go on a run earlier in the day.  Last night he told me what he thought about and prayed about during his run.  He said he cried a lot.  And then he said he did some begging for my life.  But in the end, he said he knew it was going to be ok even if God didn’t answer that prayer.  Well, I wasn’t in the frame of mind to take that very well.  I burst into tears and yelled at him, “What? What does that even mean?  I’m not going to die!  I’m not!  Can you just leave my room right now?”  (I was hooked up to too many machines, or I would have stomped out.)  I was heartbroken.  It felt like my closest comrade was abandoning the platoon.  I fell asleep on a tear-soaked pillow and woke up to a medical team that thinks I might never leave this hospital.

 

My husband may not have learned it that day at the lake, but he started to.  After his surfboard broke, he caught a grateful glimpse of his dad’s hand reaching through the lake surface to pull him into the boat. He started to learn that things break and disappoint us.  He started to learn that we should only count on the Eternal.  Years later as a young adult, my husband lost that pontoon-driving dad of his.  And my husband came out of that split rock moment with a stronger faith.

 

So I wasn’t surprised when my husband called our children from my ICU room the day after that journal entry.  We all talked honestly about the future, about life past the broken pieces. We prayed, and as difficult as it was, we talked about eternity.  I am forever grateful that he helped me survive my split rock moment, too.

 

I often wonder what would have happened to me if my life hadn’t been snapped in two like that Styrofoam surfboard.  If I hadn’t had a “sell by” date stamped on my head.  I may have continued to value the temporary things over those that last forever.

 

I may never have experienced the freedom in brokenness.

 

I may never have appreciated the saving water.

 

Most importantly, I may never have been gifted the opportunity to look up from the broken pieces…to see my Father’s hand rescuing me.

 

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14 thoughts on “The Split”

  • 1
    Dawn on February 12, 2019 Reply

    It’s really hard to understand facing eternity so closely until you’ve been there. I haven’t yet but I look forward to that closeness to God that you display. Thank you and Del for your example of a strong, loving, supporting marriage and family life. It’s a gift to see and a model for many families!
    Love you guys!

    • 2
      Lori Ann Wood on February 12, 2019 Reply

      Dawn, you and your family are so special to us and many, many others. Your faith and everyday life speak hope and peace to me. Thank you for sharing.

  • 3
    Charles (Chuck) Davis on February 12, 2019 Reply

    This is just what I have been feelling for the past year. My life as I knew it was broken. Each day I wonder am I going to get better or is this the beginning of the end. Whatever the future holds I am at peace, I only worry about those left behind. I have a very strong family and a wonderful wife, so I know they will be OK.
    Thank you for being a wonderful inspiration.

    • 4
      Lori Ann Wood on February 12, 2019 Reply

      Chuck, thank you for sharing. It helps so many others who have felt isolated in their thoughts and feelings. You inspire me with your eternal hope and faith in trying circumstances. I know the peace you are feeling. It is a gift.

  • 5
    Donna Wright on February 12, 2019 Reply

    Wow Lori – Another great post!! You have a such a gift for writing!

    • 6
      Lori Ann Wood on February 12, 2019 Reply

      You have a gift of encouragement, Donna. Thank you for reading and following along. Would love to meet you someday!

  • 7
    John on February 12, 2019 Reply

    Lori,
    I must confess I don’t read all of them. But I also confess that every one I do read touches me deeply. Not because of the journey I know you have been through but because of your unique way of seeing the world after the rock split. I pray everyday that I can give up more control and trust in His complete control. I love knowing and working with you and Dell!!!

    • 8
      Lori Ann Wood on February 12, 2019 Reply

      This means so much coming from you, John. You are a faith giant to me. We love working with and learning from you. Thanks for letting us tag along on your adventures to change the world.

  • 9
    Cathy Donaldson on February 12, 2019 Reply

    I look forward to your posts each Tuesday! You are such a wonderful writer. Thank you for sharing your anecdotes and for helping us see that even when life doesn’t go according to our plan, there is still a plan. Your posts are a great encouragement.

    • 10
      Lori Ann Wood on February 12, 2019 Reply

      Cathy, this made my day. Thank you for letting me know that you are following my posts, and mostly for sharing that they are connecting with your life.

  • 11
    Brad Grabs on February 12, 2019 Reply

    I’m so amazed how much this journey has revealed to you, Lori. Thank you for sharing your amazing insights and lessons with the rest of us! My faith has been challenged and has grown as a result of your experiences.

    • 12
      Lori Ann Wood on February 12, 2019 Reply

      Thank you, Brad. I have been extremely blessed through this journey, despite the difficulties. I am so glad my posts are speaking to you.

  • 13
    Martha on February 13, 2019 Reply

    Wow!! Your faith is such an inspiration to me. You are constantly in my prayers and I hope that if I am ever faced with something major I will deal with it with the grace you have. Truly how you deal with your rock split is a wonderful testament to the faith you and Del have and I am so thankful you are part of our lives. Love you so so much and I look forward every week to read your inspiring story. I may not comment each time, because truly sometimes I am in tears after reading your blog. But just know that you are an inspiration to us all.

    • 14
      Lori Ann Wood on February 13, 2019 Reply

      Martha, you have brought tears to my eyes. I certainly don’t have much figured out even now, but I’m praying my story helps even one person. Your constant support keeps me going. Love you!

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