Monthly Archives: January 2010

In My Own Words…

Dear Family, Friends and Prayer warriors,

I hope you and your family are filled with hope and grace from this Christmas season and new year! Thank you a million times for your prayers! I know without a doubt they are the reason I am alive and my recovery has been going faster than the doctors predicted. I am also grateful for all of the support, whether it was financial, flowers, cards and messages. They have all been encouraging and have brought hope and joy… thank you!

These days I’m getting stronger and more independent. I still experience pain from my incision where they cut through the muscle and from a loose rib where they inserted a tube in my left lung. I also experience a slight pain in my lungs when I cough, sneeze or take a deep breath in. I still tend to tire quickly, especially now that it is bitter and cold. I am not as active now because of the cold weather, and since I’m not in physical therapy, I do have concern that my muscle will atrophy.  Other than that I’m doing amazingly well! Recovery is just taking a bit longer then I thought!

What a journey this experience has been! It’s been one of disappointment yet hope, sadness yet joy. It’s been filled with loneliness yet great love! I’ve tried to hold on to dreams but, by grace, have been able to let go. I’ve cried and laughed more than ever these past months. I’ve learned more during this time than I ever have in the past 30 some years of my life combined.

For the past couple of years, I have meditated on a talk given by Fr. Henri Nouwen, called ‘The Spirituality of Waiting’, and his words on this subject have had greater impact on me during this time of my life.  It’s easy to wish the moments away when I find I have loads of time on my hands and have nothing to keep me busy.  I am often anxiously awaiting a busier life that lays ahead of me, but Fr. Henri says “Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.  A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this is the moment.”  My counselor, Sr. Colleen Ann, encourages this and constantly reminds me to “Embrace the place that God has called you to be.” In the moments when I actually follow their advice, I find that having an empty schedule and turning off the noise allows me to hear God. I have been able to learn so much about Him and the life He is calling me to in these moments.

Now that I’m physically and emotionally stronger, I’m able to read and listen to talks.  A common concept I continue to read and hear is that when you don’t have or take the time your relationship with God and others suffer. As someone who loves to be busy, it took a forced sabbatical on the couch to realize how true this is. Even though it can be hard watching everyone around me living their busy lives (via facebook, twitter, phone calls and visits) from my spot on the couch, I realize how much my relationships are growing of the vast amounts of time I have to invest in them.

Along these same lines, perhaps the greatest and most difficult lesson I’ve learned is recognizing my worth as a Daughter of God and not in my productivity.  Since I cannot work and do a whole lot, it’s easy to feel as though I have nothing to contribute to the world but I have realized that it’s not about doing anything – it’s about being – and that in itself is enough! I have realized through this experience how loved and cherished I am simply for being the child that God created me because even in my most pain-filled, gross and weakest moments my family and friends never left my bedside. This revelation has and will continue to resonate deep in my heart.

Slowing down has been a great blessing!  It has taught me to embrace and to live in the moment … to surrender my dreams and plans to God and His Will. I have experienced joy even in the midst of loss and heartache.

A good friend of mine, who is a Catholic music artist, wrote a song called Embrace, that not only speaks of how I feel but also ministers to me.  The lyrics are below, but I encourage you to listen to it!  The song can be found on iTunes(search for Amanda Vernon).

Thank you again and many blessings to you and your family!
God is Sovereign!
~Rosario Rodriguez

Check these websites for more information on my recovery:

©Amanda Vernon, 2007

The plan that I was clinging to
Has slipped out of my fingers
Crashing as it hit the ground
The fragments now lay shattered
As my pride is torn and hurt
In this promise I take comfort:

If I lay my broken heart
Down upon the cross,
If I taste the tears that fall,
And accept the loss,
If my dreams are crucified,
They will rise up to new life.
Death won’t have the final say,
So I’ll embrace the pain.

If I tried to fit the jagged
Pieces back together,
I could never reconstruct
The image I had pictured.
I raise my hands to let them stay.
Deep in silence I remain.

Tell me,
If I lay my broken heart
Down upon the cross,
If I taste the tears that fall,
And accept the loss,
If my dreams are crucified,
Will they rise up to new life?
Or will death have the final say
When I embrace the pain?

From the silence Someone takes
The pieces one by one,
Gently sets them side by side,
Like I could not have done.
Dreams I thought had died
Take on new shape before my eyes,
Beautifully so much more
Than I could ever hope for.

When I laid my broken heart
Down upon the cross,
When I tasted tears that fell
As I felt the loss,
Though my dreams were crucified,
They have risen to new life.
Death won’t have the final say,
For I embraced the pain,
And I will praise His name.

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