I sat in the CVS Pharmacy parking lot. Here I was, again. This time I was not picking up a medication for me for but one of my children. My stomach churned. I wanted to be at home, curled up under my electric blanket, safe from heavy cares and concerns. But my child was sick. Not with a cold, or pink eye, or an ear infection, but with a chronic disease. It was no longer in remission but it had reared its ugly head again.
When faced with the disturbing symptoms, I did not fall to my knees in prayer. I watched Netflix. Every time I tried to pray, I was unsuccessful. I could not think about it. Facing reality was too painful. Thinking of the disease wracking my child’s body broke my heart. Over and over and over. Every time I would think about it, I was crushed.
So I watched Netflix. And read romance novels. And went shopping. Because my fantasy world did not hurt as much as reality.
I didn’t know what to expect. I sat in the parking lot, gathering my composure and my nerve, preparing to enter a new environment full of strangers. I was going to a meeting to hear someone share his testimony. I was there for somewhat selfish reasons – I wanted to find out if I could possibly come and speak to the group myself one day. So I took a deep breath, got out of my car, and walked into Celebrate Recovery.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-based 12-step recovery support group. It is a biblical and balanced program that helps people overcome their hurts, hang-ups, and habits. Think Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous, then add Jesus and a variety of struggles in addition to chemical dependency. The program is in almost 30,000 churches worldwide.
“Don’t fall. Please don’t fall” I pleaded with the beautiful china plate as I tried to hang it on the wall. I had recently made it with beautiful, sparkly jewels and I was hanging it on my colorful back porch. The plate hanger was hanging over a nail, but I was trying to “engineer” the two together (with a wire) so the plate wouldn’t fall off the nail and break.
For the past year and a half I have struggled with chronic facial pain. At times it feels like I am “The Man in the Iron Mask” or like I have had multiple facelifts and chemical peels. After multiple MRIs and CAT scans and trips to the neurosurgeon’s office and a lot of money, I still have no answers and no treatment plan. Unless God heals me, I’m stuck with this pain for the rest of my life. I’m 45, so I have a lot of years left to live. And the thought of living the rest of my life with this pain is not a happy thought.
I love good customer service. Recently I was in Costco and I had left some ink cartridges for them to refill. There was a miscommunication, and somehow my four ink cartridges were thrown away. The technician insisted on “making it right.” He sent me to the ink cartridge aisle and instructed me to choose new cartridges to replace the missing ones. This was great customer service.
Imagine a customer service counter in heaven. I’m sure that it is covered in gleaming gold, with nary a fingerprint to be seen on the counter. Behind it stands glowing angels ready to assist customers. And there are a lot of angels so we don’t have to stand in line for long! There is soft praise music playing, candles for a welcoming ambiance, and an essential oil diffuser to perfume the room. This customer service center wants to truly value and serve their customers.
This is a guest post by my dear friend, Elizabeth Mckenzie:
The phone rang. It was a person very dear to me and she was upset, and had been absolutely mortified. As she explained what happened to me I began to sympathize with how she felt. She told me she was on her way home and she stopped by a family member’s house. Before arriving she was unaware that they had a full house with company. And upon entering the the house her family member’s granddaughter said “What are you doing here? I’m tired of seeing you here!” They all laughed as the child proceeded to keep saying “What are you doing here? It’s you again?” None of the adults reprimanded the child but instead laughed and she did it more.
Something happened in my friend as she stood in that room full of people laughing at her. She felt embarrassed and rejected. Feeling hurt, she made her visit short, not because of what the child said but more so of how the adults responded. Not one person welcomed her as they snickered at the child’s rude behavior. In that moment she felt unwanted and rejected.