Before I begin, I want to talk about the utter joy I feel when I watch this man lead thousands of people in worship. People have taken great joy in watching the demise of this man, and understandably so-the arrogance, the Taylor Swift! Whom-in a bizarre turn of events not witnessed since Stanley Kubrick produced and directed the moon landing-is now a part of the Illuminati while Ye has turned to Jesus.
Those jaded will think me naive.
Those enlightened by the Holy Spirit will see what I do, if they listen to their hearts. Which brings me to my next subject.
In loving memory of Barbara Elkins~
A few years ago, I stormed my physician’s office after three months of getting the run around. I was wearing my white, tattered robe and fuzzy bunny slip ons. My hair had been drenched in sweat from fever, and matted to my head. Every inch of my body was in pain, and I meant business.
I’ve done my research, I have Lyme disease. Please give me 30 Doxycycline and a shot of Toradol.
The doctor, aghast-apologized so many times that I had to intervene.
Please, you’re human. It’s okay.
The now hysterical doctor was in tears. Five minutes later it was I who was in tears, as they sent my Lyme riddled body for testing-all I wanted was my bed, but you can’t always get what you want. They sent me for an ultrasound, because my lymph node was the size of a grapefruit. That, in turn, led to a transvaginal biopsy (without the lidocaine ladies-she was a bitch) By the time the tests were completed, my Lyme symptoms had long before vanished.
My sister and I could be physicians without going to med school. We grew up with a very ill mother, and picked up-as if by osmoses-a vast knowledge of anything that has anything to do with the medical field. Our collective hypochondria added to that vocabulary-the worst book ever written? That big, fat medical encyclopedia that explained any and all illnesses. My siblings and I would spend hours upon hours reading the news of our impending demise, running from friend to grocery store cashier for advice on our latest and greatest ailment.
Did you ever swallow in a way that your sphincter muscle twitched and the backfire caused pain in your anus?
Oh, it didn’t matter how mortifying the question, we would not be reassured unless ten to twenty of our nearest and dearest had given us satisfaction. Looking back it isn’t in the least bit humorous, as we wasted the best years of our lives like Woody Allen in Annie Hall. It’s hard to enjoy life when you think people are poisoning your food, or worse, telling you about their recent harrowing brush with death. I mean, how TERRIFYING!!!
All of this preface was necessary, and in the following prose you will understand why.
A few months ago, I found my grade school report cards in my father’s filing cabinet. I opened them with great anticipation, as I assumed I had been a reasonably intelligent child. What I found shook my very foundation:
Michele continues to resist any form of discipline. She struggles with social structures and often retreats from the group.
Michele is having trouble with motor skills a child of her age should have mastered by now. She isn’t able to skip and will not pass unless she can show improvement in this arena.
Michele continues to have difficulty with division. I will send exercises home with her, please follow through and test her skills often. I don’t want to hold her back a year.
One day, my eye caught this video about Asperger’s syndrome. Odd, I thought. My video subscriptions are either music, history or politics. I wasn’t subscribed to this channel. Apparently, God wanted to get my attention. He had it.
On the third visit to my family physician, he tested me. To my utter shock, he confirmed my suspicions. On one of the tests I took, where 34 was the cut off for Asperger’s-I scored a 41. I wasn’t convinced. Why hadn’t someone caught this sooner? I loved my family pediatrician, Dr. Shultheis. He was a capable and compassionate physician. Wouldn’t he have picked up on it?
Here’s the rub: my early years (beginning at age 3) were spent in and out of the hospital. I had Pyelonephritis and required multiple surgery. I spent months at a time trying to recover from the latest surgery, latest dilation. It was painful and I came to the point where every time my mother made lasagna or meatballs? I knew what was coming, another painful hospital stay.
In my early teens I developed anorexia. That required a tremendous amount of money and work on my poor mother’s part. By the time I married my husband at thirty one, my teeth and hair had been ravaged by malnutrition.
My point? There was always something else going on, something that took any thoughts of curing my depression, anxiety and other issues out of our minds.
The need to isolate.
The hours and hours I spent in my bedroom, headphones on, rocking back and forth in my hanging wicker chair.
My trouble with angry outbursts, extreme sensitivity, a shyness that came off as arrogance to everyone around me. My intense desire for routine and structure. My heightened senses: I can smell a dead mouse from a mile away, and I hear things my husband tells me I have no business hearing, as in–
How in the HELL did you hear that?
I attributed it to the Elkins nose, the hearing to a God given gift.
My name is Michele. I have spent my entire journey searching for answers to my need to isolate, my fear of dirt and germs, my utter lack of common sense, and my passion for music. Why couldn’t I manage my temper? Why did I become so enraged? Why did loud noises cause me such anxiety? Why did I lack the common sense, the street smarts others seemed to own?
Why God, was I so incredibly different from everyone I had ever had the pleasure of meeting? And how did I build this incredible wall around my heart after years of rejection and ignorance?
This is my journey, my cross to bear.
My newest friend, a young Mennonite girl named Jolene, is a cashier at our local Good’s. I was drawn to her love and compassion. Last week I burst into tears while buying a can of paint. Her precious heart was evident when she came around to embrace me.
“Would you like to have my youth group sing to you tomorrow?,” her angelic smile lit up her beautiful face.
And so it was, that ten of God’s angels sang The Old Rugged Cross in my tiny living room. The Grinch’s heart let loose a sigh, and thanked the God she worshipped for blessings in disguise.