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Writing in the Sky
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Each season has its own beauty and rewards, but autumn has become my favorite time of the year. Each autumn nature takes a bow before it relinquishes its blazing beauty to winter, and it warms my heart with its radiance and memories. All life and beauty that we know is fleeting, and too often we take much of it for granted. Autumn reminds me to appreciate every day and each loved one. The reason why began on a summer day years ago. I got off work and drove to a hospital for a CAT scan. I had been plagued with increasingly severe headaches, but doctors had been unable to determine the cause. The CAT scan showed that I had a large, abnormal mass in my head. I was twenty-two years old, just out of college, and devastated by the news. Like Belshazzar, I saw the writing on the wall, and my heart sank. The doctor’s words about possible paralysis, radiation, chemotherapy, and survival chances sounded surreal and certain.

I wish I could say that I turned to God, but I had no relationship with Him then. At that time, I wasn’t able to separate my feelings for God from my hurt and anger towards the church. The two things I do remember thinking about before surgery were wanting to tell the people I loved goodbye, and that I wouldn’t see autumn. God was very, very good to me! The surgery went well, and a blood clot the size of a golf ball was removed from my head. The bleed was sealed off and my prognosis was good. I wouldn’t have to do radiation or chemotherapy since the mass was not a tumor. I could go to physical therapy for the paralysis, and take medicine to prevent seizures.

Almost Lose to Appreciate

One day that autumn, my dad carried me to a chair in their yard. The brightness of the sun and the sound of the chattering leaves in the gusty wind were hard to tolerate, but so wonderful to experience. Though my view was limited, I thought it was the most beautiful autumn I had ever seen! Why do we have to almost lose something before we appreciate it?

Now it is twenty-two years later, and I am even more grateful to God for sparing my life. I’m married, have a fantastic son, and a growing relationship with God. The recovery process was a humbling, frustrating, learning experience. I still have frequent headaches, but feel very blessed. Every autumn I pause to see the writing in the bright, blue, promising sky. It reminds me to appreciate and enjoy life, relationships, and the daily gifts from God.

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more" (Psalm 71:14).

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By Donice M. Palmer. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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