I don't know what to write this morning. In truth, my situation has changed, and because of that everything has to change. But, at the same time, I HATE being treated like I am a stroke survivor. By this, I mean that every time I have borderline blood pressure, every time I have shortness of breath, every time I have some sort of pain, and every time I don't feel "right" people think I might be having another stroke, or worse. Nevermind that the stroke specialist has already told me that this will probably "never happen again". Never mind the fact that I can do other things generally well. It seems as though everything is being filtered by that one event. Now, I can deal with it. I am not going into a depression, I am not feeling worthless, it just annoys me. Maybe it shouldn't. Maybe I should just be grateful that people really care about me. OK, I do and I am. But it still annoys me. What I wonder is this: do people not trust me? I feel like EVERY situation MUST be worse than I think, EVERY situation MUST be something more than I am making it. No matter what I am experiencing, it is not a"normal" experience. Interesting, if I had a cold on December 8th, no one would think anything of a little coughing or a slight raise in blood pressure. BUT now my blood pressure has to STAY between 120 and 139 over 70 and 89. Regardless of whether I have a cold or not; regardless of if I feel bad or not. It is a little frustrating. I know, I know...it is only because people don't want a repeat of what happened. Granted. But, what happened to me is, by every Dr. estimate, a fluke. It was not caused by anything I did or did not do. It was caused by a collapsed artery in my chest, a tear, and a clot that went to my brain. My BP had NOTHING to do with my first stroke...Sorry, I just had to vent a little frustation.
A few years ago I was presented with the opportunity to come back to Stratford, Iowa, to First Baptist church, as their pastor; for those of you who have followed this blog for some time, FBC in Stratford was my first pastorate. Let's just say I prayed about it as I was jumping at the opportunity. The church has a parsonage, so I could live there and not have to worry about a houe payment; and I needed to slow down, and this was a part time position (which, as a side note, allowed for me to get a greater disability from the VA than when I was working full time with St. Croix Hospice...) We love Stratford, and absolutely love the church; the people are wonderful and accepted us, again, with open arms. This was, for me, the perfect position: I get to pastor a church I LOVE, I get to do life with people I LOVE, and I have already had the opportunity to do weddings and baptism services for kids (adults now) that I have known their entire lives. IT IS GREAT. The longer I have been here,