I had to go the VA yesterday to have an MRI to make sure there were no more changes since my stroke. What has happened is that I have had weakness in my left arm and "jumpiness" in my eyes. My neurologist had me do another MRI to make sure there were no other changes, but it is just a reaction in my body to stress and to tiredness since my stroke. My neurologist called me yesterday and told me that there have been no changes in my MRI. Now, that is good, because obviously there are no more changes in my brain. That is also good because it shows definitively that I have nothing impending to worry about, i.e. having another stroke. The bad thing is that the weakness in my left arm, and "jumpiness" in my eyes are permanent. I pray they go away over time, but I cannot count on that. It means that I will have to manage with the weakness for the rest of my life. Whenenver I have a little more stress or a busier schedule, the MRI shows that the weakness is a response to the original stroke, not something else. So, today begins a new chapter in my life...I will now have to adapt and overcome to a new challenge: the challenge of weakness and "jumpiness". Am I up to the task? You betcha! Right now, I consider anything upright a big success, so a little weakness will not stop me!
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,