Thursday, May 22, 2008

How am I feeling today? My heart response.

Dear friends,

I am feeling somewhat melancholy today with lots of emotions whirling around inside of me. As I ponder the pile and identify them, they are unwinding into discernable entities. I am learning by processing them.

One I am feeling is contentment. I am making a lot of friends and am plugged in at church and am also connecting in our neighborhood. Although I really struggle to learn names because of the damage chemo did to my memory in ’99, I just keep asking for names until I get them down. People are very understanding. I get phone calls from my new friends and enjoy the networking. I am actually co-hosting a baby shower for a new friend tomorrow night. And after so many brought us meals following my two surgeries in the fall, I have been able to pay it forward and take dinner to a few others. It is so nice to be connected to others here…contentment.

Another feeling stirring is unsettledness. We have been here almost a year and I still have an unorganized basement to deal with. My shoulder injury and surgery prevented my doing much until this spring, but now that I am cleared by my doctor to do whatever I want to without limitations. The sorting and organizing can happen now, and I have to do it myself- that is to say that the things that need organizing are mine and only I would know what I want to do with them. Slowly I am making progress, and Greg has built me shelves to organize my kids’ missions curriculum and supplies. Now it is just taking the time to go down there and get it done.

Inefficient describes how I feel when I need to find something here in town. I know just where to get it in Denver, but I have to learn where to get it here. That just takes time and energy. It is a process. My friend told me that studies show that it takes 2 years to acclimate after a move, even if it is just across town. Learning new grocery stores, and figuring out where to go for the best prices on things takes a lot of energy. Then there are the tasks of finding new doctors, labs, the library (and remembering my password there!), supplies for children’s ministry and … you get the picture. I wish I could just KNOW these things!

Isolated. That one is interesting, isn’t it? I have been trying to nail this one down for a few weeks. This is coming from the holes in my heart that used to be filled with my Denver relationships. I am not there anymore, so those friends have moved on to other relationships. I was part of so many lives for so many years, and now my friends are moving on without me. Their children are graduating from high school or college, or getting married, and I am not there to see it happen. Friends are going through cancer there. My support group, small group, outreach committee and Bible study table friends are still meeting without me, and Colorado family are feeling very far away. There were promises made about staying in touch that haven’t been kept- as much from my side as from theirs. This is bound to happen when you move, but it is a new type of loss for me to process. I am just feeling far away right now. A friend here told me the other day about being in California recently. She told some people there that she is from Washington. All of a sudden it hit me that I am from Washington, too! How did I get here?

Helpless. Jenni and Allison, and Allison’s friend Kim, will be heading to Denver toward the end of this month, and still need a place to stay. The house sitting situation they thought they had set fell through last week, and so far nothing else has fallen into place. A few other options were open a month ago, but they didn’t take them because they thought it was settled. (Jesse says Allison has a car, so they could just live in that!) I just wish I lived there so they could stay with ME! I trust that the Lord will supply a place for them. He knows their need and loves them even more than I do. So my feeling helpless is actually an OK place to be, because God will shine as He takes care of it. In our weakness His power is made perfect. I am entrusting my girls to Him, and that is a safe place for them to be. (If you have any ideas, email or call me at or 509-990-8465. Thanks! They plan to be there June 1st-the end of the first week of August.) We are having a Whitworth student we know from Denver live here with us for 5-6 weeks this summer.- Lindsay Reitsma. We are excited about that!

Feeble. I am feeling so old! I think it is worse when wet weather comes through here- like today. One of my medications to deter cancer growth is called Femara and makes my joints hurt. I am supposed to take it for the rest of my life- all my doctors think so, even the naturopathic ones. I deal with the aches symptomatically. I take medicine for the aches and pains when it gets bad. It usually isn’t terrible, and I can still get around when I want or need to. Femara causes high cholesterol and osteoporosis also, so Greg and I try to walk in the evenings, which my doctors also want me to do. So it is just part of life, and other than needing extra rest and having no desire or ability to push my limits physically, I think I seem pretty normal to those who know me here. If I push myself one day, I have to sleep extra the next day. I also have to get some teeth made to replace the ones that had infections under them. I’m one tooth away from having nowhere to chew! I keep praying that one tooth will stay healthy and strong!

Excited. Last night I taught 22 kids my Olympics lesson at church. We had the “Cockroach Olympics.” (Now there was something that was impossible to find in Spokane- a gross of rubber cockroaches! I really depended on the U.S. Toy store near our home in Denver.) We did some Olympic events with the bugs and then a lesson about the nations being represented in heaven, and how that is similar to the opening and closing ceremonies with the countries walking in behind their flags. The kids really seemed to “get it.” That is one of my very favorite moments in life- to be teaching kids about missions and they understand something that will make a difference for their whole life. They each got to pick a country to represent for the evening and since I did a two week lesson on Uzbekistan, the boy who got the Uzbeks was the envy of all the others. It was so sweet! I let them each take a cockroach home, but assured the parents that they won’t reproduce.

Grateful. I have had 9 years since my cancer first showed up, and I am grateful for every day. I am grateful for my fantastic husband who is an amazing and talented guy. I am grateful for 4 healthy and mission-minded, godly kids who love each other and are coping well with their lives. I am grateful for a lifetime of fantastic friends. I am grateful for a chance to be connected to Partners International and the strategic ministry it has in the 10/40 Window. We have people on the ground in every area of the world where these horrific things are happening, representing Christ and bringing help and good news to the hurting. I am grateful to be part of the Body of Christ and to know brothers and sisters from the other side of the planet. I am grateful for God’s provision for us at every turn. I am grateful for a new community to settle in that has been very welcoming. I am grateful that I have assurance of salvation in Christ and that my time in this world is only a short stop in light of eternity. I could go on and on, but I will stop for now.

Thanks for letting me share the deep places of my heart with you. It helps to put it in writing. God bless you- Nancy Fritz

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