The past 6 days have been surreal! I have really battled to come to terms with the cold, lifeless mask which constitutes the left hand side of my face. I've had difficulty eating, drinking, speaking and sleeping (with an eye that refuses to shut on its own, and dries out at the most inconvenient of times). Literally - nothing moves on that side of my face! While the right side of my face struggles to retain its known expressions (and make up for its unwilling partner), the result is a distortion that can be frightening to people who see me. It can be funny too, but that's another story.
This is my new normal.
The easiest way to cope with the disability that comes with an attack of Bell's palsy, in my opinion, is to take stock of one's reality. It's time to accept a 'New Normal'. In a flash, everything changes. Now comes the hard work of adapting to life around it..
No longer does my face reflect the kaleidoscope of emotions that I feel. Behind its steely facade hides the compassion, love, encouragement, peace and joy of my Lord which I seek to convey to people that cross my path. My desire is always to be a light (admittedly a little one) for the good news which is Jesus Christ. But my face no longer reflects my contagious smile, my knowing glances, my surprised moments. Joy, fear, love, hope, peace, fear are all wrapped up in my face's icy clutches - locked away, gathering dust.
Despite the imprisonment of my own smile, my domestic worker smiled and said to me today,
"You look happier. You must be feeling better."
It got me thinking. What has changed for her to see that in my face? What does she see?
Well, its simple - my heart is happier! I'm more at peace with what has happened - more in control, more focused on the fact that this is all part of God's plan for my life. We know that 'all things work for the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Solomon's proverb has also held true over all this time:
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful...."
I think it's time for us all to take stock of our hearts, don't you?
Sending lots of love to you, my special cyber-friends.
I would like to convey my sincere thanks to all my friends for your wonderful messages of love and support over the past few days. Your kindness - reflected in so many ways - assures me that God's family is alive and well. God bless you all!