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Breakdown in Walmart?

I went shopping this morning at Walmart like I often do on Saturday mornings nice and early (7am is about the only time that I can tolerate that place with a smile).  This morning, I finished in record time and was standing in line to check out.  As I was standing there I could hear this person with crazy, difficult breathing behind me.  I turned to look and it was a gentleman on oxygen and using a roller walker.  The longer I listened, the more my heart ached for him.  Something that I often take for granted, breath, he was greatly struggling to do.  I stood there a bit longer and when it came to my turn, I asked the cashier to allow him to go before me (and then raced around the isle to get back in line before anyone else came up =).

As I stood there watching him put his items on the belt, my heart was deep with emotion.  It is so very hard to watch someone struggle to breath!  I have watched Rachel at times when she has been really sick, and I HATE IT!!  Despite my experience with it, I was shocked at my many biases watching this man.  He looked as though he had a stoma (possibly from smoking), and was very over weight (and getting tons of junk food).  However, it struck me hard, that I had no idea of this man’s life or struggles, just as so many others have NO IDEA of the daily struggles that we face with CF and he needed great kindness and compassion.  So difficult to admit our own faults, and ugliness when it comes to caring for others.

After I prayed over my initial impressions, the compassion poured in.  Standing behind him, I could see him laboring to breath and hear those raspy, airy exhales, and then to see the back pack that provided the life sustaining O2, it broke my heart.  My mind couldn’t help but turn to Rachel.  I pray like crazy that she will not ever be in that position of needing O2 or laboring that hard to breath, but reality is that she definitely could.  As I put my stuff up on the belt, the cashier smiled and said, “That was nice of you.” I instantly broke into tears.  Not the little roll down your cheek kind, but the “I just got hit with a brick of reality” kind.  I went on to tell her that I had a child with a lung disease and I prayed that someone would let her go in line in front of them someday if she needed. Good thing it was early in the morning and there weren’t many others there. =0  Through my tears I told her as a mama, it was for me to watch others struggle for breath, knowing that it may be my sweet girls future someday.  God is good, don’t you know that this woman loved Jesus too.  I LOVE how God works.  She was very gentle and reminded me that God has all things in His hands!   We chit chatted a bit more about life, grace and God’s goodness.   I regained my composure and we had a very nice conversation while she continued to check me out.  I did let her know that this was really, very unlike me.  I really don’t just break down.  I can quote the statistics of CF with the best of them, and can detach my emotions most times.  I also explained that I really do have great hope in the Lord and His great mercies, as well as the hope that He will provide a cure soon for CF, but for some reason this morning…CF caught me off guard!  I can count the times that CF has snuck up on me and struck me like this on less than two hands in the last 7 years.  Today was definitely one of those I was NOT ready for. =(

Sometimes CF has the ability to do that, even when things are seemingly going well, it is still a heavy burden that is with you all the time!  I am so very thankful for God’s great mercies and His protection.  I know it all the time…even at Walmart on an early Saturday morning. =)  The sweet cashier handed me my receipt, gave me a hug and let me know that she would be praying for Rachel.  What a blessing!  God is so good to place His servants EVERYWHERE!  Be thankful for life and breath today.  If you are breathing, THANK THE CREATOR!

**Update*  We are trying to get back into our family running (now that baseball is over).  Tonight Rachel ran an 800 non-stop (and faster than I did to top it off).  She ran over a mile altogether!  Praise the Lord for His care!!  Nothing like running to help clear those lungs and help her breath well. We have an appointment this week, so we will see how her lung function numbers are doing then.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.


8 Responses

  1. I needed that this morning, a reminder to be so grateful. And how often I can stuff the reality of CF in a deep hole and pretend to act strong. If it gets to me, it is usually in this manner, way off guard! Thank you for sharing and making me feel not quite so alone. Prayers your way!

    • Thanks for your reply. Hard to remember what life was before CF. Wouldn’t trade lessons and perspective that we have learned for the world, but so good to know that we are a CF normal. =) Hope you are all doing well!!

  2. Appreciated your wonderful blog, Tiffany. God bless you and your family. Greetings to Paul and each one.

    • Carl,

      So good to hear from you. We think of you so often! Your legacy, life and teaching inspire us. Hope and pray all is well with you. Would love to see you sometimes if you are heading through this way.=) We have 4 kids that would absolutely love to meet the famous “Carl” that we speak of so often.

  3. Thank you for sharing Tiffany! God is usually running themes in my life lately and today’s is how I look, view and judge others. I just have to smile as I come across your post.

    This morning I read in 2 Cor. 5:16. I have read this many times before and love it when the Lord show’s me something “new.”

    “Therefore from now on we recognize NO ONE according to the flesh; (that was the part that stuck out to me with new meaning and goes with what you talk about) even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

    What a great reminder that we need to see people with our heart as a new creation, not as we were. We don’t want anyone to look at us that way.

    Blessings Tiffany,
    Your an inspiration to me!

    Here’s a song for you today!

    • Thank you RJ. I struggled to write that post simply because it is humbling to allow others to see/know my faults and the times that life gets the better of me.

      Think of you often and hope and pray for God’s best in your life.

  4. I have no doubt that God used your “breakdown” to bless many (you, the cashier, the man you let go in front of you, all your blog readers, and more)! I can relate in a small way to how hard it is to watch someone struggle for breath; that was one of the hardest parts of my dad’s time in the hospital before he passed away. And while he was secure in his salvation and not afraid of dying, the struggle for breath was scary for him. So it was hard for those of us who loved him, too. I am thinking of you and Rachel and praying for the Lord’s blessings and healing today. Love to you!

    • Thank you Jennifer. So sweet of you to take the time to write with your kind words. I know that you do have an understanding of watching someone struggle to breath. =( Sorry, but appreciate your encouragement! Hope all is well with your family.

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