Dealing with crisis A few weeks ago, our priest stopped by the hospital to make a pastoral call on my Aunt Jean. When we talked about all of the things that were happening in my family, she said, “Life sometimes happens all at once.”

I think that’s true. We don’t get to choose when our challenges arrive. The good news is that we don’t have to negotiate great difficulties alone. Family, friends, and sometimes total strangers show up to provide comfort, compassion, and support.

I’m going to be posting a series of blogs about my recent experiences in hopes of encouraging others who might be struggling with “life happening all at once.”

At the beginning of September, I thought my biggest challenge was going to be getting rid of a cranky herniated disc and some nasty bone spurs in my spine. I had been getting regular steroid injections for a year-and-a-half. The good news is that steroid shots work great to manage pain. The bad news is that eventually, they stop working.

My last shot on September 6th, didn’t help at all, and as I worked my way through the system of getting an MRI, a referral to the back surgeon, and the approval from our insurance company, my pain increased on a daily basis.

I had two big events coming up, and I kept telling myself, “I just have to focus on celebrating Aunt Jean’s ninetieth birthday and getting through an all-day speaking engagement in Wisconsin at the end of the month.” I figured once I did that, I could just go flat on the couch and wait until I checked into the hospital. It didn’t quite work out the way I had planned.

If you are in the midst of a crisis, I hope you can trust that you will find the physical and emotional strength you need to meet each new challenge and that eventually, you will come through the storm.