Do not be afraid’, said Aragorn… Then Aragorn laid his hands on Merry’s head, and passing his hand gently through the brown curls, he touched the eyelids, and called him by his name. And when the fragrance of athelas stole through the room, like the scent of orchards, and of heather in the sunshine full of bees, suddenly Merry awoke, and he said: ‘I am hungry. What is the time?’
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Thanking God for a delayed school opening this morning. I am not too keen on going back to work. Three days of passing kidney stones left my body very weak for a number of days. It’s been hard and challenging. Something that I did not expect.

It’s a scary thing – acknowledging that I am getting older. There are several decisions I need to make concerning my health. I love anything that has to do with comfort and convenience. Easy and simple, warm and comfy (like french fries and hot chocolate) – that’s the language my flesh prefers. Nothing hard. Nothing challenging.

But I have reached a bend in the road. If I continue traveling the way I have been, it’s a guarantee that I will have many more of these episodes and much more serious issues to deal with. I already have an impending surgery to remove my gallbladder in a couple weeks.

As I ponder Tolkien’s wonderful quote from the chapter called, “The Houses of Healing”, maybe the first step to a life of wellness is to listen to Aragorn’s words.

Do not be afraid.

Those words resonate inside me because I have heard those words many times before.

Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

Maybe the first step to healing is to believe that I am not alone. To believe first that I am loved. Just as Aragorn calls Merry by his name, so too I hear a voice calling mine.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. ~ Isaiah 43:1b

There is a healing process going on here that is deeper than the physical. It needs to start with my heart – the core of my being. It is a step in courage. It is a resolve in my spirit to do what is needed – to go the distance; a movement of my heart to let go of my fear – knowing that the process will, at times, be challenging and uncomfortable. In my heart is a prayer – Dear God please help me. And I know I will stumble many times but I am surrounded by people who will help me get back up on my feet.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
~ Deuteronomy 31:6

I love how the hobbit, Merry awakens to the fragrance of athelas, like the scent of orchards, and of heather in the sunshine full of bees. It makes me think of Springtime and cherry blossoms, of warm breezes blowing through open windows, and a light feeling of happiness in my step. The thought of it fills me with hope.

And gratitude will help me through this.  I am grateful for this time in my life. This is a time of change growth, but shouldn’t that always be the case? To be always striving to be the best version of me I can ever be? Yes. I may be crawling on my hands and knees but I am on my way.

So blueberry smoothie anyone?  Boy, look at the time.

Thank you to everyone for sending me “get well” wishes, positive thoughts, and prayers! Each of your sentiments has brought a smile to my face.

If you would like to share your version of “Thankful Thursday” (photos or text or both) today or in the future, you can link your post to my post on Thursdays in the comments section.