Lean On Me…God’s Strength is Our Strength

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was the day I always dread…taking down the Christmas decorations…I love them so! Once down everything looks plain and dull in contrast to all the lights that once shone. I am a person who thrives in an environment surrounded in light.

Still…on a bright note I am slowly but surely getting my strength back again. The pain in my left foot is not only tolerable now…but I am having more moments of time when I forget there has been anything wrong with the left foot.

Friday I return for another check-up and I don’t know what or where the appointment will lead…but I know deep inside that I am starting to feel like my old self for the first time in quite awhile…and that is the most important thing!

When we go from feeling strong and ready to take on whatever life brings to feeling weak and powerless against pain and the physical and emotional restrictions of an  illness or accident placed along our path….it can seem overwhelming at times. I sure have felt this way.

And then one night a special inner light was lit by a strange phenomenon that occurred. I will just tell it like it happened.

My home is bi-level. When you enter you walk down stairs to my “happy room” (den/living room.) In order to get back to the bathrooms and bedroom there is one set of steps on the right. If you want to go to the dining room/kitchen there is another set of steps on the left. With both sets of steps…there is a banister on the right to hold onto going up the steps to the bathroom/bedrooms and a banister on the right to go down to the den from the dining room.

Those first few weeks following the Mohs surgery and subsequent challenging procedures that involved getting rid of the deep infection behind my ankle along with/ the addition of a wound vac machine at the Comprehensive Wound Center… all translated into enduring excruciating pain whenever I put any weight on my left foot.

So having the challenge of steps to overcome, whenever I warmed up food in the kitchen, or went to the bathroom or bedroom, these obstacles loomed large in my mind.

To give you an idea of the layout…here are some snapshots so you can better understand the challenges..

I tried eliminating as many trips as possible anywhere outside the den…and one was sleeping on the sofa since it was so close to the recliner…where, those first few weeks, I was spending most of my time. The toughest challenge  was when I would wake up to go use the bathroom in the middle of the night, especially when I had my wound vac machine. I had to hold onto it and then try to half hop, half slide my foot up on the next step while holding onto the right banister for support.

Because I needed a right banister to hold on to while coming down, also…(with the machine attached) I would cut through the kitchen and come down the dining room steps. I knew intuitively this trip was my most challenging mainly because I was usually half asleep and not as alert as during the day.

It must have been about the fourth or fifth week when I got up during the night, went to the bathroom and started back down the steps….it wasn’t until I had settled back down to sleep on the sofa that I sat up suddenly with a jerk.

I was so tired that night I forgot to cut through the kitchen to go down the other steps in order to have the support of the banister on the right while holding my machine with my left hand…yet I remembered feeling support coming down the staircase with my right hand???

But how?  There is no right hand banister on those set of steps…how did I not fall or at least falter? What supported me?

By the next morning I had talked myself out of this memory and thought I must have just dreamed or thought I went down the wrong set of steps. It wasn’t until I came across this scripture recently that I knew the answer to what really happened that night.

The question wasn’t What supported me that night…it was Who?

Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”


If I can learn that lesson this year I will be a happy person.

So until tomorrow (and every day after)

 Phillippians 4:13

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me. “

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

Walsh, Mollie and the children returned from their New Year’s N.C. mountain trip yesterday. John, Mandy, and the children returned from their Disney World trip yesterday. The one big difference….Walsh and Mollie left Sunday to go up to the mountains and had a four-day vacation. John and Mandy left Tuesday, New Year’s Day to go to Florida and returned early yesterday morning…less than a 24 hour vacation…they had planned to return Saturday.

Don’t let these pictures fool you…it was the calm before the storm for the family. The Turners checked in at the Wilderness Hotel….I love that one….I went there with them for Eva Cate’s first Disney experience several years ago…it is fantastic. This time it was still decorated with a huge Christmas tree and gorgeous lights everywhere.

They stopped to watch one of the Disney parades and then rode two rides before…..

Eva Cate said she was too hot and dying of thirst…it was a balmy 82 degrees (but low humidity….perfect day actually) – now as Mandy looked at her Eva Cate was broken out in goose bumps all over her. She had Jake’s “grunge” for lack of a better word and it went down hill fast…a miserable night when no one slept…so they packed up, left Orlando early early morning (4:30) and headed back home.

Very disappointing…with children and viruses…such is life. Though John said he thought they needed to give both children medical check-ups before heading out again…especially taking temperatures…the unpredictability of viruses!

Mollie let me know that they were back from the mountains yesterday and sent photos that made me laugh…looks like they did a lot of hiking and Eloise got her birthday cake….but like the majority of one-year-old birthdays the only one crying is always the one-year-old….though the taste of the cake did stop Eloise in mid-scream…..the cake did console her!

So whether one is going  through good times or bad…life is deliciously ambiguous!  (Gilda Radner)

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Lean On Me…God’s Strength is Our Strength

  1. bcparkison says:

    Oh Becky…my first thought seeing your beautiful living is…it is not handicap accessible. With both of my parents in wheelchairs this is always on my mind. My house isn’t either being 3 ft. off the ground with front and back steps and narrow doors. If push come to shove they will have to go to my sisters.(which will be a good thing for me ) lol We never know what tomorrow holds but life surely can change in a heart beat.
    I know good things are in store tomorrow.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you….praying tomorrow brings more good news too and answers to my question…”What now?” As far as my happy room…if push came to shove I could always switch to the other side ) but it isn’t home…it doesn’t have a fire place or computer room or any commodities I love on my side….that side to me is just an apartment…it is not home. So hoping I have years ahead in my happy place before a decision will have to be made along those lines…just have to trust in God’s timing and hope for the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Your children were all over the place…sorry Eva Cate got sick.


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