What I Learned from a Tiny Little Band-Aid

I’ve hesitated writing about this and posting it because so many of you are dealing with much bigger things and you are so, SO very brave. I write not to draw attention to myself and my circumstances, but to point to God, how I’ve seen Him work and what He’s been teaching me.

I want to tell you about a few lessons I’ve learned from wearing a band-aid on my head. I know it sounds weird, but you should try it sometime. Seriously.

You see, I’m an introvert at heart (with some extrovert qualities here and there) and “The Sweet Life” (aka: Type I Diabetes) has been a pretty good disease for me. It has been a fairly hidden disease, especially since I wear an insulin pump. Sure, I get strange questions when I wear the pump in a visible spot, but for the most part, lots of people are surprised when they finally learn I have diabetes and, in a strange way, that is a blessing.

So for introverts like me who are used to a hidden disease, when your dermatologist does a biopsy on a weird spot onTeddy Bear Bandaid your forehead, it’s a little overwhelming to walk out of the office with a band-aid on your face for everyone to see. It was a tiny band-aid, but still. It drew attention. People stared. And it started perhaps one of the most interesting learning experiences of my life.

The way people reacted to a band-aid on my head was absolutely fascinating to me. I lived my life normally…I kept going to work, went out to eat several times, to church, and to a basketball game, so I encountered lots of people of all ages and their reactions were extremely (and surprisingly) varied.

  • Some people didn’t say anything at all.
  • Most people would look at the spot once and then try to talk to me like they hadn’t seen it.
  • I was especially impressed with and touched by one high school student I had one-on-one that weekend who just glanced at it at the beginning of our time together and made the most connected eye-contact with me the rest of the hour.
  • The first person who actually asked me what was wrong with my head was a five-year old a-dor-ab-le little girl who wouldn’t accept my answer of “I decided to put a polka-dot on my head”. She was legitimately concerned about why it was there.
  • Another little girl just stared at the band-aid the whole entire time she was talking to me.
  • Only about three adults flat-out asked me what happened to my head.
  • One lady didn’t ask me anything about why it was there, but did try to adjust my bandage.
  • Some people said really awkward things. (ie: “There’s a spot on your head.”)
  • Perhaps my favorite?
    Shortly after the doctor called with my biopsy results (it was basal cell carcinoma, aka: the most common type of skin cancer), I ran by Starbucks. The barista was especially inquisitive about my band-aid, but there were only so many questions he could ask before I could no longer hide that it was skin cancer. *cue the awkward* He did end our conversation by letting me know I was rocking my band-aid. 😀 Bless his heart. (And then this song played on the radio on my way home…I was basically a puddle.)

Every one of those experiences taught me so much about how I want to relate and react to others and reminded me where my worth is found. I learned a lot through that tiny little band-aid and now I get to learn even more.

I had MOHS surgery this past Wednesday to remove the cancerous spot (I’ll just go ahead and give you a link to the Google for that because if you’re anything like me, that’s what you’re going to do next. You’re welcome.) God is so gracious and kind. I had prayed it would be contained and not too deep and He answered that prayer beautifully. They got it all the first time. Now I get to learn even more lessons with a bigger bandage and stitches that I’m quite certain make me look like Sally Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Those are to be revealed tomorrow, so we shall see.) 

Through it all, God has drawn me closer to Himself, He has still proven to be faithful, and He has shown me more of His unwavering character. 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
{2 Corinthians 4:16-18}

I have no idea how people who do not have Christ in their life deal with anything. If I didn’t know my worth in Christ, I would undoubtedly be a miserable sad-sack. My confidence must be found in Him. If only more people looked at others like God looks at us. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” {1 Samuel 16:7}

So I just have to ask. What does the Lord see when He looks at you? Does He see your sinful, rotten, dirty, rebellious heart? That’s a sad state to be in. My heart was that way, but He changed it! My life is hidden in Christ now.

Is your heart hidden in ChristIf it is, God sees Christ’s perfect, spotless righteousness when He looks at you. And isn’t that a beautiful thought?!

———
P.S.–To all of you who have prayed, called, texted, hugged, or even not known what to say…thank you. You sure know how to make a girl feel loved. 

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Lessons from the Wizard of Oz Pit

This past week I had the privilege of playing in the pit for my high school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. The only other time I’ve ever played for a musical was when I was a sophomore in high school and guess what the musical was…yep. The Wizard of Oz. It was incredibly fun to relive such an enjoyable experience. I have very fond memories from the first production, which at the time I thought was so over-the-top, but my-oh-my, LCA has come such a long way in the past 9 years.

The first time around, we had a fabulous cast, but from what I can observe from the yearbook, Toto was a…poodle?!

wooOld

This time, we had a flying Glinda and two professional dogs straight from Broadway or somewhere famous…unbelievable!

So, without further adieu–lessons I learned from the pit of the Wizard of Oz:

  • Always, always, always beware of flying apples.
  • You can’t always just click your ruby red slippers to go home.
  • Being Glinda the Good Witch’s theme can be a little annoying when she gets stuck in mid-air. (Ab-Eb-F-D-G-Db)

Glinda the Good Witch
[Full Disclosure: This pic is not mine. I stole it from FB–one of my friends was tagged.]

  • The saying that the piano is a crutch? Totally true; however, in this case, it was so much more than a crutch–it was my wheelchair.
  • When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Sometimes Lion can’t get his belly zipped–and it’s hilarious.
  • A dog on the stage always steals the show.
  • If you really want to live on the edge, eat bacon right before a performance where the dog is staged right next to you. My hands wreaked of the best bacon in the world (from Saul Good) even though I had washed them. Considering I was starting to drool a little myself, I was really concerned that Toto might get a whiff and dive on top of me like that dog in the Beggin’ Strips commercial.
  • Timpani make the coolest scary sounds! (Well, next to a bow on a cymbal.)
  • “Who else would wear ruby slippers with those socks?” Who knew the Wicked Witch was so aware of fashion?!
  • I still hate fire in any shape, form, or fashion. Pyrotechnophobia came into play even in a school musical. Thank you, Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Light is good–especially when it gets dark, but take heed lest your light blinds someone in the audience.
  • Stand lamps make exceptionally wonderful hand warmers for those with the circulation of a 94 year-old lady such as myself.
  • Playing recorder during the Scarecrow solo never gets old.
  • The yellow brick road is more like a road block to some.
  • Sometimes it’s necessary to practice fingerings for “The Cyclone” on a pencil in the doctor’s office waiting room. Other times, it’s more appropriate to practice a piccolo part on your lunch break in your car in the Pizza Plaza parking lot. (Because why would I risk damaging everyone else’s ears with high pitches when I could risk damaging my windshield?)
    Piccolo Wizard of Oz Car Cyclone
  • The Scarecrow may not have a brain, but he has some awfully wise words. Case-in-point…
    Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?”
    Scarecrow: “I don’t know, but some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?” 
  • 3 hours a day for a week is an awfully long time to hold a flute/piccolo/recorder and be intensely mentally engaged–especially when you haven’t played in a real ensemble in well over 3 years and have had a record busy week at your full-time job. BUT OH SO WORTH IT!
  • I think I should’ve been born in 1939 considering how much I love the Jitterbug.
  • P.S.–I love real jitterbugs, too. And crows. (Even though in real life, I hate birds.)
    Jitterbug Crow
  • “Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.” So true, Mr. Wizard.
  • The more I’m around dramatic people, the more dramatic I become. You should’ve heard my normal conversations by the end of the week. Oh my. Every time I opened my mouth, I would think, “Who iiiiis this girl talking?”
  • Thank God for alternate fingerings.
  • I can’t look at Mrs. B. Ever. Her faces are far too hilarious and draw tears every time I look up–especially during the 29th repeat of “Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead!” when she has thrown her head back in misery and is still conducting!
  • The little boy in the front row the second night was a smart one–he plugged his ears every time I had to hit that High Ab on piccolo in the Stars & Stripes Balloon Ascension quote. Good call, my friend. Good call.
  • “I already played this once. Can I go home now?” (Jenny references a Friends episode on our third round of the show). I don’t think this is technically a lesson, but it was really funny and I didn’t want to forget it. 
  • Life would be a whole lot more convenient if I could eat a sandwich during rehearsal. Unfortunately, I don’t just play one-handed boom-chicks during vamps.
  • There are some experiences you just don’t want to end and when they do, you feel like Dorothy as she sits and watches the yellow brick road being ripped up after the show.
    Dorothy Yellow Brick Road rip

Oh you sweet Ozian orchestra, you were delightful to play with. Thank you for putting up with my out-of-shapeness. And to the cast–extraordinary job. What a joy it was to see you use your talents to make much of the One who gave them to you.

Wizard of Oz Cast[This one isn’t mine either. Another from FB where a friend was tagged.]