Short Stories

Short Stories Realistic Expectations

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"Short Stories Realistic Expectations"
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Wonder Woman, Meet God of Wonders

Susan didn't wait around for life to happen-she got things done! The COO of a mid-sized company, everything was going her way professionally and personally. While Susan approached an empty nest with some hesitancy, she derived a great sense of pleasure from having raised her children to be independent and self-sufficient. She and her husband had a stable, fifteen-year marriage-the second for both of them. But the highlight of her life was her 20-month-old granddaughter Briana: everything else paled in comparison.

Never the procrastinator, Susan started making plans for next Christmas before the glitter was even off the furniture. She got a head start by starting her shopping no later than March, and she absolutely had to be done before Thanksgiving.
Since her mother went all out with holiday decorating, Susan followed suit no matter how angry her husband got after dragging out storage box after storage box of decorations. Most of her mom's decorations were homemade, and Susan had fond memories of traipsing through the forest to gather pine cones and holly and scout around for a cedar or pine tree suitable for decorating. The tree absolutely had to be selected and agreed upon by every member of the family. When they found just the right tree, everyone knew it.

With an already busy schedule, Susan found herself juggling a few extra balls as the days flew by until Christmas. And this year, she was determined to have the best Christmas of her life. Briana would be just about old enough to enjoy the festivities, and she wanted those first Christmas memories at Grandma's to be Briana's fondest
With the pressure mounting, Susan knew she had to find some shortcuts to give her sufficient time to decorate two trees, festoon the mantle and staircase, and gather the live greenery she always used on her holiday table. No big deal! Susan was the master of getting things done and getting them done quickly. Since she had never enjoyed the malls (who needs the crowds and piped-in Christmas music on Halloween?), she had turned to online shopping the year before. Her online Christmas gifts were greeted with such enthusiasm that she made shopping the net a Christmas tradition. And this year would be no different.

A high-energy multi-tasker, Susan was often called "Wonder Woman" by her co-workers and friends. She required little sleep-three or four hours a night had sustained her for some time. Since she could shop at 3 AM, online shopping was just another way she could do more with the limited time created by her demanding job and hectic schedule. And besides, quicker shopping meant more time to enjoy Christmas through the awestruck eyes of her grandchild.
But a funny thing happened during Susan's quest for the perfect Christmas . . . the woman who had it all together started to fall apart. Instead of rising each day to take on the world, Susan struggled to get out of bed. Her energy waned by the hour, and though she hated to admit it, her 20-minute power naps had now become a necessity.

By mid-year, Susan wondered if she would spend Christmas anywhere other than her bed. Just climbing the stairs was an insurmountable challenge-and Susan didn't have insurmountable challenges! Susan's limbs seemed to be supporting 20-pound weights and her back ached constantly. She felt as though she was trudging through wet sand in lead-laden clothing. Her lack of sleep and constant busyness had shorted a circuit in her I-can-do-it-all life.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 15 years before, the condition hadn't slowed her down one whit! Even her friends and family often forgot she had the disorder that often debilitated others. If she could deliver two children without anesthesia, a little pain and fatigue wasn't going to stop her!

But the fatigue was relentless. Her attempts to convince her doctor that another test would surely reveal the cause of her malaise were met with frustrated acquiescence. "You're too hard on your poor body. You've got to fix this because I've done all I can," her doctor said. "Exercise 20 minutes a day and you'll improve!"
Susan thought, "Who does she think she is telling me that I can't still do it all? And when, and how, am I supposed to exercise?" She called her best friend and counterpart for commiseration: "Don't let that doctor tell you there's nothing wrong! You can beat this!" her friend, Super Woman, assured her.

So, Susan still tried to do it all, convincing herself that an extra power nap would do the trick. But it didn't. Co-workers noticed Susan's slowdown. Her husband picked up the household duties, and she hadn't been in a grocery store or cooked a meal in almost a year. When Susan couldn't drive an hour to her corporate office, she realized her days of doing it all and doing it quickly were over.
"Lord, why are you allowing this to happen now? My life has never been better." Susan prayed for healing and restoration, but the fatigue persisted. Finally, another diagnosis left her reeling: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Was the Lord trying to tell her something that she wasn't hearing-or wiling to hear?

Susan knew the answer, but Satan kept yelling: "Do it all and do it now!" And God continued to prod: "When's the last time you fit me into your life?" God became more persistent (Susan didn't like that about Him) . . . "If you can't sleep, why not talk to me? I'm always open 24/7."

It took a while, but Susan realized she already had the perfect Christmas-extravagant decorations and online gifts couldn't make it any better. Though she struggled with her health, she had a wonderful family, caring friends . . . and her granddaughter! But most importantly, she had eternal salvation through God's gift of His son more than 2,000 years ago. In losing her designation as Wonder Woman, Susan gained the knowledge that she had always had it all!

More about this author: Martha Davis

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