Here's a Mirror, Church
Let's not despair, but let's not look away
Last night Nate and I realized it’s been a mere four weeks since we got the call from the doctor about his heart issues, unpacked our trailer, packed up our Subaru and drove down to Kansas for my last week of school and graduation. Then, in a harkening back to our twenties, we had the brilliant idea of driving 21 of the 23 hour drive home in one shot, making it back to our little river cottage at 4am.
In our twenties we are not, though, friends, and it took us several days to recover from that. Then, just as we were beginning to feel like the mid-forties humans we are, the tickles in the backs of our throats said slow down, kids, Covid is here to take you down a peg or two. After the fevers subsided and the coughing persisted, in the early hours of Thursday morning, while Nate went downstairs to have a coughing fit, something painful took hold in my side. After vomiting violently for a few hours, I pulled on clothes as the sun rose and we drove to the ER. Appendicitis. Emergency surgery. Complicated by having Covid.
A friend texted me the next afternoon, “Appendicitis? What the hell?”
“When it rains, it pours, I guess,” I replied.
After the surgery I had to do three things before I could go home: eat a meal, walk around, use the bathroom. My third time in the bathroom, I finally looked in the mirror and was horrified at what I saw. No one had told me that my entire face and neck were covered in broken blood vessels. Was it the vomiting? An allergic reaction? The bathroom lighting? I don’t know. But from my forehead to my clavicle bones, I was streaked with angry purple and red dots everywhere. It was horrifying.
Anyway, I’m tired of talking about all of that. What I’d rather talk about is all the “free” time we’ve had to watch TV recently (she says sarcastically because time is the one thing that doesn’t feel free right now). Nate hooked us on the Hillsong documentary on Hulu when he was sick and then I began the new Shiny Happy People documentary that just aired on Amazon. Neither one surprised us, though the second one felt more resonant to my own personal experience. I grew up attending IBLP seminars and was ATI adjacent, was steeped in quiverfull ideology my entire life (I’m one of eight, remember?), spent most of my twenties in a church that endorsed materials and methods by Doug and Nancy Wilson and Michael and Debi Pearl, and it’s been no secret that our last two years have been overshadowed by the coverup of my own brother’s sexual abuse at that same church.