• Laura Alvarado-Newson

Uprooted by "EL NINO"

It's been 5 days since my husband was hospitalized. The doctors confirmed my suspicions, multiple mini strokes. If there was ever a time I wanted to be wrong, it was that day he finally had a head scan. It all makes sense, the memory loss, the palsy in right hand, the speech problems and depression. I have been racing back and forth, making sure my children are with someone trustworthy, fed and have clean clothes, while sitting at my husband"s bedside, welcoming guests, and trying to make sense of the doctor's confusing explanations. As the doctors test, examen, conference and discuss why such a young man is having strokes, I am having my own conference with God.

"Ok God, what are you doing? Yes, Lord, I trust you! But isn't our challenge with cerebral palsy enough? Yes, God, You know more than I do, I trust you! Are you mad at us? Of course not, You are a loving God, right? What lesson are we to learn this time and do we have the strength and courage to learn it?" You will give us the strength!" This all goes on internally while I cry, usually during my drives back and forth to hospital. I know what I know, but I also know what I feel and my feelings are so all over the place, I find myself chasing them just to get them in tune with what I know, and that is God is a good God.


Today there was a gap in between picking up my daughter and going back to hospital. This was a treat, hmmmm what to do. I could finish the laundry I started 3 days ago, I could take a much needed nap, I could relax and watch TV. I started by taking out the trash, it had been raining intensely on and off all day. We are in the "El Nino" season which means a whole lot of rain in a short period of time. This is not very common in California. One thing that has been a bother to me for awhile every time I step outside is the eye sore of my failed garden. A garden I intended on investing in, learning how to care for, and in the end, feed my family from this garden. We enjoyed a few vegetables from the garden, the serrano chiles being the champs, having survived drought, bug invasions and weeds. Now this garden is overwhelmed with very tall weeds. I have been looking at this eyesore for months and the weeds just get taller and taller and harder and harder to pull out. It is impossible to pull them out when ground is completely dry. About 2 months ago, it rained, not alot, but it did rain leaving the dirt nice and soft. I had some free time and I thought "yes, perfect time to pull weeds and get this place back into shape". I think I was able to pull maybe 1/16th of what was there. The tall grass has some deep strong roots and it seems to intertwine with other weeds making it impossible to pull out. After numerous attempts I gave up. I will have to conquer these with the shovel and I didn't have time for a shovel. The weeks went by and the little bit of weeds I did manage to pull out were back along with a lot of that long grass and bigger weeds, weeds have taken over. So today, as I looked at the mess growing in front of my house which at this point was covered in at least 3 inches of rain water; I thought, maybe I can pull a little more out since ground was drenched. Aside from needing to clean this mess up, pulling weeds has always been such a therapeutic activity for me. The energy it takes to bend down and pull repetitively helps release alot of tension and stress I carry around. As I began to pull, first the smaller ones, which just slid right out of the ground, I began to work on the big monster weeds, that conquered me the last time. To my surprise, when I put my hand right at the bottem end of plant the roots came right up; of course my hands are freezing because they are 3 inches under freezing rainwater that had settled and not yet been absorbed by soil. I was on a roll, one weed after another, sliding right out of soil, root attached. As I was pulling, I was thinking how I needed to stop so I could get back to hospital, another thought pops into my head.

If it had not rained so much and so hard, I would not have been able to pull out those big deep weeds with their massive strong intertwining roots.

Than my mind moves instantly to when the disciples are in the boat and a storm is beating against them so hard they thought they were going to die, than Jesus appears walking on water challenging Peter to keep his eyes on Him and walk on water. Also another occasion where Jesus was in the boat with the disciples, sleeping, the storm hit, the disciples thought they were going to die. Jesus wakes up, calms the storm. I have to admit, it does seem like Jesus is sleeping during this trial.

So my thoughts are as follow:

  • Maybe I have roots in my life that are harming me in some way and these roots are so deep and strong that only an "El Nino" can bring them up and out of my heart.

  • I have to remember that during the storm, Jesus is always near by even if I can't see, feel or hear Him.

  • If I keep my eyes on Jesus, I can walk on water during the storm.

  • If I sink, Jesus will be there to pull me out.

So do I have it all figured out? No. Does this take the sting away from what is going on? Absolutely not. But this does give me something to meditate on as I go through this storm, "Lord, show me the roots that need to be pulled out!"

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