We are 20 days into December and it has looked like
- a week of manically trying to tie up all the loose ends of my job, followed by,
- five days of teaching a small group of students I had never met before how to write and deliver a bible talk in a noisy aircraft hanger filled with 500 other people, followed by,
- five days of volunteering at an inner-city church, culminating in,
- preaching my first ever sermon, followed by
- three final days of work, with my job wrapping up last Wednesday.
Last Sunday, the day I preached, I woke up with a tickling feeling at the back of my throat, and now, nearly a week later, I have descended into the depths of the worst cold virus I’ve ever contracted. It’s in my head and in my joints and in my sinuses, and worse of all, in my throat. I can’t talk to anyone! For days and days I have been unable to say what I want to say, communicating with Matt by little scraps of paper, rudimentary Auslan and the notes app on my iPhone.
Not being able to communicate for days on end is so debilitating. The couple of times I’ve gone out to the shops, I’ve had to sign or write down my order. It’s been both fascinating and also annoying to engage with shop assistants who jump to conclusions that I am a deaf or mute person. It’s also annoying to try and get things done before Christmas next week. Having a conversation with Matt about what presents we still need to buy, or what we are going to do before Christmas next week takes infinitely longer, and it’s so hard to expressed myself in writing or sign.
But not being able to communicate is also so disappointing. This was going to be my holiday, my recovery time, my time for tidying up Christmas things, my time for seeing friends and family. Instead I am spending it nursing headaches, enduring hours of fitful and interrupted sleep, trapped in my head without anyone to talk to. I guess this just serves as a reminder that it was never ‘my time’ to begin with.
The only thing that is not impeded is my prayers. In the middle of my cone of silence it’s been a great relief to talk openly to the Lord, to tell him everything right away without needing to write it down. I’d love to be able to sing Christmas Carols that praise him, or to sit around the table with friends and share things to thank him for. But the thing where I just pray by myself on my own in my head, I’m still not very good at doing that. Maybe I can use this time to practice more.