Moving Forward

I woke at 5:15 this morning thinking how difficult it is to move forward. So many days this year it has felt like ‘Groundhog Day.’ I mentioned this to a good friend of mine. I told her it all feels so strangely familiar. The cleaning, the sorting, the getting ready for class and dropping off things I no longer want to ‘The Salvos Store.’ This is what I did last January just before Sam was diagnosed. ‘We are moving forward,’ she said in response to my comment with the same kind of authority she had all last year when I let her in on my concern. Its true, we are moving forward but no one really lives happily ever after. That’s just fairy tales and this is real life so we have to look for a way.

A few weeks ago I found the perfect table at the local antique store. It’s kauri pine, with turned legs and has the most beautiful soft, golden colour. It has been lovingly restored and was not expensive. I put a deposit on it straight away returning a week later with cash, a trailer and Reid. We had a table like this one when we first got married. My dad had rescued the original one from the firewood room at Gladesville hospital where he used to be a chaplain. I loved that table but somehow through the stages of trying to define my style I replaced it with a white laminate one with stainless steel legs from ‘Freedom’.

I am good at getting rid of things, giving things away and letting things go. I am not a hoarder but some of the things I have given away I have come to regret. I am eternally grateful to my mum and my sister for rescuing things off my throw out pile and storing them to return to me later.

It can be tricky to find the balance between what to keep and what to get rid of. Sometimes you can be lucky and discover that someone still has the thing you loved and is happy to give it back to you. Or like my table, you find the perfect specimen at the local store in better condition than the one you originally had, at a price you can afford.

We lifted the table into the trailer and drove it home without realizing that the trailer contained little stones. In the brief time it took to get home the table got damaged and dented from the debris. All it had needed was a soft blanket to cushion the ride, to lie flat on, to protect it from the bumps and friction of the road but we hadn’t been thinking at all. Even the smallest bit of gravel can cause scars.

Last week when Sam went for surgery I didn’t think either. We went through the extensive least of drugs that we now know she is allergic to. She even added ‘bee stings,’ to be extra careful – “You never know,” we laughed but we didn’t stop to think about all the dressings and cleaning agents that she is allergic to now as well. She came out of surgery with a drain extended from her beautiful, once flawless, chest and to keep it in place was a primapore dressing.

Her skin is so sensitive, the slightest change in the weather causes her to react. When she walks on warm sand her feet blister, when she sits in the shade on a warm day she gets a sunburn mark around her sunglasses and Reid says she looked like a reverse raccoon. Her skin bruises and tears in the strangest ways and under the primapore I could see her skin ruptured, red and sore. We gently removed the dressing to discover it was too late and now her chest is covered in scars that I am sure will eventually heal.

The Haemotology doctors say the skin problem could be any number of things. Perhaps its new skin from the transplant, perhaps its from the extensive doses of cyclophosphamide chemotherapy or perhaps it is graft versus host disease. It makes me a little bit fearful. I want it to be over. I want her to bounce back unencumbered

Rumi wrote, “Give up to grace. The ocean takes care of each wave ’til it gets to shore. You need more help than you know.”

I still feel a little helpless and uncertain. I don’t know what to do with this residue of fear. It sticks to my sides like baked on grease, it wakes me at dawn. I find my place on the right hand side of the couch crying out to God for His wisdom. He always comes. I need just as much help on the shore as I did in the ocean. I pray for grace as I sip my early cup of tea.

“Three times I called upon the Lord and besought Him about this and begged that it might depart from me; But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

As I prayed I placed my daughter again in His capable hands. Later today I took a photo of my table to post in my blog. In the background of the photo is Jack playing his guitar. My son is a great musician. He came out of the womb singing it seems. I thought about this as the photo enlarged on my computer screen and again I was reminded of God’s faithfulness. “Do you remember when Jack was small and you were worried that he wouldn’t be able to sing after his voice broke?” I sensed the Holy Spirit asking me. With tears in my eyes I remembered and God showed me that He is able to do above and beyond what we ask or think. He takes what is broken, even a young boy’s voice and creates an even better sound. A sound that is deep and mature and full of passion.

I know He is taking the broken pieces of our lives and creating something beautiful. Just like the Salvation Army Band used to sing: Something beautiful, something good, all my confusion, he understood. All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife but He made something beautiful out of my life.

As I let go of all my stuff, He is finding ways to bring it back redeemed and restored with a golden wax patina. He knows I will damage it again and again but He keeps on giving anyway. We are moving forward. It’s just like my friend said.



Filed under Life

15 responses to “Moving Forward

  1. Bronte Waller

    Beautiful…let the Heavens shout for joy.

  2. monica olander

    Just read your blog. Something I ordered for me arrived today…it’s definitely for you….will tell you the story when I give it to you. See you on the weekend! xxx

    • Clare Froggatt

      Hey Monica, Thankyou for my CD. I’m going to try to upload the song on my blog. Isn’t it amazing, the timing of things! Much love Clare

  3. Sandy Foster

    Beautiful Clare! I sing from the Salvation Army Songsters book when I go to our Chapel service each week- I love the words in some of those old hymns!

    I’m believing with you as you move forward into a new day that God’s redeeming love and restoration will be abundant in every area of your life. My Redeemer lives! Lots of love xxx

  4. Wendy Gilbert

    This is so “not” profound. I was too looking at my kitchen table this morning, as it is falling apart – it is about 100 years old – thinking of looking for another second hand table. (Deep I know, it was just funny timing).

    New day for the Froggatts, no doubt about it! (and a new table as a matter of fact)

  5. Jane Grover

    Beautiful words Clare, as you move forward keep writing…it is not just the regular flushing of my tear ducts as I read your words that cleanses me but also I feel your words cleansing my heart too, your blog grounds me and keeps me turning toward my saviour and all He is to me. Love you and your table xx

  6. Clare I love your table and if you would like your wing chair for your sitting room you can have it I think it would look great. Our Lord Reigns x 4 lots of Love mam xxxxx

  7. you need new chairs love mam again xxx

  8. Katey H

    Love this my friend…. You are so faithful – with an incredible ability to see with His eyes. xo Katey

  9. Melissa Norsa

    Bless you Clare.

  10. glynis howard

    Praying for that complete healing.. as beautiful as the smooth legs that gifted carpenter has turned …. enjoy the escape as you spend time with the little one. Much Love xo

  11. leigh austin

    Dear Clare, talking with Sue M just recently she told me of your blog. I have read Jan and then decided to go back to earlier blogs….but you know….I thought after reading some of them -no never look back what is ahead is much more exciiting. You are an amazing woman, you have an incredible talent writing (I see many books ahead); I love the blog on the ONIONS wow that was an incredible piece of research knitted into God’s word.
    No one knows what it is to walk in your shoes (or you family’s shoes)…but my beautiful lady what love, strength, discipline you show me plus the intimacy with God that has been your journey. You are beautiful and love you. My pray for Sam each day is a simple one. In the name of Jesus be healed. Tell Emma I hope she is coming to Night School this year. Missed her at the end, XX

    • Clare Froggatt

      Thanks Leigh, I wrote “Onions” very easily. Not much research at all. Maybe it was the overflow of years in God’s word (which I do take great delight in) or maybe He was just helping me prepare to speak to all the beautiful girls who on the journey with me. The best part of this walk is the intimate journey and constantly discovering that in and through it. God is faithful. Much love Clare

  12. Hannah Daish

    By the way, what salvation army band did u used to listen to? I grew up at Sydney Congress Hall Salvos and have very strong and fond memories of the band singing this song!!! Forgot about it until now, perfect reminder, thank you! xo

    • Clare Froggatt

      Hi Hannah, We used to listen to the Salvation Army Band down at Manly Corso when Reid and I first got married. My favourite book back then was by Ann Kiemel called “I’m Out to Change the World,” and in the book she quoted the hymns, so knowing the words I used to love to sing along with the band on hot summer days near the beach. It’s such a lovely memory for me and the words of the hymns are full of truth. Truths that I now experience first hand. Love Clare

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