Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The best laid plans...

Do I have a story for you! I hesitate to tell it now, because it might not be over yet. But I have nothing better to do right now, as you will soon see from my story. It is the story of two plans - mine and God's.

Beth's plan

Saturday, Dec. 8
- go to Jacob's Well brunch
- spend the rest of the day studying for Theology exam

Sunday, Dec. 9 - the day of rest!
- lead worship
- hang out with Paul & Sarah Williams family in the afternoon (they are Regent profs)
- watch a movie with Danice in the evening

Monday, Dec. 10
- write Theology exam
- spend the rest of the day doing Hermeneutics paper

Tuesday, Dec. 11
- hand in Hermeneutics paper
- spend the rest of the day doing Ethics paper

Wednesday, Dec. 12
- hand in Ethics paper
- mark one hundred and twenty Old Testament final exams

Thursday, Dec. 13
- hand in Old Testament exams
- fly home

- be a maid of honor in Christine's wedding

Ok, I hope that didn't bore you. As you can see, every hour of my week was planned. I was in complete control. It would be tight, but I would get everything done. I always do. Here's where my story gets exciting.

God's plan

- same as Beth's plan

- Beth will lead worship.
- Beth will go to the Williams' house. There, she will agree to help Hannah make gingerbread for a school project.
- While using a hand mixer (one of those long skinny ones with a blade at the end) for the first time, Beth will foolishly use her finger to try to get some butter out from behind the blade, and will accidentally turn it on at the same time, mangling the top section of her finger.
- Beth will not faint! She will be proud of herself.
- Beth will go to the emergency room with Jonathan (who lives in the Williams' basement) and Emilia (their 10-yr. old daughter, who has been to the hospital a lot). She will get 4 stitches and a huge bandage.
- Beth will go home to be comforted by Danice with some hot chocolate and Bailey's.

- Beth will write her exam as planned. (her left index finger is cut up - her right hand is still fine to write). It will go well. Beth will gain confidence, and will grow more sure that she can still complete the week as she had planned - this finger thing was just a little test from God to see if she would persevere.
- Beth will return home and begin typing her Hermeneutics paper, with the huge gauzy bandaged finger only slightly slowing her down.
- Beth will go to fill up her water bottle to take another extra-strength Advil for the finger pain. Clumsily reaching for the water with her bandaged finger, she will accidentally spill it all over her laptop keyboard.
- Beth will call her father in a panic, and he will spend the next four hours explaining how to take the computer apart and dry it off. Danice will help, and the landlords upstairs will donate various screwdrivers and other tools.
- After all the work, Beth's dad will conclude that the hard drive has been affected. It is the worst-case scenario they were dreading. Beth will not be able to access any of her files, including the half-finished Hermeneutics and Ethics papers due in the next couple of days. Her computer is fried. She will cry a little. But Beth's dad is pretty sure he can restore her files when she returns home on Thursday with her poor, wet computer.
- Beth will e-mail her two professors (using Danice's computer) and ask for extensions for the first time in her life. She will find her professors to be very understanding.
- Beth will finish the day by ordering pizza with Danice and watching "Spaceballs".

- Beth will sleep in for the first time in weeks.
- Beth will realize that she has no work to do. No work she CAN do. Nothing she can accomplish.
- Beth will go to school and help make Tuesday soup, ensuring that she does not cut off any more fingers.
- Beth will sit in the library and leisurely write a blog, surrounded by hundreds of panicked, busy students.
- Beth will marvel at my strange, twisted mercy.
- Beth will realize that I am in control of her week and her life.

- Who knows?

So there you have it. It has been a crazy, difficult, sobering couple of days, but the result has been a lot of learning and a lot of grace. I have felt God with me through the whole thing. I have experienced the kindness of many people I hardly know (Ceri, who took care of me right after my finger was cut, Jonathan, who took me to the hospital, Paul and Sarah, who prayed for me before I left, my landlords, my roommates, my professors), and I have been extremely grateful for the love and care of those closest to me (especially Danice, who let me cry with her and brought me seriously spiked drinks, and my family, who comforted me over the phone).

Thanks to those of you who have been praying for me. I'll be home soon - with a couple papers to finish, but hopefully much more rested and thankful than I would have been had my plan worked. And ready to celebrate with Chris and Dan!

If anyone would like to see a picture of my finger without the bandage on (I like to call it Frankenfinger), I will e-mail it to you - I didn't want to gross everyone out on the blog!

That's all for now... I hope....


Anonymous said...

Wow. What a story. I'm glad you're getting through it all with a good attitude. Spaceballs alone is harrowing enough, let alone the disasters with your Computron and Blender.

See you soon!

Donny Sparrow

Anonymous said...

Ohhh Beth -- asking for extensions is a scary thing for nerds like us! I'm so glad that God is showing you a lot through the pain. I had the keyboard spillage last year at the end of the term as well.... somehow God always works things out. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Enjoy your bit of a break that came sooner than you had anticipated....