Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayer blanket.

Way back in time (March 2010) I started a striped afghan. No method to my madness. I had a big bag of thrifted yarn and needed a new travel project. I grabbed some of that yarn - threw it into a canvas tote and away I went (softball and soccer were the sports of choice at the time.)

Method - crochet a long,long chain. Double crochet until I ran out of the color I was working with. Tie a new color on crochet some more. Repeat.

Now this is not a "pretty" fancy, showplace type of blanket. It is functional and made up of a hodgepodge of the yarns. Short pieces - whole skeins - some was knotted and had to be untangled. There is nothing exceptional or special about it. Just a very useful and purpose filled blanket that will see lots of memory making moments.

I crochet a lot of blankets as gifts. I crochet beanie hats for the homeless. When I am working on those things, I pray - it is mindless and easy crocheting so I can lift my prayers for the one who receives it. As I crocheted on this blanket in the early stages, it had no owner. It was to be one I tossed in the car or grabbed from the back of the sofa. So I prayed for myself and my family.

Can you say eerie prophetic timing?

About 6 inches into this afghan, I began passing blood in my urine, Go back - read the posts from that march date. Kidney stone suspicions quickly became the road trip now known as "SURPRISE - YOU HAVE KIDNEY cancer."

I continued the SURPRISE TOUR. With transfusions, major surgery, missed work, recovery, and there were many hours now spent in my recliner with this blanket. The owner and creator of this blanket now praying fervently for herself. Many times I was praying without even realizing it. If you look at me on facebook - or even read between the lines here - you will find that it seemed like a non ending supply of that dang yarn. Just as I thought I was getting through to the bottom of the pile, I would find another bit of the stuff.

So, I continued on. And I prayed. And others prayed. And the prayers became as real as the blanket piled in my lap when I worked on it. In the moments when I didn't or couldn't pray - I know that many others were. Guess what - those others praying for me were not fancy - showplace kinds of people either. Just a hodgepodge of honest faithful people who's prayer knees get a lot of memorable use.

And April came and went - then May June and July. I returned to work, but at night I was so very tired and I would sit in the chair and add stitches and prayer.

My recovery was predominately uncomplicated. Each appointment with the docs added better news to my outcome. And that bag of yarn kept on having skeins in it.

August brought a committment to finish this dang blanket before I started any major new projects. So I worked hard again - focused on finishing. Guess what - I kept right on praying.

Then my followup scan brought fear again - and tears - and more visits with new docs. More tests. So what did I do in waiting rooms and in those long horrible days while you wait results, I crocheted on this dang blanket and prayed some more.

I used the very last bit of the yarn on this baby on Spetember 14th - watching the 11pm news. I was even a bit surprised when a visit to the yarn stash didn't leave me with more of this two ply yarn. I tied it off - sent my wonderful friend MaryAnn a text message and picture that I had finally finished it and went to bed.

The following morning found me in the Oncologist's office. Without my blanket to work on. (not without a project - just not this blanket) you can read about the great news I got that day here.

I really didn't think about the timing of that blanket until after the fact.

I'm thinking Someone who knows me so very well - knew that I needed my own prayer blanket. In God's impeccable plan for my life, I had made my own prayer blanket.

This blanket saw many hours of prayers. It was theraputic for me to make it. It is already seeing a ton of use (in the picture below, we had spread it and many other things out for the girls to relax on between games). Tonight it will warm my feet as it spreads across the foot of my bed.

All things a handmade blanket would be used for.

But the biggest is thing it will do for me - be a reminder that I was never alone in the darkness of cancer. I had God beside me - friends and family surrounding me - and a serious blanket of prayer softening the journey through that canyon.

I'll wrap that kind of prayer blanket around my shoulders any day.

My name is Teresa - you may know me as MaggieGrace - I am a survivor - You are a blessing to me - my life is beautiful - I do hope you recognize the beauty and blessings in your life too.

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