Stingrays and Support Raising

There’s no graceful way to intro this post. I tried Googling “inspirational quotes about poisonous ocean creatures,” but shocker: those don’t exist. Probably for good reason.

I’ll just get right to it. Yesterday, I had a lot of firsts.

  • First time I had a stingray barb enter the ball of my foot while wading in 3 inches of ocean water. I didn’t see it, hence the “stepping on it” part, but was later informed that the stingray was the size of a beach ball.
  • First time I experienced excruciating pain that shot its way up my leg and into my entire body, which led to the first time I used every cuss word in the book within a 45-second period (sorry, Mom).
  • First time I hyperventilated, which apparently causes you to lose all feeling in your arms and legs. But that’s neither here nor there.
  • First time I’ve actively tried to come up with a way to cut off my left foot using a beach umbrella and a plastic sandcastle shovel.
  • First time I begged a stranger on the beach to call an ambulance, even though I was fully aware how many dollars it would cost.
  • First time I’ve seen real panic in the eyeballs of a beach medic. Someone probably needs to check and make sure the poor guy’s recovered, now that I think about it… He was not okay.
  • First time I’ve seen Adrenaline Gage, who I think could’ve chunked me across town straight through the hospital doors if it meant my screaming and sobbing and inexplicable pain would stop. He’s the real MVP.
  • First time I rode in the back of an ambulance with a guy named Matt who found my roly-poly vein and stuck me for an IV on the first try, even as we’re air-born because we hit a speed bump too quickly. He gets a gold star.
  • First time Morphine did not work for me. I lost my mind even more dramatically after that; and Gage chose that precise moment to distract himself by befriending the ambulance driver. “So, how long ya been driving ambulances?”
  • First time my foot, which now resembled a purple Peep marshmallow on steroids, was X-rayed to make sure there was no barb stuck inside of it. (?!!??)
  • First time I was acutely aware that I was wearing nothing but a swimsuit in the ER; first time to be too medicated to care.
  • First time I answered the man in the scrubs by saying, “Yep, pain is a solid 10 out of 10” without hesitation. He then said, “Well, no sh*t. This pain is supposed to be comparable to childbirth, if not worse… So at least you know you’ll be good there.” *Thumbs-up Emoji*
  • First time I FaceTimed Mom from the hospital bed, waved and grinned in my medicated state, and told her I’d “be in touch.” (Gage promised he’d update her along the way.)
  • First time I told the nurse I would leave Sacred Heart Emergency Room IF AND ONLY IF their bucket of hot water came with me, because soaking my foot in it was the only thing that disintegrated the proteins in the stingray venom and ultimately eased my pain. If you’re confused by that, don’t worry. I was too, so I obviously Googled it to check the validity. I’m sure Doc appreciated that.

Which ultimately led to….

  • ….the first time I’ve ever Googled “inspirational quotes about poisonous ocean creatures.”

I honestly am just fine. I learned A LOT about stingrays and their defense mechanisms, including the fact that there are only an estimated 2,000 stingray attacks each year in the U.S. Was anybody surprised that I was one of those 2,000 for the year 2016? Of course not. Ridiculous occurrences have a way of following me around.

Did I learn the importance of shuffling into and out of the ocean in order to scare off any hidden stingrays that may be lurking under a thin layer of sand?

YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM SAND DOLLAR, FOLKS.

ash
Just your average week at the beach on 30A.

Moral of the story: avoid stingray barbs with every fiber of your being, unless you’re in the business of strengthening your prayer life. And I’m only a little bit kidding.

Now. Onto the second tidbit of information that is just as mind-blowing:

The next morning, I  woke up from a hydrocodone-induced slumber to an email saying that I AM 92% FUNDED FOR MY 18-MONTH TERM IN UGANDA! 

Excuse me, WHAT? Serge requested that I be at 90% by July. I was at 50% on June 23rd. I am in complete and total awe in this moment. Forget the stingray… Our Heavenly Father called me to Uganda, and he’s sending me there. He’s sending me there through you guys!! Humbled would be an understatement.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

If you’ve told me that you’re wanting to support financially but haven’t signed up yet, let me direct you to this link real quick –> we’re so close!

What a 24 hours. I think I felt every emotion known to man, but today I’m immensely thankful for modern medicine and miraculous provision.

ash4
Only 8 weeks until I’m back at my Bundihome with these crazies.

Another exciting update? Bundibugyo, Uganda is finally getting the New Testament, Genesis, and Jonah IN LUBWISI! Their local language! This is beyond life-changing for so many, and it’s a very tangible answer to a prayer that’s been prayed for decades. Check it out here: http://www.thetask.net/bwisi/lubwisi-new-testament-printed.

Thank you for loving and for praying!

All my love,

Ash