one thousand texts

I arrived a bit late to the texting party. Oh, people have been texting me for months (years?). I just couldn’t text back unless I had 10 minutes to spare (and the patience to click my phone buttons 2-5 times for each letter/punctuation mark I wanted to type). Besides, I had to pay like twenty-five dollars for each text or something.

Anyway. A couple months ago, Gabe got us free smart phones at Best Buy and an unlimited texting plan. But I was too lazy/intimidated to put everyone’s numbers in my new phones and/or to tell them that I had texting now. So I’ve been easing into the texting game slooooowly.

On February 22, though, I got some news that made me giddy, and I sent my first text to my friend Joanne. (for those of you who don’t know, Joanne had a stroke in January and was in a coma for 2 weeks)

Hey, girl. A little birdie told me you’ve been texting. This is Marla. I miss you!!

She texted me back five minutes later, and my heart got stuck in my throat. Miss you too!

I told her I wished Ohio and Colorado were closer. You could move here, she wrote.

Seriously, my heart was just racing. This is a woman who probably shouldn’t have survived the ordeal she went through. And she was in a medically-induced coma and her brain was completely shut down and she had swelling on her brain and a flap of her skull was removed.

I asked her if I could pray for anything specific. She wrote, Fear about another brain flap surgery is eating my lunch.

She talked about how badly she missed her girls and wanted to go home. I told her that I had cried so many tears over the past few weeks as I thought about her and those sweet, sweet darlings.

I could barely keep up with her questions. At one point I asked her, How are you twice as fast a texter as me?!?!

She told me she has thumbs of power (and I needed to practice).

One of my (selfish) fears about Joanne had been that she wouldn’t remember me and our friendship. Well, goodness. She probably remembers every single thing she’s ever said or done. Praise the Lord that her memory is completely intact, her wit and sense of humor are no worse for wear, and she’s as loving and sweet as ever.

She asked me if Cambodia had a national zoo and when we were going. 🙂 I told her that the zoo book has taken a new twist and that it will have more of a focus on online community and that she is one of the stars.

And that she was totally going to have to write a book about the past few months.

We text just about every day. I tell her what I’m up to. She tells me how she’s doing and what I can pray for. We chat about the food she gets to eat and how a lot of it ends up down the front of her (see Kristen’s post about it here). We say I love you.

She’s so honest, just like always. Lots and lots of hard stuff she’s enduring. I know she gets discouraged a lot, but she’s always so upbeat and positive. My heart aches for her, and I long for her to get all the way better and be back home with her loved ones.

Joanne’s birthday is March 15. I wish I would’ve thought to mention it earlier, but I think there’s still time to get a card to her by then if you hurry: Joanne Heim (c/o Kristen Haufschild) 11004 Grayledge Circle, Highlands Ranch, CO 80130

Yesterday I noticed that we had texted back and forth over 200 times and that big number reminded me of my 1000 Gifts List (have you read Ann Voskamp’s book? you should!). And I knew that Joanne was making her own list of 1000 Things She’s Thankful For.

I’m thinking of writing a blog post called One Thousand Texts, I wrote her. You will be the star. Of course.

Only the co-star! she wrote back.

Well, okay, I wrote. (But we all know she’s the real star.)

After today, we’re at 276 texts. Well on our way to 1000. (that was Gift #514 in my journal today)

She is a living, breathing miracle. Please keep praying for her–for relief from pain, for restful nights, for God to ease her fears about her upcoming surgery (March 25), that she will continue to heal and recover everything she lost.

As soon as I finish this post, I’m going to write text #277.

I love you, girl. You’re my hero.

18 thoughts on “one thousand texts

  1. Lisa

    Dangit … This post made me cry! God truly is AMAZING!! The words from Ps 103 are brought to my mind “forget not all His benefits”. No forgetting for Joanne … Praise God!

  2. O Mom

    Oh my goodness. My oldest daughter’s Birthday is march 15. She is turning 17. I’m sending a card to your friend, I’ve been so amazed at God’s hand in this!
    And I must seriously be the last person on the planet that does not text…………..sad.

  3. Mandy

    Does Joanne like flowers? Does she like scarves? Does she have a favorite color or colors? I would like to crochet her something nice for her birthday.

    I’m so glad you and Joanne have been texting. And I’ll definitely be praying for her and her upcoming surgery.

    My husband I and finally got phones with keyboards and unlimited texting last August. It’s so fun to be able to text him during the day while he’s at work. And it’s so nice to be able to text friends back without hitting those darn buttons multiple times. One of my dearest friends works full-time and I love being able to check in with her throughout the day.

  4. Melissa R

    Love this! From the moment you wrote about Joanne I knew deep in my heart that she was going to be a miracle! And I just bought Ann’s book last week – can’t wait to get to sit and read it. Looking forward to seeing you very soon – tonight! 🙂

  5. joyce

    I’m reading Ann Voskamps book right now and when I ordered the book I felt prompted to purchase copies for all of the women in my family which number 12. Some believers, some rejecters, some searchers….a real mix…I’m excited to see what God does with this.

    I can’t wait to hear Joanne tell her story!

  6. Claudia Porpiglia

    First of all, I want to say “thank you” to Gabe for getting the two of you Smart phones! You are contributing to my son’s employment by having those.

    As for texting…never thought I would use it much but find it very handy as God leads me to minister to and encourage others. If I think of someone during the day and pray for them, I then send a short text. A lot easier than trying to remember to call or e-mail later.

  7. holly smith

    What a wonderful post, Marla!! I love it and am adding it to my 1000 gifts’ list. It reminds me, too, of just how very far Joanne has come!

    Also it made me think…hmm how many texts do I have with Jo? Hadn’t’ even thought to look before…307. Probably because I am so talkative. Love you, Marla!!!

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