The Wryters' Block

Shaping, Designing, Sculpting Words

Living on the Edge

Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell (Photo credit: Alan Light)

“Stress – one word, five letters, but in this walk of life, stress can wreak havoc if one is not careful.”

     Earlier this month, comedienne Rosie O’Donnell had a heart attack. If you’re like me, this news gave me pause to think about my own health and about the health of loved ones and friends.
Months ago, gripped by despair and discouragement, I found myself plunging into a spiraling sea of woes. Yes, I was weary and discontent with life situations, but I got up and went to work anyway. To those around me, perhaps I appeared normal. I had to function. I put on a brave smile and took one step at a time, but inside my life, a quiet storm brewed, and I felt as though the weight of the world rested upon my shoulders.
Somehow, amidst all my trials, I forgot that He said to cast all your cares upon Him. In John 14:1, Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .”
By now headaches became daily occurrences along with chest heaviness and pain. Try as I might, I tried to change my thoughts, to will them thoughts of cheer, but to no avail. I thought I would drown in sorrow. I swallowed pain relievers and hoped that would act as partial remedy.
Teacher, author, mother, sister, and friend, I wore many hats and had several roles to play. When I started to feel weakness in my legs coupled with other ailments, I realized that if I didn’t get a grip, I wouldn’t be around long enough to be anything but a distant memory.
The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred as I lay in bed one night. An invisible knife pierced my chest, and all I could feel was an overwhelming sharp pain that would not subside. But if only I could pull the dagger out! If only I could ease the ache!
Moments later, I lay on a hospital bed, shivering feverishly from fear, afraid of what my outcome would be.
“You are on the edge,” the doctor looked at me and said.
As I lay there with fluids and medication entering my body intravenously, I pictured my life and my future. I remembered hearing someone on Christian radio say, “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. You are going nowhere.”
I prayed to my Father in heaven for life and strength. I realized that as long as we’re in this world, we are going to face our share of battles, struggles, and personal demons; I knew that I had to face them with a new tactic. I had to suit up in my armor and face them with the Word. A hard lesson to learn, but it took me being “on the edge” to discover that the only person I could control is myself. I cannot change other people. I cannot be with family and loved ones 24/7, directing and leading their lives as if I were their conductor, as if I were perfect in every way. Only our Father can do that. Only the Father is perfect.
I realized that I must do exactly what He said – to cast all of my cares upon Him. In John 14:18, the Lord said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
I recalled the poem, “Footprints in the Sand”. I remembered the poet speaking about the set of footprints and how at the lowest moments of our lives, Jesus carries us in His loving arms.
That night in the hospital, the doctor released me, told me to rest. I was very fortunate to have escaped a heart attack.
It is my sincere prayer and hope to everyone who reads this article that you will learn, as I am learning, to be of good cheer. To worry is of no gain. It profits us nothing. The answer to life’s problems lies in our knowing Him.
I’d like to add a plea in conclusion that you will take this day to consider your health. What lifestyle changes can you make to become heart healthy today?


August 30, 2012 - Posted by | Life | , , ,


  1. I’m glad you’re okay now. We do need to take care of ourselves!


    Comment by lizkflaherty | September 1, 2012 | Reply

    • Liz, Thanks for commenting! Unfortunately, I am the classic worrier. So I do have to consciously and constantly remind myself not do that.


      Comment by Arsoleen Woolcock | September 1, 2012 | Reply

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